August 27, 2011

How to perform SandhyaVandanam known as Meditation

Meditation is todays trend in new style. But in Sandhayvandam or Sandhyopasana is very old from centuries.

How to do Sadhyavandanam according to Vedas.

One becomes eligible to do Sandhyopasana by getting up before Arunodaya (twilight), attending to calls of nature, purifying the body with soil, water etc. as laid down, brushing the teeth and taking bath. Even in times when it is not possible to bathe by dipping in river or with hot water from a bucket, one of ten different forms of bath should be undertaken. (In addition to water, the other nine forms are: Aagneyam, Vaarunam, Braahmam, Vaayavyam, Divyam, Maanasam, Paarthivam, Kaapilam and Saarasvatam). Karmas mentioned in texts of dharma like Veda do not purify one who does not practise Achara (basic rules of conduct). After bath, one should wear dry clothes, apply religious marks (pundras) on forehead etc., wash feet, have upavita (sacred thread), tie tuft of hair (sikha), do Achamanam twice as per rules and perform Sandhyopasanam facing east (or north).



Is there anyone who does not know the Telugu adage, meaning “Offer (Argya) without seeing (the Sun in the morning), without angularity (at noon when Sun is straight up) and with seeing (before Sunset in evening)”? Sandhyopasanam must be done before Sunrise in the morning. In case of inconvenience, it should be done at least within 3 ¾ nazhigas (1½ hours) after Sunrise after performing Pranayama as atonement. Maadhyahnikam must be done after 11¼ nazhigas (10.30 a.m.). If it is not convenient to do it before Sun travels westward, it should be done at least before evening. In the evening Sandhya, Argya should be given when the Sun’s zone is half set and upasthanam should be done as soon as stars rise. It should be done at least before close of Pradosha kala (i.e. 3¾ nazhigas, i.e. 1½ hours after Sunset). Even during impure times like Sutaka (child birth), Sandhyopasana should be done, chanting mantras mentally. Gobila Smriti says that at times when Sandhyopasana has to be done with wet clothes on, Gayatri mantra alone should be chanted (while on the bank of river). If wet cloth is squeezed and blown 7 times, it is equal to dry cloth. It is best to chant Gayatri 1008 times; it is laid down that it should be chanted at least 108, 54, 28, 27 or 10 times.

In Sandhyopasana, Dhyanam (meditation) is important. In the morning Sandhya, one has to meditate that he is same as Sandhya Devata, who is Aditya Deva of red colour and named Gayatri. In the noon prayer, he mediates that he is same as Devata of white colour, of the form of Rudra and named Savitri. In the evening, he meditates that he is same as Sandhya Devata, who is Aditya Deva of black colour, of the form of Vishnu and named Saraswati

Some say that four parts of Sandhyopasana, viz. offering Argya, meditating as mentioned above, chanting Gayatri and doing upasthanam, are important. In the Mahabharata war, Dharmaputra et al did meditation alone scrupulously, when they were unable to do Prokshanam (sprinkling) etc. as water was not available. From this it is clear that meditation (dhyanam) is very important. Further in view of the fact that Dharmaputra et al did not leave Sandhyopasana completely even in times of danger to life and did dhyanam at least, it is certain that people, who are not in situations of emergency of that type, should perform all aspects of Sandhyopasana in proper time as per rules laid down.

It is good to meditate on Rishi, chandas, Devata and Viniyogam of different mantras; it is beneficial to meditate on the meaning of mantras too. It is very good to understand and perform Bhutasuddhi, Pranaprathishtha, mudras etc. The greatness of Pranayama is immeasurable. It is important even for healthy life in this world.

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