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  1. 1. Sandhyavandanam<br />And its importance<br />
  2. 2.
  3. 3. Yagnopavitham in Indian languages<br />
  4. 4. Deliverance from Suffering <br />The causes of all suffering are:<br />(1) ignorance(2) infirmity and (3) in-adequacy.<br />
  5. 5. Deliverance from Suffering<br />A person becomes happy to the extent he is able to remove these  causes of suffering from within  him. The outlook of a person about the world gets vitiated on account of ignorance. Being ignorant of his true identity  he gets entangled in a false sense of identity with the transient  phenomena  and becomes unhappy. The feelings of selfishness, self-indulgence, greed, ego, narrow-mindedness and anger deflect  a man from his duty. He abandons far-sightedness, hankers after money, materials, false name and fame - which are all transient and chimerical. Thus he strays away more and more from his true self which is the spark of the Divine. <br />
  6. 6. Deliverance from Suffering<br />This separation from the Source is the original sin. Sin automatically results in suffering. On account of ignorance he is unable to understand  the basic purpose of his life in this world. Consequently, his hopes, cravings and imaginations know no end. On account of such a perverted out-look normal ups and downs of life make him laugh, cry and weep. Death of a relative, differences in the tastes and temperament of colleagues, ups and downs and fluctuations in circumstances are all natural but the ignorant man insists that what he  wants must always happen and he should never be required to face adverse circumstances. When this does  not happen as per his fancies and events unfold contrary to his wishes, he weeps and cries. Thus, ignorance leads to innumerable sufferings. Infirmity means weakness. A man is unable to enjoy his natural basic rights on account of his physical, mental, social, intellectual and spiritual infirmities. <br />
  7. 7. Astonishing Power of Gayathri Mantra <br />The secret of the supernatural impact of Gayathri Mantra in the physical domains of life lies in its unique configuration of the specific syllables – the seeds of Shabda, which is derived from the esoteric depths of the absolute science of Shabda Brahma-Naad Brahma. The cyclic enunciation of this mantra stimulates the subliminal power centers of the inner being. <br />
  8. 8. Meaning of Gayathri Mantra<br />We meditate (Dhimahi) on the Spiritual Effulgence (Bhargas) of that Adorable Supreme Divine Reality (Varenyam Devasya), the Source or Projector (Savitr) of the three phenomenal world planes the gross or physical (Bhuh), the subtle or psychical (Bhuvah), and the potential or causal (Suvah) both macrocosmically (externally) and microcosmically (internally). May that Supreme Divine Being (Tat) stimulate (Prachodayat) our (Nah) intelligence (Dhiyah), so that we may realise the Supreme Truth. <br />
  9. 9. In simple terms<br />Om  bhurbhuvah swah  tatsaviturvarenyam  bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah  prachodayat<br /> Om!                Brahma or Almighty God  Bhuh               embodiment of vital spiritual energy (Pran) bhuvah           destroyer of sufferings  swah                embodiment of happiness tat                   that  savituh           bright, luminous like the Sun   varenyam       best, most exalted bhargo           destroyer of sins   devasya         divine dhimahi         may imbibe dhiyo             intellect yo                  who  nah                our prachodayat  may inspire<br />
  10. 10. In short<br />it is a prayer to the Almighty Supreme God, the Creator of entire cosmos, the essence of our life existence, who removes all our pains and sufferings and grants happiness beseeching His divine grace to imbibe within us His Divinity and Brilliance which may purify us and guide our righteous wisdom on the right path.  <br />
  11. 11. Gayathri is Kamdhenu<br />One who sincerely invokes, adores and worships Gayathri, enjoys pleasures similar to the ones a child feels while sucking nectar like milk of his mother’s breasts. He gets rid of suffering created by ignorance, infirmity and scarcity and all his righteous desires are fulfilled.<br />
  12. 12. Steps involved in Sandhyavandanam<br />AchamanamSuklam...PranayamaSankalpamMarjanamPrasanamagain AchamanamPunar marjanamArghyamNavagraha and kesavadi Tarpanam again AchamanamSuklam.., pranayama,Sankalpam, rishi devata chandas for Pranayama mantra, Ten pranayama,Gayathri Avahanam, Gayathri Dhyanam, GAYATRI JAPAM, <br />PranayamaGayathri UpastanamAditya Upastanamdig devata vandanamAbhivadaye Tri murthi vandanam YamayaapasarpaRitam satyamSuryanarana vandanamabhivadayekayena vachaAchamanam, arpanam om tat sat..., etc.<br />
  13. 13. Importance of Gayathri Japa Time<br />Nadis and the Sandhya timeSandhya means the time of union of the day with the night. They usually are in the evening and early morning. But, why do Sandhya at this these times only ? <br />It is these times that one is in an empty stomach which is a condition for any spiritual exercise.<br />
  14. 14. Time importance<br />Sandhi is the time when the sun and the stars are together visible. The practical thing therefore will be to start<br />In the morning before sunrise, give Arghyam( explanation later) during sunrise and finish just after sunrise.<br />In the evening, begin before sunset, give Arghyam during sunset and finish later.<br />
  15. 15. Achamanam<br />Achamanam means partaking of a small quantity of water. The health experts of our times have come to a conclusion that taking large quantities of water at any time is harmful. They advice only sipping small quantities.<br />
  16. 16. Achamanam and its uses<br />The immediate effect is a lowering of the temperature, or rather ‘heat’ of the body. Though Allopathy still does not accept the ‘heat’ of the body as a parameter of health , (due to lack of research), we know it ourselves. Holistic therapeutic systems like Ayurveda and Homeopathy recognize this. Modern living has made such disastrous effects that the burning sensation in single parts or extremities are so common. Achamanam takes care of this. Lack of perspiration raises the body heat. Constipation also is a cause. Even for a man in fever, giving drops of cold water steadily reduces the temperature. Achamanam removes the ill effects of today’s hectic lifestyle such as Constipation, Stress, fatigue etc.<br />
  17. 17. Pranayama<br />Pranayama is the next. Pranayama is to be done with mentally chanting the extended Gayathri. The Puraka, Kumbaka and Rechaka type of Pranayama was originally suggested and practiced but nowadays even the Puraka and Rechaka themselves are sufficient to derive benefit. The Kumbaka has to be learnt only with the help of Gurus. <br />
  18. 18. Pranayama uses<br />These Nadis Ida and Pingala are the paths of flow of Prana or life force. They are in a continued state of agitation during the daytime but, tend to follow a uniform path during the Sandhya periods. Hence such periods were chosen for Sandhyavandanam to derive maximum concentration.<br />Prana regulates the temperature of the Body.<br />What do you gather ? when the thoughts are focused, the breath is slow and rhythmic. In the same way, when the breath is made rhythmic and slow, your thoughts (mind) will be focused and clear ! Apart from single pranayama at the beginnings, the Gayathri japa is tucked in between two sets of three pranayamas each at the beginning and end respectively. Look at the subtlety of our Rishis !<br />
  19. 19. Arghyam <br />"A Brahmachirin shall bathe only once a day. Having performed the rite of Achamanam, and invoked the sacred pools therein, one shall take a bath in the river. Thirty million is the number of the malignant spirits, called Mandehas, who manifest a desire of devouring the sun at day break. He, who does not attend to his Sandhya rite at the meetings of the day and night, verily kills the sun, inasmuch as the libations of consecrated water (offered unto the sun-god in the course of a Sandhya) tend to consume these monsters (Mandehas) like streams of liquid fire."<br />
  20. 20. Arghyam <br />Garuda purANa states that a kind of asuras called mandeha , who originally reside in an island called aruNa are trying to destroy Surya in the day at daybreak and sunset. The arghyam given at these times serves as a weapon to destroy them. Look at the following slokas (1-213-62)<br />
  21. 21. The philosophical significance is in the symbolism. The Mandehas are nothing but the Mandehas or mind - <br />body which are clouding the sun of resplendent atman in us. The Gayathri purifies us by this offering so that<br />the inner light can be perceived by us. Also, the sAdhaks , after the Arghyam, say, 'asAvAdityo brahma, <br />brahmaiva ahamasmi" (the sun is verily the Brahman. Brahman is myself). In the adhyAtmic sense, Arghyam<br />is a reminder of the Brahman in us and its honoring by the offer of mantra and water.<br />Philosophical significance of Arghyam<br />
  22. 22. Scientific Significance<br />The scientific meaning is even more interesting. The work of Mr. Masaru Emoto of Japan who did some critical experiments with water. He took a glass of water and spoke 'thank you' to it. <br />He then freezed the water. <br />When he magnified the crystallized water, he was amazed to see symmetric patterns. Curious, he then cursed a glass of water with , " I hate you" and crystallized it. This time the magnified image of crystals were ugly and random. <br />It was here that I wondered at the wisdom of our Maharishis. All of our Sandhyavandanam is water based. We either partake or offer water while uttering sacred mantras. Imagine the effect of these mantras on the water ! During Arghyam, we chant the greatest of all mantras- the Gayathri.<br />
  23. 23. Importance of Anganyasa and karanyasa<br />Of all the japas, Gayathri mantra japa is considered as supreme.<br />No japa-mala is used in Gayathri japa.<br />Counting the mantra is done by the thumb moving over the parts of other fingers.<br />This method has all the trappings acupressure in activating some important centers of the body and brain<br />
  24. 24. Perhaps the counting activity is an additional feature to buttress the effect of mental awakening. Activity that seems to have some curious connection to acupressure is the way Achamanam is done.<br />The 12 names of Bhagawan are recited by touching different body parts in different ways.<br />The thumb and the fingers and the divisions of the fingers come into contact in a specific fashion while touching the various body parts.<br />For example it is done like this for 'Keshava'. The index finger touches the second phalange of the thumb while the thumb touches the cheek bone.<br />
  25. 25. Very Important meditations<br />We should contemplate and meditate on these three prayer-filled meditations slowly and pausing for a moment on each word and an imaginary picture of that word should be drawn in the mind.<br />
  26. 26. Three important <br />1. “The Almighty God, who is known as Prana pervades all the three Lokas, viz, Bhooha-lok, Bhuvaha-lok and Swaha-lok. He is Omnipresent. The cosmos is physical manifestation of God who pervades its each and every particle. I am seeing Him everywhere. I would always refrain from evil thoughts and evil deeds and perform true worship of God by extending cooperation in promoting happiness, peace and beauty in this universe which is His creation”.<br />
  27. 27. 2. “This (tat) God is extremely bright (savitur), most exalted (varenyam), devoid of sin (bhargo) and divine (devasya). I visualize this Divinity within me, in my soul. By such contemplation, I am      becoming illumined, virtues are growing  in all the layers of my being. I am being saturated with these virtues, these characteristics, of God.”<br />
  28. 28. 3. “That God may inspire (prachodayat) our (naha) intellect, wisdom (dhiyo) and lead us on righteous path. May our intellect, the intellects of our family members and of all of us, be purified and may He lead us on the righteous path. On getting righteous wisdom, which is the greatest achievement and is the source of all the happiness in this world, we may be able to enjoy celestial bliss in this life and make our human life purposeful.”<br />
  29. 29. Gayathri Japa<br />The Gayathri chanting part is the central part of the Sandhyavandanam and many volumes can be written on this alone. Gayathri is a most sacred and mysterious mantra that can activate twenty four spots of the human body. Look at this picture where the individual sounds of the Gayathri are marked on the body of the sadhak. The working of Gayathri is very subtle and it was said that a Brahmin need not do any sadhna if he does Gayathri.<br />
  30. 30. Dedicated to lotus feet of Moola Rama<br />by<br />Madhva Raj<br /><br />