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Yajurveda Sandhyavandanam - detailed procedure with illustrations ver 4.0.doc

YAJURVEDA SANDHYAVANDANAM

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Yajurveda Sandhyavandanam - detailed procedure with illustrations ver 4.0.doc

 

Table of Contents

 

YAJURVEDA SANDHYAVANDANAM ..........................................................................................

1

Foreword ...............................................................................................................................................

4

Scriptural Authority (Pramanam) .........................................................................................................

5

Meaning and Philosophical significance ..............................................................................................

6

Format and Anatomy ............................................................................................................................

7

Who Can Perform .............................................................................................................................

7

When To Perform .............................................................................................................................

8

Things You Need ..............................................................................................................................

9

Exceptions.........................................................................................................................................

9

Manasika Snanam and Mantra Snanam........................................................................................

9

Recitation of Mantras......................................................................................................................

10

Science, Electricity and Health .......................................................................................................

11

SANDHYAVANDANAM STEPS IN DETAIL ................................................................................

13

Section I – POORVAANGAM (also called ‘Sandhyavandanam’) ................................................

13

1.

Achamanam (Anatomy Cleansing – external body)...............................................................

13

2.

Ganapati Dhyanam .................................................................................................................

14

3.

PrAnAyamaha (Anatomy Cleansing – internal body) ............................................................

15

4.

Sankalpah (Statement of purpose / resolve) ...........................................................................

16

 

4.a. Satvika Tyaga – optional – for Sri Vaishnavas only (Surrender and dedication)............

17

5.

Prokshanam (‘sprinkling’) or Marjanam (External/Physical Purification).............................

18

6.

Prashanam (‘Sipping’ – for Internal/Mental Purification)......................................................

20

7.

PunarProkshanam / PunarMarjanam (sprinkling / purification again) ...................................

21

8.

Arghyam (Offering to Sun: bring light / eliminate darkness).................................................

23

 

8.a. PrAnAyamah (Anatomy Cleansing – internal body) .......................................................

23

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8.b. Arghyam (Offering to Sun: bring light / eliminate darkness)..........................................

24

 

8.c. Prayashchittha PrAnAyamah (Anatomy Cleansing – external body)..............................

25

 

8.d. Prayaschitta Arghyam (Apology for any delay) ..............................................................

26

9. SandhyOpAsanam ..................................................................................................................

27

10. Adityaadi Tarpanam / Keshavadi Tarpanam (Thanks for benefits received) .......................

28

Section II – UTTARAANGAM (also called ‘Gayathri Japam’) ....................................................

29

1.

Achamanam (Anatomy Cleansing – external body)...............................................................

29

2.

Ganapati Dhyanam .................................................................................................................

30

3.

PrAnAyamaha (Anatomy Cleansing – internal body) ............................................................

30

4.

Sankalpah (Statement of purpose / resolve) ...........................................................................

32

5.

Gayatri Japam .........................................................................................................................

32

 

5.a.

PrAnAyam mantra Nyasa (Preparation for gayatri) ...................................................

32

 

5.b.

Pranayamah (Anatomy Cleansing – internal body) ....................................................

34

 

5.c.

Gayatri Avahanam (Invoking Goddess Gayatri) ........................................................

35

 

5.d.

Gayatri Japam (Meditating on Gayatri) ......................................................................

36

 

5.e.

Gayathri Upastanam (Realization of the the presence of the Lord) ...........................

38

 

5.f.

Surya Upastanam (Worship to the Sun) .....................................................................

39

6.

Samashti Abhivadanam: Sandhyadi devata vandanam (Salutations to the Sandya Gods).....

41

7.

Samashti Abhivadanam: AbhivAdanam (Expression of one's lineage) .................................

42

8.

Samashti Abhivadanam: DikDevataa Vandanam (Salutations to the directional gods).........

43

9.

Achamanam (Anatomy Cleansing – external body)...............................................................

44

 

9.a. Satvika Tyaga – optional – for Sri Vaishnavas only (Surrender and Dedication) ...........

45

10. SriRanga Mangala Manim – optional – Remembering archa murthys ................................

46

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Foreword

There are many resources on Yajurveda Sandhyavandanam available on the internet. While each of them has something special that adds to an adhyaayi’s understanding, how wonderful would it be if the essence of all of them was condensed into one single resource? That was the thought behind this document’s origin.

This document was originally intended as a ‘rough book’ to compile all the relevant theory and practice on the Yajurveda Sandhyavandanam in one concise resource, which the adhyaayi could use for his own study and practice.

Over a year’s time, this book developed into an invaluable reference that contained everything from the scriptural sanctions for the Sandhyavandanam, to the correct Vedic ‘ucchaaranai’ of various mantras recited during the Sandhyavandanam procedure.

The adhyaayi has continued to update this document as his own understanding of the deep meaning and importance of the Sandhyavandanam anushtanam has improved. This process will continue.

For now, the adhyaayi offers unto the lotus feet of the Lord, version 4.0 of this book containing many updates and corrections from the previous version.

The adhyaayi sincerely apologises for any mistakes that may be found in the document. Please email details of errors of omission or commission to kausybaby@yahoo.com for correction in the next edition.

Kaayena Vaacha, Manasa, Indriyaihi Va, Budhyaathmana Va, Prakruthe Swabhava,

Karomi Yadyat Sakalam Parasmai Naaraayanaaya Iti Samarpayaami.

Adhyaayi: Kaustubha Chakravarthy

Bangalore, 25th March 2010

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Scriptural Authority (Pramanam)

There are references in the vedas regarding Sandyavandanam. A reference occurs in "Second prasna, Second Anuvaka of Thaithria Aranyaka (Yajur Veda)", explaining procedure of worship. The procedure of worship indicated is by offering "Arghya" (water in the palms of both hands thrown up), at the time of sunrise and sunset, meditating on Aditya (Sun).

Ishvashya upanishad of Shukla Yajurveda also refers to Sun worship as above at sunrise and sunset.

Chandogya upanisad (Chapter 2 Section 6) discusses "Aditya vidya" explaining the importance of meditation of Sun or Aditya at sunrise and sunset, bringing out also the points mentioned above. Chapter 3, Section 12 of this upanishad explains meditation of aditya through gayatri. It also explains that the sun in the horizon outside and the sun element inside us are one and the same and there is no difference. The identity should be kept in mind while meditating through gayatri. This is the meaning of "Asavadityao brahma" recited during Sandyavandanam.

These views are also echoed in Aditya Hridaya of the Yuddakanda of Ramayan. Agasthya explains to Sri Rama, the merits of worshipping Aditya. Aditya protects everyone, helps them in their duties, gives lustre, removes ignorance and provides happiness. He is friend of water and resides in every living thing.

All Vedic religions have given great importance to Sandyavandanam. It is said that one who does not perform Sandyavandanam is ever impure and is thus rendered unfit to perform the Vedic rites - the nitya (daily) or naimithica (occasional) duties prescribed in the scriptures. If however he did perform the duties once in a way in spite of self inflicted impurity (due to non performance of Sandyavandanam regularly) the said performance will not yield any result. This point has also been brought out by Poigai alwar (Mudal Tiruvandadi stanza 3).

Some additional observations maybe viewed at

Sri Mani Vardarajan's emails

http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/rituals/may2002/0029.html

http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/rituals/may2002/0035.html

http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/rituals/may2002/0038.html

Sri Sadagopan Iyengar's email

http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/rituals/jun2002/0011.html

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Meaning and Philosophical significance

Aditya represents pure sattwa characteristics and He is bright (prakasa) and light (laghu). He is entrusted with the portfolio of health of souls (chetanas) in our planet as per the distribution of duties during the evolution of the universe. Our human body contains every element of the universe and they get subdued or become invisible due to the character (Rajoguna and tamoguna) of the individuals. However, it is possible to culture any of the elements of the universe present within himself by providing suitable environment. Worship through Arghyam is a process by which the element of Aditya within us can be cultured and in turn acquire the qualities of Aditya - namely lustrous and health preserving quality of the body and mind, light body, high intellect with grasping power, high intuition, memory and many other qualities.

The arghya should be offered seeing the sun in the horizon and meditating (through gayatri) on aditya.

The Arghyas delivered skyward from the palms of the worshipper serve as missiles to destroy demons known as Mandehaasuras attacking the sun. This statement in the vedas has a great significance. Vedas are also refer red to as Thrayi - that is the statements have three meanings (external, internal and philosophical). The philosophical meaning of this statement is important. The element of sun in our body is clouded by our "Rajoguna" and "Tamoguna". The Arghyams offerred as worship to Sun or Aditya at sunrise and sunset will help free the sun element in us. The word Mandeha may also mean body (“mama deha”), therefore the word mandehaasuras refers to the evils in our body.

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Format and Anatomy

Section of Sandyavandanam

Purpose

Achamanam, Pranayanam

Anatomy Purification

Sankalpah

Statement of purpose / resolve

Satvika Tyaga

Surrender and dedication

Prokshanam, Prasanam, Punah Prokshanam

Purification (external – prokshanam, internal –

 

prasanam)

Arghyam

Offering to Sun: bring light / eliminate darkness

 

Pranayanam

Purification

Prayaschita Arghyam

Apology for any delay

Adityaadi Tarpanam / Kesavadi Tarpanam

Thanks for benefits received

Pranayaman Mantra Japam

Preparation for Gayatri

Gayatri Aavahanam

Bringing in (invoking) the Lord

Gayatri Japam

Meditating on the Lord

Pranayamam

Purification

Upastanam

Realization of the the presence of the Lord

 

Sandyadi Devata Vandanam

Salutations to the Sandya gods

 

Abhivadanam

Expression of one's lineage

 

Dik Devataadi Vandanam

Salutations to the directional gods

 

Sriranga Mangala Manim

Remembering archa murthys

 

 

 

The Vedic references bring out the importance of worshipping Aditya through Arghyam and meditation through Gayatri at sunrise and sunset.

Keeping the above in view, the sages of the past have given a format for the performance of Sandyavandanam (using Vedic hymns) during sunrise, midday and sunset. In Yagna prakarana, vedas also bring out the importance of 'Sudhikarana' or purification. The purification covers both inside and outside of our body. Hence the format includes the purification process. "Prokshanam" is an external purification process, Prasanam and Pranayanam are internal purifiation processes.

Who Can Perform

Sandyavandanam is performed by an individual after "Upanayanam". Upanayanam is a Vedic ritual prescribed for Brahmins, Khshatriyas and Vaishyas. It includes wearing of Yagnopavitham and learning of Gayathri mantra.

The upanayanam entitles one to learn and recite vedas and perform rituals.

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Yagnopavitha is a thread going around the body from left shoulder to navel and back to left shoulder via our back. Thus it symbolises a thread going around our Antaryami or Vishnu seated in our heart.

Yagnopavitha or the sacred thread is a thread with three strands, each strand containing three threads. The nine threads correspond to the nine deities installed (Prithvi, aap, tejas, vayu, ether, prana, atman, antaratman, paramatman). The installation of the deities is done as per the prescribed procedure.

The three strands of the yagnopavitha are knotted together. This symbolises the conjunction of the three tattvas of the Srivaishnava philodsophy - namely Cit, Acit and Eswara. This also brings out that cit, acit and eswara cannot be shown separately.

The three strands also exhibit the presence of satwa, rajas and tamas gunas or characteristics of an individual. The deities installed help to improve our sattwa character. Though the installation of the deities is done only once before wearing, this charge is continued or recharged through recitation of gayatri everyday during Sandyavandanam. Only a thread on which the deities have been installed will be yagnopavitham or sacred thread or charged thread.

The knot in the yagnopavitha is said to symbolise Pranava or Om which comprises the three letters namely Aa (denoting Vishnu) Uu (denoting Goddess Lakshmi) and Ma (denoting soul or self).

Vedas and Smrithis prescribe the age of upanayanam for Brahmins at seven. The age should not exceed sixteen in any case.

When To Perform

The Vedas prescribe prayers at sunrise and sunset. Sunrise constitues a change from darkness to light and hence a sandhya time (that is a time of junction). This is referred to as Pratha Sandhya. The Sun set constitutes a change from light to darkness and hence a sandhya time, this is referred to as Sayam Sandhya. To these two our sages have added a third known as Madhyanika or midday, constituting a change from an ascending sun to a descending sun in the sky. The addition of Madyanika has another significance, during this time we can offer our prayers seeing the sun.

The benefits of Pratah Sandyavandanam is best when performed before sunrise and stars are visible; average when performed before sunrise but stars have disappeared; poor after sunrise. Similarly for 'Sayam Sandyavandanam'; it is best before sunset; average after sunset but before stars appear and poor after stars appear.

The above view has also been reflected in the hymns forming part of SandyavandanamSamaveda hymns for upastanam the rising sun is saluted (udyantan thvaditya anudiyasam) in Pratha Sandyavandanam, while setting sun is saluted (Pratithishtantam thvaditya anupratithistasam) in Sayam sandhyavandanam.

This pratah Sandyavandanam should be started before sunrise and concluded at sunrise. Similarly the sayam Sandyavandanam should be started before sunset and concluded at sunset (at local time)

Again in Yajur Veda Prasanam hymns, we have "Ratristadava lumpatu yatkunchaduritam mayi" (May the sins committed by me be wiped out by the deity controlling the night) in Pratah

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Sandyavandanam, while in Sayam Sandyavandanam it is 'Aahastadava lumpatu yatkincha duritam mayi" (May the sins committed by me be wiped out by deity controlling day).

The question arises as to how much before sunrise or sunset. For the purpose of Vedic rituals the duration of day (Sunrise to Sunset) is divided into 5 parts, the first part called pratah, second sangava, third madhyahna, fourth Aparahna and the last sayam. Under Indian conditions one fifth part of day or night varies from 2h 10m to 2h 20m (It will be more in higher latitiudes). Thus the benefits of Sabdya extend for a duration of about 2h 10m on either side of sunrise or sunset.

Under Indian situations it can be broadly indicated that the best period for Pratah Sandyavandanam is between 5 & 6 AM while for Sayam Sandyavandanam it is between 6 & 7 PM. For Madhyanika it is the third fifth part of the day for maximum benefits.

The timings above are from considerations of maximum benefit. However it is important to note that benefits will be there even when there are departures and this has been recognized in the smrithis. Every individual should therefore strive to perform Sandyavandanam at a time as close to sunrise or sunset as possible but should not give it up due to circumstances. In these cases, the individual should mentally contemplate on Aditya by reciting one gayatri at the time of sandya from wherever he is place at the time. A person who is unwell can perform Sandyavandam mentally without water from his sick bed.

Things You Need

Vessel: Studies in naturopathy have shown that water kept in copper, silver or gold vessels help to improve bio-electricity in our body. Hence it would be preferable to use copper or silver vessel for Sandyavandanam.

Clothes: Studies in naturopathy have shown that wool and silk are not good conductors of bio- electricity while cotton is. Hence it is desirable to wear cotton clothes while performing Sandyavandanam (as we acquire bio-energy from surroundings).

Location: Sandyavandanam should be performed in the outdoors as far as possible. It was the practice to perform the Poorvaangam part outdoors – at a lake or river where the Brahmana would take bath, and where water was available in plenty – while the Uttaraangam could also be done indoors.

Direction: Pratah Sandyavandanam is performed facing East. Madyanukam is performed facing East or North. Sayam Sandyavandanam is performed facing East upto 'Arghya pradhanam' and facing West thereafter. (Japam is done sitting). The guiding principle is to look in the direction of the Sun at the time of performing the ritual.

Exceptions

Manasika Snanam and Mantra Snanam

Snanam means bath. The normal bath we take by pouring water on our body is called "Varuna snanam". Vedas recognize varuna snanam is not possible everywhere and under all circumstances. Hence vedas recognise several alternative forms of bath. (All forms of bath are equal in merit).

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Whenever conventional bath i.e. varuna snanam is not possible, one can perform manasika snanam instead. The procedure for manasika snanam is "Mentally comprehend the lotus feet of the Lord is on your head and water of virija (Heavenly river) from his feet flowing all over your body. Recite the hymn below and sprinkle water over your head.

Apavitrah Pavithro va Sarvavastam gato apiva |

Yah Smaret Pundarikaksam sa Bahyabhyantarah sucih ||

This means "One who meditates on pundarikaksha is cleaned both internally and externally irrespective of the purity earlier.

Mantra snanam is a bath where in we sprinkle water on our head reciting hymns. Incidentally, this has been included in the Sandyavandanam process itself. Prokshanam is a "mantra snana".

Manasika Sandyavandanam means performing the Sandyavandanam mentally without water. This can be done under extraordinary circumstances like a long journey etc. Even those who have performed Sandyavandanam normally but not within the prescribed limits should offer Arghyam mentally at the Sandhhya time, wherever he is (irrespective of dress etc.)

In circumstances where Madhyanimikam cannot be performed it can be performed alongwith Pratah Sandyavandanam.

Further reading: Manthra /Maanasa/ Mukhya/GowNa SnAnams, V. Sadagopan Dec 1997

Recitation of Mantras

A Hymn or mantra is a prayer (with words and alphabets specially chosen) addressed to God or deity. It is supposed to posess mystic and supernatural powers. For best results correct recitation of the mantras is necessary.

The energy from the universe is present everywhere. By reciting a mantra either orally or mentally, we tune ourselves to receive this energy. This is very similar to tuning a radio receiver to receive the electromagnetic waves around us.

Our sages through meditation have asessed the power of the various mantras and their applications to different situations and purposes.

The Chandas explains the potential of the mantra or the power it can create in our body by reciting it. It is for this purpose that the mantras must be recited in Sanskrit only (as given by sages) and any equivalent translation will have no effect.

The mantras should be recited with due weightage to the characteristics of the alphabet namely Hasva (short), dheerga (long), alpaprana (less weightage), Maha Prana (heavy weightage). The vibration characteristics of a mantra is very important. The words and alphabets have been chosen to achieve this objective. This is akin to combining the seven notes to produce different ragas or tunes.

Every mantra is preceded by a verse indicating the name of sage, chandas, deity to whom the hymn is addressed and the purpose for which the mantra is used. The name of the sage indicates the sage

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who has achieved god realization through this mantra. The chandas indicates its potential. The purpose is also indicated as the same hymn can be used in different contexts.

Science, Electricity and Health

There is a flow of electricity in the human body (this characteristic is used in ECG electrocardiogram). This is referred to as bio-electricity. Electric currents pass through 10 sets of lines corresponding to 10 fingers and toes. Finger tips and top of head constitute terminal points of these electric lines. Bio-electricity gets charged through water, earth, ether etc.

It must be appreciated that Sandyavandanam is not just reciting hymns or mantras, but it includes certain actions like stance, touching or making contact of different organs etc.

All natural therapies are based on the principle that human body has a self healing property. Further if the flow of bio-electricity is normal the body remains fit and healthy. Every person has a natural aura around him (an invisible body of charged particles also called bio-plasmic body). Flow of electricity within our body causes emission of electrons which in turn causes the aura. This field has been photographed through a process known as kirilian photography. This was known in ancient India and was used for health. The inner aura follows the contour of the body while the outer aura is shaped like an inverted egg. and may stretch away from the body some 8-10 inches. Our sages have developed a science known as Vastu shastra where by an environment conducive to this electromagnetic field will help in better concentration, meditation etc. This ancient Indian science has been taken up by modern scientists. A new subject known as geo-biology based on the above priciples is being used in the design of factories etc. to improve efficiency.

The best application of this principle is in health which was also practiced in ancient India. This ancient science has been developed by one Choa-kuk-sui (The ancient science and art of pranic healing Cho-kuk-sui pub. Health Accessories Manila, Phillipines) for curing diseases also known as pranic healing.

The healing method is one of the naturopathy systems. Detailed investigations and kirilian photography have shown that any disease first enters the bio-plasmic body and then our visible physical body. Hence the healing process attempts to rectify the bio-plasmic body through induction of bio-energy at specific points of the body known as chakras. Remedial measures also include use of energised water.

Studies have shown that meditation has great influence on the bio-plasmic body. Brain cells are known to produce electric waves of different frequencies.

In ancient India, one more system of natural therapy i.e. acu-pressure therapy existed. This system also recognises the existence of electricity which is responsible for our health. This system recognises our palm and finger tips as control boards for manipulation or alteration of bio-electricity. Healing is achieved by applying slight pressure to specific points.

In Vedic rites water is used for purification. Modern scientists by passing sound waves through water have produced gas bubbles emitting blue light with very high temperature inside. These studies indicate the capacity of sound waves to energise water.

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A Vedic rite known as udakashanti is performed in which water is kept in a copper vessel and Vedic hymns are chanted by a group of Vedic scholars, some Vedic scholars have found that the temperature of water in the vessel has gone up substantially. Punyahavchanam is another Vedic rite where in water is energised through Vedic hymns. This approach in a miniature has been used in Sandyavandanam i.e. prokshanam, prasanam, achamanam etc. Hence while performing these rituals sound waves must be produced emenating from the mouth.

Vedic rituals like pranayanam or japam have impact on bio-electricity. Electro cardiograms taking in a normal state, during pranayanam and during pranayanam mantra japam have been taken and they indicate substantial changes during pranayamam and japam confirming the fact that we absorb bio- electricity during these rituals.

Sandyavandanam is essentially prayers to the Supreme Lord at sandya time. Though god realization is the main objective the importance of healthy body and mind have been duly recognized. Apart from reciting hymns it also includes karanas - namely stance, touching different parts of the body etc. They help to achieve the twin objectives of god realization and health.

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SANDHYAVANDANAM STEPS IN DETAIL

Section I – POORVAANGAM (also called ‘Sandhyavandanam’)

1. Achamanam (Anatomy Cleansing – external body)

1.Sit in Kukustana with hands between legs

2.Twist the right palm so that the little finger, ring finger and middle finger are stretched while first finger is bent inwards forming a hollow in the middle of the palm. The thumb will remain separate from the first finger.

3.Put a small quantity of water from the vessel in the right hand palm (only a small quantity of water should be taken), swallow (not sip) this water uttering:

Om Achutaya Namah Om Anantaya Namah Om Govindaya Namah

4.Clean your mouth (lips) with water and wash hand

5.Recite the following mantras

Om keshavaaya namaH

Thumb to touch right cheek

Om naaraayaNaaya namaH

Thumb to touch left cheek

Om maadhavaaya namaH

Ring finger to touch right eye

Om govindaaya namaH

Ring finger to touch left eye

Om vishhNave namaH

Index finger to touch right nostril

Om madhusuudanaaya namaH

Index finger to touch left nostril

Om trivikramaaya namaH

Little finger to touch right ear

Om vaamanaaya namaH

Little finger to touch left ear

Om shriidharaaya namaH

Middle finger to touch right shoulder

Om hR^ishhiikeshaaya namaH

Middle finger to touch left shoulder

Om padmanaabhaaya namaH

Four fingers to touch navel

Om daamodaraaya namaH

Four fingers to touch head

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

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Meaning: This is a preliminary purification ceremony. The most auspicious divine names of the Lord, Achyutha, Anantha and Govinda are chanted and then chanting twelve other names of Vishnu purifies the self.

2. Ganapati Dhyanam

Shuklaambaradharam Vishnum Shashi Varnam Chaturbhujam

Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayeth Sarva Vighnopa Shanthayeth

(Vishnu here refers to Ganapati)

Meaning: I invoke (dhyayeth) the Lord who is decked in white (Shukla ambara dharam), who is all- pervading (Vishnum), who is himself fair in complexion (shashi varnam), 4-handed (chaturbhujam), with a pleasant countenance (prasanna vadanam). May he remove all obstacles from my path (sarva vighna upa shanthayeth).

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3. PrAnAyamaha (Anatomy Cleansing – internal body)

1.The body should be in a vertical position.

2.Close the left nostril with ring finger of right hand and exhale from right nostril slowly.

3.Close the right nostril with thumb of right hand

4.Now, open the left nostril and inhale slowly.

a.While inhaling, recite mentally the following Mantra:

Om Bhuh | Om Bhuvah | Om Suvah | Om Mahaha |

Om Janah | Om Tapah | Om Satyam

5.Afterwards, close the left nostril also as before, so that air is held inside the body.

a.Holding breath, recite mentally the following Mantra:

Om tatsavithurvareniyam | Bhargo devasya dhimahi |

dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

6.Close the left nostril with ring finger of right hand and exhale from right nostril slowly.

a.While exhaling, recite mentally the following Mantra:

Om Apah | Jyothi | Rasah | amrtam | Brahma |

Bhurbhuvassuvarom

Note: The thumb and first finger of the left hand should be in contact with the left hand palm facing skywards.

7.(do the above thrice.)

Step 2

Step5

step 6

Step 8

Say Om touching the right ear.

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Meaning: Hindus believed that that there were six holy worlds above the earth. These along with earth are remembered in the first part. These worlds are bhooloka, bhuvarloka, suvarloka, maharloka, janaloka, thapaloka and satya loka. The second part is the famous Gayathri manthram. It means

“I meditate on that savitha (the sun or the enlightenment within ourselves) which helps us in our though process, that god which is within me and that all engulfing power.”

Or

I meditate on the most holy shining aspect of that God, who helps in brightening our thought process.”

Then the third part means “Om is water, it is the light, it is the earth which gives the food, it is the air which supports life, and it is the ether which is spread all around .It is also the holy seven worlds.”

By touching the nose the hands are supposed to get polluted and this is removed by touching the ears thrice.

4.Sankalpah (Statement of purpose / resolve)

1.Left hand is kept on the right thigh and then covering it with right palm. Then words conveying our intention is recited as under.

2.Mamo paattha samastha duritakshaya dwara sriman NAryana Preethyartham, Pratah Sandhyaam upaasishye

3.(Alternative: Sri Bhagavadajnaya Sriman NArayana Prithyartham Pratah Sandhyaam upaasishye)

Step 1

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Meaning:

Sankalpah is essentially an expression of intention or purpose. It is addressed to one's own self to get determination.

This is a preliminary rite in every Vedic action. We declare our purpose or intention.

We chant “To become dear to the Lord Vishnu and to destroy all the effects of sins committed by me, I pray the Goddess of dawn (noon, dusk)”

4.a. Satvika Tyaga – optional – for Sri Vaishnavas only (Surrender and dedication)

With the palms together in praNaama (Namaste) posture recite:

oM bhagavaaneva svaniyaamya svaruupasthiti pravR^itta svasheShataika rasena mayaa svakiiyaishcha upakaraNaiH

svaraadhanaika prayojanaaya parama puruShaH sarvasheShi shriyapatiH svasheShabhuutamidaM praataH sandhyaavandanaakhyaM karma bhagavaan.h svasmai svapriitaye svayameva kaarayati

Meaning:

Step 1

 

This is for Sri Vaishnavas only. Essence of SriVaishnavism is complete surrender to God. Hence every activity is dedicated to the Lord. By reciting these lines, with folded hands, one surrenders his ego and dedicates himself to the service of the Lord, praying at the same time to the Lord (residing as antaryami) to help him in the performance of the act.

Satvika Tyaga

This is for Sri Vaishnavas only. Essence of SriVaishnavism is complete surrender to God. Hence every activity is dedicated to the Lord. By reciting these lines, with folded hands, one surrenders his ego and dedicates himself to the service of the Lord, praying at the same time to the Lord (residing as antaryami) to help him in the performance of the act.

Further reading: Saathvika ThyAgam, V. Sadagopan Dec 1997

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5. Prokshanam (‘sprinkling’) or Marjanam (External/Physical Purification)

Nyasa

1.When reciting the name of the sage - four fingers of the right hand are placed at the top of the head

2.While reciting 'Chandas' the fingers are placed on the tip of the nose

3.While reciting the name of the deity the fingers are placed on the chest.

Nyasa Notes

Every hymn or mantra is preceded by a sloka giving the name of rishi, chandas (meter or rhythm) and the deity to whom it is addresses (or meditated upon) and the purpose or application. This action is called Nyasa or more precisely Rishinyasa.

The name of the sage indicates the sage who has realized this mantra. The God-realization is always linked with 'Sahastrar' chakra at the top of the head, hence we touch the top of the head.

The chandas indicates meter or rhythm, hence we touch the tip of the nose (being close to the mouth) while reciting chandas.

The heart is the place where the Lord as antaryami resides, hence we touch the chest while reciting the name of the deity.

aapohishhTheti mantrasya

sindhu dvipa rishihih

(Head)

devii gaayathrii chandahah

(Nose)

aapo devata

(Chest - naabhi sparshana)

apaaM prokshaNe viniyogaH

Mantra

1.Hold the tumbler in the left hand

2.Take a small quantity of water in the right hand palm

3.Sprinkle it on the head through right hand fingers, reciting at the same time the mantras.

Om aapohishhThaa mayobhuvaH

prokshaNa of the Head

Om taa na uurje dadhaatana

prokshaNa of the Head

Om mahe raNaaya chakshase

prokshaNa of the Head

Om yovaH shivatamo rasaH

prokshaNa of the Head

Om tasya bhaajayatehanaH

prokshaNa of the Head

Om ushatiiriva maataraH

prokshaNa of the Head

Om tasmaa araN^gamaama vaH

prokshaNa of the Head

Om yasya kshayaaya jinvatha

prokshaNa of the Big Toes

Om aapo janayathaa chanaH

prokshaNa of the Head

Sage

Chandas

Deity

Nyasa

Om bhuurbhuvassuvaH

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