Sri . Thillasthanam Swamy Kainkarya Sabha , Bangalore

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  • Sandhyavandnam and it's  significance

  • Our planet not only goes around the sun but also rotates on it's own axis. Sun rise and Sun set are caused by the rotation of earth on it's own axis. At every instant of time , there will be Sunrise at one place and Sunset at another place. At Sunrise , rays of Sun will hit that part of the earth for the first time for that day , resulting in release of energies .Similarly at Sun set there will be withdrawal of energies.

  • Sun rise constitutes a change from 'darkness' to 'light' and hence constitutes a 'Sandhya' i.e junction. Similarly sun set is also a 'Sandhya' i.e. a junction.

  • Upanishads speak very highly of Sandhya times. It says that benefits are far more during Sandhya times than that at other times. Recent researches have also brought out abundant release of beneficial energy at sun rise and withdrawal of non-beneficial energy at sun set.

  • Though Upanishads refer to two Sandhya-names Sun rise and Sun set , the sages have added one more 'Sandhya' namely 'Madhyanika' or mid-day. Sun rises in east , moves upward , reaches zenith , and then descends to west. The point at zenith represents change from upwards to downwards.This sandhya is considered to be beneficial for worship of 'Pithru Devatas' - that is devatas who are instrumental for one to get son , grandson , etc and also one to be a son or grandson , etc.


  • Sandhyavandanam
  • Prayers at Sandhya time are called "Sandhyavandanam" .The main objective of Sandhyavandanam is to avail benefits of Sandhya for an individual.
  • Vedic References
  • References are there regarding 'Sandhyavandanam' in Thaithria , Ishavasya and Chandogya Upanishads. They all bring out the importance of offering 'Arghya' meditating on 'Adithya'. This form of worship will help an individual to acquire the qualities of 'Adithya'- namely lustrous and healthy body and mind , high intellect with grasping power , high intuition , memory etc. Chandogya Upanishads brings out also the importance of worshipping 'Adithya' through Gayathri Hyms.
  • Format
  • Keeping the observations in Upanishads , our sages have evolved a format for Sandhyavandanam covering:-
  • Purification
  • Offering Arghyam
  • Meditation through Gayathri
  • Purification : The purification measures in sandhyavandanam are essentially to strengthen this aspect and condition the body , to receive the beneficial cosmic radiation
  • The purification essentially tunes the body to receive cosmic radiation's available at Sandhya time.The purification measures are:-
  • Achamanam Pranayamam
  • Prasanam Prokshanam 
  • The present day studies of Naturopathy , like Pranic Healing , Reiki etc have brought out the role of Bio- electricity in humans in regard to health. The purification measures in 'Sandhyavandanam' are essentially to strengthen this aspect and condition the body to receive the beneficial cosmic radiations.
  • 'Achamanam' helps in the flow of bio-electricity within the body.
  • 'Pranayamam' helps to activate the chakras.
  • 'Prasanam' is swallowing energized water and
  • 'Prokshanam' is sprinkling of energized water.
  • 'Sandhyavandanam' starts with purification process so that the benifits of 'Arghyam' and 'Gayathri' are realised.
  • Though Sandhya time refers to sun rise and sun set , it's benefit spreads on either side of this point.Under Indian situations , approximately two hours on either side is beneficial.
  • Mantra
  • A 'Hymn' or 'Mantra' is a prayer ( With words and alphabets specifically chosen) addressed to God or Deity . It is supposed to have mystic and supernatural powers. The energy from the universe is present everywhere . By reciting a Mantra either orally or mentally , we tune ourselves to receive this energy .The hymns chosen for Sandhyavandanam are meant to realize the benefits of Sandhya.
  • Every Mantra has a Chandas - the Chandas explains the potential of the Mantra or the power it can create in our body by receiving it.
  • Sri Thillasthanam Swamy Kainkarya Sabha, Bangalore has brought out a book on 'Sandhyavandanam' (130 pages) explaining the above aspects in details. It covers general background , detailed notes explaining appreciation and correct procedure for various constituents such as Achamanam , Pranayamam , etc . The meaning for various Hymns has been given in English . Tamil , Kannada and Devanagiri script has been used for various hymns and the book covers the three veda sakas viz Yajur , Sama and Rig veda . It is modelled as a self instructor especially for people without any specialized knowledge . Interestingly , it also includes procedure for changing sacred thread and performing Special Gayathri Japam. This book has proved to be very popular especially for those who want to gift something to relatives staying abroad or during Upanaynam ceremony. 
  • Gayathri Japam
  • Gayathri is a veda mantra to be recited at sandhya period.
  •  Gayathri means "A mantra that protects those who recite it ". 
  •  'Tatsaviturvarenyam - Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi- Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat'   is  the  gayathri  mantra .
  • While chanting , it is prefixed by   'om'  ( pranava ) and 'bhur bhuvaswah'   ( vyahriti )
  •  The meaning of the mantra is  ' I meditate on sun with tejas or divine strength of the lord who activates our  intellect '. 
  • This means ' I meditate on the Supreme lord in the orbit of the sun who activates our intellect.'
  •  Gayathri mantra consists of   five sections as under
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  •  Om                           
  •  Bhur  Bhuva  Suvah
  •  Tathsavithur Varenyam                    
  •  Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
  •  Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
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  • Each section should be uttered in one breath. There must be gap between sections.
  •  Gayathri is considered to be   mother of all mantras and is said to be equivalent to vedas . It is addressed to " para brahman " residing in the sun. In other words we meditate on para brahman residing in sun through Gayatri . God ( Para Brahman ) is both male and female . The soft and kind qualities are praised as female .Through Gayatri , we invoke soft and kind qualities of Para Brahman . Gayatri mantra is universal . In other words it is chanted not only by humans but also by Devas. According to Chandayoga Upanishad , meditation through Gayatri at sunrise and sunset helps one to acquire benefits from "Aditya " - namely lustrous and health preserving of the body and mind , light body , high intellect with grasping power , high intuition , memory , improved blood circulation and many other qualities . Studies  by the  Sabha also point to the above .During chanting , blood pressure comes down .ECG studies indicate improved absorption of cosmic or pranic energy .In the language of pranic or Reiki healers , this means better resistance against ailments .This aspect has been discussed in the book " Sandhyavandanam " , published in 1995 by the sabha. The essential feature of Sandhyavandanam is meditation through Gayatri Mantra.
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  •  Gayatri Japam or meditation through Gayatri Mantra has a unique place in vedic tradition.The benefits are immense .It helps one to acquire high personality , high mental quality , etc .
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  • The  following episode may be of interest ;
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  •   Akbar was ruling India . Birbal was  his   minister .Akbar and Birbal would often travel incognito to collect first hand information about the  various happenings within the country.On one occasion , they noticed a brahmin going begging from house to house .Akbar pointed this out to Birbal .Birbal noticed the beggar and kept quiet. after reaching home he sent word for the brahmin to meet him.
  •  When the brahmin called on Birbal , Birbal said , " Oh ! Brahmin - You collect your daily earnings through begging from me every day . In lieu of begging please chant Gayatri Japam during the three sandhya periods 108 times everyday." The brahmin agreed and after collecting the money from Birbal , started chanting Gayatri Mantra. after a few days , he thought , why not increase the chanting to 1008 times , since he had a lot of time. Very soon , people started giving him charity in the form of food and cash . In this way the brahmin stopped going to Birbal's house for begging . His daily meditation earnt him the power to acquire knowledge , acquire an attractive personality and soon he transformed into a good expounder of knowledge. More and more people started coming to him and he became a well known personality . Birbal also heard about him . One day Birbal visited the brahmin and asked him as to why he had stopped coming to his house . The brahmin  profusely thanked Birbal for for putting him on the right path by guiding him at the right time.
  •  One day Birbal mentioned to Akbar that a saintly person had come to town and Akbar promptly invited the person and honoured him.Birbal then asked Akbar whether he remembered this saintly person but akbar could not recollect. Birbal then reminded Akbar about the brahmin beggar episode . Akbar after  hearing this exclaimed " Oh ! what a change " . This episode appears in the Akbar Nama and brings out the virtue and greatness of the Gayatri Mantra.
  •  Gayatri Mantra is extolled by one and all . It is a simple and small mantra but with  huge  benefits . 

 

 

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