Some more reasons that stop us doing Sandhya Vandanam regularly

 

Continuing on our earlier posts about the blocks to practising SV regularly, here we go once again!!

It seems to be really old-fashioned in this modern world.  Yes, it might look odd to be doing SV in this era of iPads, Android phones etc. It will be pertinent to remember that while all the technologies and gadgets in this “modern” world have made communication with the outside world easier and more affordable, there is still nothing in the inward journey.  SV is an access for that communication with oneself.  we had primarily looked at benefits for the body and mind in our earlier posts and perhaps a separate post is required to address the spiritual dimensions of SV.  SV is not old and obsolete.  On the contrary, it’s relevance today is much more than in the vedic ages.

I feel so embarrassed about showing off my religious credentials.  I fully understand.  SV is not about showing the rest of the world and is all about building your muscle.  While it is perfectly ok to continue to  wear the “thirumann” (Vaishnavas) or the “Thiruneeru” (for the Saivites) on the forehead even after one performs SV, do remove them if you are uncomfortable.  By the way, SV is not a public ritual that you shout from the rooftop but one that you do in the confines of your home.  While you can be legitimately proud of doing SV regularly, it is not something that you use to flaunt.  Do SV regularly for your benefit.  Incidentally, it is quite unfortunate that Hindus are quite reluctant (or even ashamed) about their identity.  I have seen muslims do their prayers in public places such as trains, halls and that too with pride but have yet to come across someone doing his SV likewise.

I am planning to start soon.  Congratulations and my prayers that you start today.  “Soon” is an illusion and we are comfortable using that to keep the enquirers at bay and yet not commit to it.

It is really difficult to get up in the morning and do it. There is a song by Kannadasan that goes “Dheivam endral adhu deivam, verum silai endral adhu silaidhan. Undu endral adhu undu, illai endral adhu illai” which means that if you say there is God, there is but if you say it is only a stone, it is only a stone.  Likewise, if you call it “difficult”, then it will be really difficult.  Consider seeing SV as an opportunity to get up early in the morning and accomplish much more before you leave for work and it will be easy getting up.

Doing SV thrice is too much.  I would rather not do it at all.  This is yet another variant of the “perfectionist” approach that gives us lot of satisfaction when we are not doing something.  Yes, it is best to do tri-kala SV (thrice a day) but it is better to do it once or twice than not to do it all.  A stand that “I will either do thrice or not to do it all” is nothing but covering up the lack of willingness.  Start with one time and gradually increase to three rather than wait for doing all the three times.

I don’t understand the mantras.  Your intention to understand the mantras is noble but this is also another way of saying “I want to do it perfectly”.  As we have talked about in the previous post, there is no dearth of materials and resources on SV and other aspects of  our religion.  Eminent scholars have written books that are simple to understand and all it takes is the effort to buy that book and read it.

If there are some other reasons that you have experienced or heard from others, please share them and we will respond to them.

 

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. August 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Hi Badri,

    Is SV done only by a Brahmin?

    • badrirag said,

      August 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

      From what I have heard and read, the Vedas declare that the three varnas of Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vysya are eligible. But the concept of varnashrama is no longer valid today, given that everyone does everything. So any male who has the desire to do sandhyavndanam, can do so today.

      • August 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

        thanks Badri, I qualify as a kshatriya … But dont have a Guru now 🙂

  2. Srikrishnan.R said,

    September 6, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Sandhyavandanam & its significance

    I present what Srirangam Srimad Andavan swamigal told about this.

    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.

    What is the meaning of the word Sandhyavandanam?

    Vandanam means worship. Both worship and meditation are involved in Sandhyavandanam.
    What is the meaning of Sandhya?

    Sandhya means the time of union. The time which relates to the union of two things, i.e. the time between the night and morning (first junction Dawn), between forenoon and afternoon (second junction Noon) and between afternoon and evening (third Jn. Dusk); Sandhya means dawn, noon and dusk. Sandhyavandanam means a ritual done at the time of three junctions, Dawn, Noon and Dusk.
    Sandhyavandanam is a junction between the devotee and the Lord. Between Jeevathma and Paramathma.

    Sandhyavandanam is an amalgamation of meditation and rituals. The principles of Yoga are the basis on which the rituals of Sandhyavandanam are designed. Being an integral ritual connected with Indian Culture in a very prominent manner, Sandhyavandanam reveals the cultural identity of the person performing it.

    What are the benefits we get out of Sandhyavandanam?

    According to Veda, Nityakarmas are to be done purely for the sake of spiritual upliftment. If done regularly, we will get spiritual progress – Chitta Suddhi, Bhagavad-anugraha and Chitta Visaradha. Even though we are not supposed to ask for material benefit, still there are many material benefits through Sandhyavandanam. In the prayers that form part of the Sandhyavandanam, we ask the Lord for long life, health and prosperity and ultimately, we ask for more jnana. All these are included in the mantra. The very performance itself gives the result.

    The second benefit is, since Pranayama and Japam are involved, physical health is gained. It has been proved that Pranayama is very good for physical health. To-day Pranayama is taught as a therapy. The greatest problem is stress. Sandhyavandanam is the best method because Pranayama not only helps the physical system but also helps the mind. It is a relaxation exercise, a tension relieving exercise. But we are not supposed to do that for that purpose. Relaxation should be a by-product; the primary purpose should be spiritual benefit.

    • badrirag said,

      September 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

      Sri,

      Thanks for sharing the wisdom of SV as revealed by Srirangam Srimad Andavan swamigal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: