Sri Kuladevatha Prasanna

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 Sandhyavandandan

 

Sandhya Vandanam is a specially devised efficient spiritual ritual for the realization of the Divinity of the Self (Atman). It is a Nitya Karma or an obligatory daily ritual whose object is to bring about self-purification and attunement to Cosmic Reality. It is an all-round complete ritual which incorporates the principles of the Supreme Divinity (Brahman).

RITUALS OF THE SANDHYA

Each part of the ritual is meant to give expression externally to an internal mental attitude and spiritual feeling (Bhava). Some necessary changes are introduced in the Mantras and ritual according to the time of the Sandhya-- dawn, noon, or sunset, and according to the Veda (Rg, Yajur, or Sama) to which the votary is affiliated. However, the main purpose as well as most of the Mantras, the procedures, and rituals are all common.

The procedure involve :

 1.

Achamanam :
Sipping a little water, in the prescribed manner, for self-purification, remembering the Supreme All-pervading Reality.

 2.

Apo-Marjanam :
Invoking all the waters of the earth which form the cause of the emergence and sustenance of all life, by sprinkling water on oneself, to enable one to be attuned to the cosmic life and reality.

 3.

Pranayama :
Regulated breathings, as per prescription, for establishing psycho-somatic harmony, using the Gayatri-Mantra.
 4.

Punar-Achamanam :
Again sipping water with appropriate Mantras for the removal of all sins and obstacles, attuning oneself to the light-giving sun in the morning, to the life-giving waters at noon and to the heat-giving fire in the evening, which are the means of all our life and activity, and as such are termed as the sources of Immortality (Amrta-yoni).

 5.

Punar-Marjanam :
Again sprinkling water over oneself with the Gayatri and other Mantras praying for welfare here in the world and highest spiritual attainment hereafter.

 6.

Aghamarsanam :
Repeating the cosmic creation Mantras, feeling oneself as a part of it, to remove the limitations of personality.

 7.

Suryopasthanam :
Invoking the Sun-God who brings life and light to the world and attuning the mind to the Divine in the Sun and to all the cosmic surroundings.

 8.

Gayatri-Upasanam :
First the Divine Gayatri is invoked as the source of the Vedas and then the different Worlds and the Supreme Divinity are located in the various limbs of one's body by touching them while uttering the Gayatri-Mantra, along with the Vyahrti (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah). This process of locating is known as Anga-Nyasa.
This is followed by the Japa and meditaion of the Gayatri-Mantra for as long as one can do conveniently, fixing, however, a decent minimum number of times for the Japa. For meditation Gayatri is conceived in the form of a luminous Goddess illuminating the Heart and removing all darkness of Ignorance.

 9.

Visarjanam :
Valediction. Praying to the Goddess to retire, to return again when invoked. Salutations are offered with devotion.

10.

Antya-prakaranani :
Ending. Now, concluding the Upasana, protection against all wrongs and evils is sought and salutations are offered to the Sun-God and other Cosmic divinities. Forgiveness is sought for any flaws or lacunae in the uttering of the Mantras and the performance of the rituals and the Supreme Being is remembered to make them complete. The Upasana is concluded with the offering of salutations.

Preparation for the Performance of Sandhya :

Before performing the Sandhya, one should be physically clean, mentally calm and restrained and have a prayerful attitude. One should sit in a clean quiet place on a mat or Deer-skin, in a straight position with legs tucked in (ordinary Padmasana).

 Contd (page2)

 

 

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