Importance of Sandhyavandanam and other Key Samskarams


Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – One of our blog readers has penned an article on the importance of performing Trikaala Sandhyvandanam and other key anushtanams that we need to adhere to on a daily basis. With base reference to Maha Periyava the devotee has quoted from various Ithihasa/Puranas on the significance of doing these samskaras. Let’s take this as an inspiration and do the fullest possible. Many Jaya Jaya Sankara to the devotee for the share. Ram Ram

Sri Vedavyaasaaya Namah! Sri Ganapathaye Namah!!

Maha Periyava’s main goal was to make sure that every Brahmin knows the Vedas and wanted each Brahmin to spend at least an hour daily for learning it.

For the next generation to get interest in the Vedas, we ourselves must be worthy.

We will quote from Itihasa Puranas on the importance of Vedas. Sri Bhishma mentions how a Brahmin becomes worthy. He mentions various qualifications for such a Brahmana.

1. A Brahmin who does Sandhyavandanam thrice a day.

2. A Brahmin who knows the importance and meaning of Gayathri (grasping the meaning of the whole
Sandhyavandanam & all it’s Angas)

3. A Brahmin who observes vows sincerely. (fasting like Ekadasi)
Bhishma mentions many other qualifications but we shall stick to this for the time being. Let’s remember what Maha Periyava told about this.

We must set an example for the coming generation, we are in the virtual temple of Maha Periyava. This temple (Alayam Karuna Alayam) is going to help us in the gigantic task.

This is a Nithyakarma (daily duty), there are many Samskaras for communities but the Brahmin community has a special task which will multiply the punya and phalan of good deeds done, and that special task is Sandhyavandanam.

We need not be worried that we haven’t studied the Vedas. There is hope, two objects were found to be equal to or greater than the Vedas themselves. We have full access to those objects.  These two events happened during Mahabharata.

1. Mahabharata – The fifth Veda

In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on account of such substance and gravity of import. He who knows its meaning is saved from all his sins.

2. Gayathri Maha Manthram

In the same manner, Gayathri was found to be superior.

So, don’t worry about other things. So, even in these days, Sandhyavandanam thrice a day is not that difficult. Recite a little of Mahabharata you know, be it Bhagavad Gita or Vishnu/Shiva Sahasranamam.

The merits of chanting Gayatri and reciting Mahabharata are immeasurable, but never neglect Trikaala Sandhyavandanam.

Do whatever you have to. Learn Sandhyavandanam, Brahma Yagnam & Samidhadhanam or Auspasana at any cost. Learn these from a proper Vaideeka who knows all these well. Fall at his feet and offer a good amount of money, do Abhishekham at the temples, do everything. Learn these and PERFORM  THESE. The mantras of Upanayana, Sandhyavandanam and Vivaham have been assimilated from many great Smritis and Samhitas. A mantra from Upanayana asks for the boy to be as brilliant as the Rishi from his Gotra. There may be a price for a major surgery but these Samskaras are just priceless.

When Yuddhisthra asks Bhishma, what are the two things essential for the world ? Bhishma replies that Brahmanas learning Vedas and worshipping of cows are the essential things. If Brahmanas do Samskaras properly, then all the people will follow their Dharmam. If a cow is happy, then the whole locality is happy.

All the 33 crore Devathas reside inside a Brahmana who has done Veda Adhyayanam and also inside a Gho Matha (Cow) – that is why, “Gomatha engal Kulamatha”.

Thousands of obstacles pop up but Maha Periyava has shown several ways to execute those tasks without any obstacles.

In this articles, the main aim is to highlight the importance of Sandhyavandanam, so we shall employ certain tactics given by Rishis –

1.Snanam

2.Reading Panchangam

3.Yagnam


Snanam

One Nithyakarma is Snanam, Snanam means using river water to bathe, or at least using water from the well. In cities, we don’t have the means to do so. So, Rishis gave a new way for better purification, this is to chant Bhagawan nama while bathing (like Ganga, Shiva, Narayana etc.) Chanting Bhagawan nama during Snanam also has special phalan and cleanses great sins.

Again, the above mentioned one is Varuna Snanam (bathing with water), there is another Snanam – Mantra Snanam which comes in Sandhyavandanam, which starts with Apo Hishta. So, we are able to do three types of Snanams a day, Varuna + Bhasma + Mantra.  Varuna is the best one for purification.

So, even if one is unable to get water, one must do Prokshanam and wear Vibhuthi or their respective Tilakam before doing Sandhyavandam.

There are lots of Snanams mentioned in the scriptures but these will suffice.

2. Reading Panchangam

Snanam will be over then we need a divine intervention for the day to be a smooth and happy one. So, many obstacles will come around. But one of the most practice has been neglected in our families. This is reading Panchangam, this is must be done before a bath where Sankalpam is taken with the tithi, nakshatra etc. But one must read the Panchangam in whichever way possible.

The panchangam is read every day before the deity in Tirumala temple and even Maha Periyava made someone to read out the panchangam everyday in Sri Matam.

This practice is an important one even for Thirupathi Perumal and Sri Matam as well.

The phalan of knowing the Pancha Angas (5 parts of the calendar) is this:

Tithi : Brings Iswaryam – prosperity. (like Ekadashi or Panchami)
Day : Increases our life span. (like Somavasaram-Monday, Bhriguvasaram-Friday)
Nakshatra : Eliminates all the sins done on that day. (like Krittika, Rohini)
Karana : Gives karya siddhi – success in all endeavors. ( like Bava, Balava)
Yoga : Gives desired Bhogams – getting whatever we desire on that day. (Ayushman, Harshana)

If one reads the panchangam from Kaliyuga till the end, no obstacles shall trouble him on that day.

So, all make it a habit to read the Panchangam in our house preferably in front of a deity. Make sure that all the relatives know the pancha angas, it just take 2 mins.

Yagnam

The most important duty is doing Yagnam.

In Yaksha Prashnam of Mahabharatam,

Yama Dharmarajan – Kah Sarvabhutham Atithihi ?
Yuddhisthra – Agnihi Sarvabhutham Atithihi.

Yama Dharmarajan asks who is the guest for all creatures?

Yuddhisthra replies Agni Bhagawan is the guest for all creatures.

Maha Periyava has spoken about the importance of Athithi Bhojanam once during  Maha Shivarathri (Sivagami Aachi and Kumaresan Chettiar story). Agni is not the Athithi for our family but for the whole world, that is why Yagnams hold a special status.

So, we can understand why Yagnams have a special power, Agni or Subramanya is the most important God, he is the guest – Athithi for all the creatures, if he is satisfied, all living creatures around the person who does Yagnam will be prosperous.

Yagnams also have different types –

Simple ones that we can follow are:

  1. Brahma Yagnam – 

    This is included in the Pancha Maha Yagnas, even yagnams like Rajasuya or Aswamedha is not given the prefix “Maha”. Brahma Yagnam’s phalan is very huge. All you need is just water and ten minutes. (chant atleast a small part of the Vedas, with regular Sandhyavandanam, any Veda sukta can be learnt easily, if not chant Gayathri Japam.)This is a boon given to us by our Rishis, at least on holidays, one must perform this without fail. One more thing, Pithru Tharpanam in Brahma Yagnam should be performed by all, even who have parents. Maha Periyava has mentioned about this in Deivathin Kural. We do this tharpanam for our Veda ancestors.Those who do Amavasya Tharpanam have an extra set of mantras while doing Pitri tharpanam. It was Pithrus who helped Bhishma  and their blessings are very important. Please ask your family Vaadhiyar about this, Pithrus are the ones who make sure that your family has good progeny. This is a simple way to please the Pithrus.This has Deva, Rishi, and Pithru tharpanams. So, a debt that a Brahmana owes to his Rishis or Devas or Pithrus is easily repayed through Brahma Yagnam.

    Chanting whatever Veda you know will boost the phalan but try to learn this from a Vaideeka, don’t chant Vedas without swaras. If you do not know Vedas, chant as Gayathri Japam as much possible.

    Even this chanting with swaras is important in Sandhyavandanam, still a few among you might be unaware of the special status of  Brahma Yagnam. Learn the swaras well then refer a book but don’t start with a book.

    2. Sandhyavandanam

Why add Sandhyavandanam in Yagnam??

Maha Periyava told this is Jnana, Karma and Bhakti yoga combined. A subtle hint was left by him, he told us to do it             with Sraddha, Bhakthi and do it correctly.

Ummachi Thatha has left a subtle hint for us to dig deeper and analyze that for greater phalan.

Many of us do Sandhyavandanam, but still some of us are doing it very hastily.

A few might feel why am I doing it? If angas like Angavandanam & Pranayamam are done correctly, you won’t get                 such feelings.

 Shortcut for getting Yagnam phalan – Be sincere, be honest, be deligent and thus Dharma is well guarded. So, doing
Sandhyavandanam with sincerity will give more punya. Even if you do only the important parts, do those sincerely.

If you know the proper way of doing Sandhyavandanam, you won’t stop it at any cost. Why jump straight into
Gayathri ? Apasthambar has given Achamanam and Angavadanam, and all other parts.

Achamanam

If Achamanam is done with all the mentioned instructions. Body, mind and Atma are purified. Achyuta, Anantha and
Govinda will eliminate all kinds of diseases.

Anga Vandanam(Kesava Narayana)

If this is done properly, no disease will affect us if we say Bhagawan Nama and touch our body parts. Please don’t
do this carelessly.

Use the appropriate fingers correctly. One more small correction, we must say Kesava not Kesavaa. In Sanksrit, if we
say Kesavaa, it means Lord Kesava is far away. Marichan shouts Lakshmanaa, not Lakshmana. (Sambhodhana
Prathama of any Shabdha in Sanskrit).

Like Damodara not Damodaraa. Although, this is not a big mistake, don’t alter Sandhyavandam, this is not Bhakthi
Yoga only, Jnana + Karma also.

Kesava is the Lord of Marghazi month, Narayana for Thai. Bhisma has Periyava mentioned this. Chant as much as
Narayana nama in Thai & Damodara in Karathigai. 12 names correspond to the 12 months of the year. Do this
properly, every month of the year will be a blissful one.

Pranayaama-

प्राणायामं प्रत्याहारंनित्यानित्य विवेकविचारम् ।जाप्यसमेतसमाधिविधानंकुर्ववधानं महदवधानम् ॥ ३०॥

Bhaja Govindam verse 30 states that “Regulate the flow of Prana remaining unaffected by the external world.
Discriminate between the real and the illusion. Chant Bhagwan nama and calm the turbulent mind. PERFORM
THESE WITH CARE, EXTREME CARE.”

Sri Adi Sankara Bhagawath Padhal, even in his avatar as Maha Periyava wanted us to perform this practice properly.

Please don’t hold your nose and recite the mantras, pranayaama means HOLDING YOUR BREATH. Maha Periyava        himself asked has not to do “Nasikayaamam”. You can’t inhale and talk likewise reciting mantra isn’t possible. Learn this from a Guru. Don’t learn this from people who don’t do Sandhyavandanam, they will confuse everything.
If you do this properly, no disease will trouble you & memory power will be sharp.

Gayathri –

You all will be aware of this great mantra. Let us view this from the Ayurvedic view. Before Gayatri, we chant Avahanam, in that Ojosi… the mantra has a deep meaning. Ojo + Asi = Ojosi, you are my Ojas. Then Sahosi…, Balamasi, Brajosi, you are my Ojas, you are my brilliance, you are my strength, you are my luster.

Now, here is the explaination only about Ojas.

Ojas is not mentioned in modern medicine, perhaps it will be too late to understand some things. Ojas is important for us and this is a secret energy booster for both the mind and body.

Ojas is said to be the substanial essence of all the seven Dhatus – Rasa, Raktha, Mamsa, Majja, Medhas, Asthi, Sandhi and Shukra (Dhatu – parts which is said to nourish the body in various ways) If you know Skanda Guru Kavacham, you can relate to these.

Ojas can be depleted due to anxiety, long travel, thinking a lot, physical exertion, hunger, anger etc. The body will become dry and causes confusions, reducing the skin’s complexion and confidence is lost.

Milk is one of the many ways to tackle this but the best way is Gayatri Devi, a person doing Gayatri Japa will have good mental and physical strength. If Ojas is restored, the person is ever successful. Brahma Tejas will increase only if ojas is consistent. That is why the Deva addressed Gayatri as ojas personified.

Do all parts of Sandhyavandanam correctly, the merit increases if done sincerely, Yagnam phalan is gained. Also, all the sins are destroyed and any Navagraha Dosha won’t affect the person doing the morning and evening Sandhi as we do Navagraha Deva Tharpanam as part of Sandhyavandanam. Madhyanam is special, that’s why Brahma Yagnam is done after that.

If these are done correctly, you can go for other Yagnams.

How many times to do Sandhyavandanam ?

Three times, no exemptions.. Remember, Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshitah.

धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः

It is said that when a person does Bhoo Dhanam {Dhanam is also Dharmam ;)}, Bhudevi will provide that person everything in the world like a mother providing breast milk and whateever the child wants. So, Veda Matha i.e., Gayatri , will make us more efficient. Gayatri bestows Ojas, Jnanam, brilliance, Tejas, Vidya and makes us more efficient than the others. Gayatri is the dharmam who protects us and we protect the whole world by chanting Gayatri, you can think of any God during Japam. Recollect Maha Periyava doing abhishekam with milk for Chandramouleeshwara, our heart just melts. With the right pronunciation, meditating on any God will be very easy although it may take a few weeks.

Start doing Sandhyavandanam, lots of problems will occur but these pariharams will decimate the obstacles. This is what Maha Periyava has told in Deivathin Kural. Will power is important at all times, once you realize the phalan, you won’t stray away but Kali Yuga is bad, be on guard.

With regular Sandhyavandanam, Vedas can be mastered easily. Brahmopadesham must be done with proper care. Sanskrit knowledge is important otherwise Sandhyavandanam will be tough, you have the Rishis’ blood, how can you not master Sandhyavandanam?

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं, Satyam alone triumphs, not falsehood.

Satyam is powerful than 1000 Asvamedha Yagnams – Mahabharatam. Satyam Advaitam, Satyam Sandhyavandanam. Sri Rama Jayam.

So, strive for the Satyam, strive for Loka Kshemam.



Categories: Deivathin Kural

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11 replies

  1. That’s terrific. But the posture of this child doing SV is wrong. He has to sit in a crouched posture while performing the “Jala-bhaagam”. While performing the Japam — Morning & Noon has to be done standing, and in the evening it can be done sitting [that is when the mat-aasanam comes into use]. However, in the case of a marathoner performing sahasra Gayatri, it can be done seated any-time.

    He has to keep a larger vessel containing water by his side. The argyam he gives should be generous — both his hands full. Thumbs should stand separate [without joining the palm]. Morning argyam should be given with his heels raised, eyes closed, thumbs standing apart. Noon argyam must be given feet planted flat…. and evening argyam bending low.

    Gayatri should be taught correctly. It is “…Tat savittur…” AND NOT “…Tatsa vittur…”

    The sankalpa mantram is “Mamopaatha….” AND NOT “Mamopaartha…” as Sri Mahaperiyavaa has written in his DK.

    Well. That’s it for now.

  2. For interested People here are links of Sandhavandanam – uses & innermeaning useful for Telugu speaking people discources by Sri samavedam Shanmuka Sarma garu – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tqRPKQCy4U&t=1410s

  3. Excellent article. Kudos to Sri Sai Srinivasan and the author of the article for sharing and enriching our knowledge on Sandhyavandanam respectively. Start the first step of doing SV with utmost bhakti and shradhdha and in the process over a period, the perfection will get affixed automatically. Even thousands of miles stat with the first step only.

    Maha Periva Paadam Sharanam! Jaya Jaya Shankara….. Hara Hara Shankara…..

  4. One point I would like to add with your permission. People around me, I saw, most of them do SV but not in stipulated time (Sakaala Sandhi). I saw people doing Prathah Sandhi at 9-10 am and Saayam Sandhi at even 8-9 pm conveniently. I am not making any comment on them but want to share a wrong practice is existing. I would appreciate if any veteran come forward and explain on this.

    Jaya Jaya Shankara….. Hara Hara Shankara…..

    • Where there is a valid reason for the delay — the kaalateetha praayaschitaargya argyam — should take care. For others, they should always strive to do it before sunrise, before it slants towards the West, and before it sets. [Argyam has to be given Kaanaamal, Koenaamal, Kandu].

      But where there is no reason for the delay, yet some of us do it according to our “convenience” — it is okay that at least they perform it. Delayed offering is better than none at all. They should only pray the Veda Maata Gayatri to rid them of the taamas which makes them a lazy.

    • Offer flowers to Lakshmi Devi (Bhargavi- daughter of Brighu) and try to please Shukracharya (Bhargavan – son of Brighu). If possible, use silver articles for worship. This will please Shukracharya. If both the children of Brighu are pleased then Brighu will help us. Chant 108 times the name of Brighu in front of Lakshmi devi or Shukracharya after offering flowers. Brighu is the most important Rishi who uplifts Dharma so, Bhishma has explained that the name of Brighu will make oneself and the others around him to follow the correct dharma. Preferred day is Friday /Brighuvasaram/Shukravaar. Preferred temples are where Lakshmi devi or Shukracharya (navagraha), even more better is temples with bhrighu’s connection. Eg: best Temple for making others follow dharma is parthasarathy Temple, chant 108 times “Brighu”.

  5. Nice article on the importance of doing sandya vandanam.The message necessarily will have to be shared with relatives and friends. Janakiraman. Nagapattinam.

  6. A request. Can some body here correctly identify the five parts of Gayathri Maha Manthram for the purpose of chanting it correctly. Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara

    • Please ask a Sastrigal. Correctly chant with the swaras and leave gaps accordingly, don’t learn it from the internet. Gayatri is not in Sanskrit. It is always better to learn it from hearing. 5 parts – Pranava then 3 Vyahirtis then the essence of Rig, Yajur and Sama veda.

  7. Should Thithi, Vaaram, Nakshatram, Yogam, Karanam should be read before Bath or before Pratha Sandhya Vandhanam. Please clarify.

    • Sri Aravind I will repeat the quote as mentioned above:

      “…reading Panchangam, this is must be done before a bath where Sankalpam is taken with the tithi, nakshatra etc. But one must read the Panchangam in whichever way possible.”

      To make it clear, read it before bath, nothing will go wrong to you. You need titi,nakshatra… etc to mention in the sankalpa during SV.

      Maha Swamy padabi vandanam. Jaya Jaya Shankara….. Hara Hara Shankara…..

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