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It is quite possible that a few discussions could have taken place earlier on this subject. Still I deem it fit to share some thoughts with members for whatever worth it is.

"A person who does not do Sandhyavandana is impure and is not fit to do any Vedic karma" this is what Dharma Sastra declares. Sandhyavandana is compulsorily to be done by all persons after their Upanayana.

I find almost 90% of our people do not perform it for reasons unknown or imaginatory. They get satisfaction by going to temples and doing other nar-karyams instead of doing Sandhyavandana. Some say they regularly participate in devotional programmes like bhajans and they are satisfied. These and other such programmes though good, are no substitues for Sandhyavandana. There is NO excuse for not doing it.

The format for Sandhyavandana evolved by our great Rishis is very great and it contains several Veda mantras.

Look at the different facets of this simple and beautiful ritual:

* It is an upasana
* It is a Yoga
* It is a dhyana
* It is one sure way of viewing one's own soul
* It has great health benefits
* It can lead to prosperity
* It is a prayer for the well-being of the whole world
* It is a nitya karma

Let us listen to Sri Sri Maha Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham on this subject who, while camping in the Mudikondan village in the year 1939, says:

"..We feel desolate and shattered when we miss a train or muffle an opportunity, but don't care a hoot if we are missing a Vedic Karma of utmost importance - the Sandhyavandana. How thoughtless ! The Gayatri mantra in particular is one of the most poweful mantras taught to a Brahmin ; and chanting the right number of Gayatri mantras at the prescribed times - or more, if one can - bestows enormous benefits on the persons doing the japa"

Guruvarulum, Tiruvarulum ellorukkum, kidaikkattum.
Sarma Sastrigal
Dear Mr Krishnamurthy

I would like you to forward the amavasya sankalpa manthram for 2011-2012 to my email ID [email protected]
I am grateful for your instant reply. I would let you have all the details relating to the astrologer in chennai.

with best wishes

pc ramabadran
Dear Mr Krishnamurthy

Many thanks for sending me the sankalpams for 2011-2012 which I greatly appreciate.

The astrologer is Thethiyur V.J.Raman 58 Durairaj Lane, Creative apartments, Palavanthangal,chennai 600114.
His telephone number is 044-22322469. He is a good friend of mine. whoever wants to meet him is required
to take an appointment on phone. I am somehow satisfied with his predictions and pariharams. It depends
on each individual's views and expectations. There may be very good or better astrologers in chennai about whom
I do not know.

with best wishes

Dear Friends some of you may already be aware of this concept but I liked this conversation with Chandrashekara Bharati of Sringeri, and I am reproducing this for your benefit. Thanks-
The Sandhya Worship

A touring Educational Officer once met His Holiness and said,

"I have occasions of being in constant touch with young boys, mostly Brahmanas,
studying in schools which I have to inspect. I have found that even the boys
who perform their sandhya do so more as a form than as real worship. I shall be
very grateful if Your Holiness would give me some valuable hints which I could
convey to them"

I am very glad to see that you are not content with mere official routine of
inspection but desire to utilise the occasion for the betterment of the boys.
It will be well if all educationists, inspecting officers or teachers, realise
that they have been entrusted with the very grave responsibility of training up
young men in the most impressionable period of their lives. In my opinion they
are really to blame if they confine their attention only to the prescribed text
books and neglect the spiritual side of the young generation.

I always keep that end before me and I don't miss any opportunity of talking to
the boys and giving them some useful advice. It is mainly with a view to do
that work better that i request Your Holiness to give some practical

Even if the boys to whom you propose to convey such suggestions may not benefit
by them, you will certainly be benefited.


You may therefore, for the present, ignore the boys and ask such questions the
answers to which are likely to be useful to you.

The first question which suggests itself to me is with reference to the sandhya
worship. What is the deity or upasya devata in the sandhya Worship?

Before we consider that, please tell me what you understand ordinarily by the
sandhya worship?

By sandhya worship we mean the worship of the rising Sun, the setting Sun or
Sun in the mid heavens.

Quite so. Comprehensively speaking, you mean worship of the Sun?


You tell me that sandhya is the worship of the Sun and yet you ask me what is
worshipped in the sandhya. Don't you think it is an unnecessary question?

Put so, it may seem an unnecessary question, but my real question is, what is
the Sun that is worshipped?

What do you understand ordinarily by the Sun?

We mean the bright celestial orb in the sky.

Then it is that bright celestial orb that is worshipped.

But that orb is, according to science, mere inert matter in a state of high
combustion and is certainly not worthy of being worshipped by intelligent beings
like ourselves. It can neither hear our prayers nor respond to them. I cannot
believe that our ancestors were so ignorant as to address their prayers to a
mere burning mass of matter

I quite agree with you. They could never have been so foolish.

What then did they see in the Sun to justify their prayers being addressed to

You said just now that addressing of prayers to inert matter cannot be justified
by reason.


What then must be the nature of the entity to which a prayer is addressed?

The primary condition is that it must not be mere inert matter, but must be
endowed with intelligence.

And the second condition?

That it must be able to hear our prayers and be powerful enough to answer them.

Quite so. If our ancients were not fools and yet addressed their prayers to the
Sun, their conception of the Sun must have been quite different from that of
mere inert matter, in a state of high combustion.

Yes, they must have also postulated of it intelligence, the capacity to hear us
and the ability to help us.

The 'us' including not only all those who are now living to raise their hands in
prayer to the Sun, but also the generations, past and future, infinite in number
though they may be?

Of course.

The entity that is worshipped as the Sun is therefore one whose intelligence or
ability knows no limitation of space or time.

It must be so.

You have now got your answer to the question as to who is worshipped in the
sandhya? It is an intelligent Being, omniscient and omnipotent in the matter of
hearing and responding to its votaries.

Your Holiness then means that it is a deva who has his habitation in the solar

Quite so. He has not only his habitation there, but the solar orb itself is his
physical body.

Your Holiness means that the deva enlivens the solar orb, just as we do our
physical bodies?

Just so.

If then he is embodied just like us, how does he happen to have such high
intelligence or power as to merit our obeisance?

He attained that status by virtue of the appropriate karma and upasana done by
him in a previous life.

Does Your Holiness mean that he was at one time just like ourselves and that he
attained that status by his endeavour?


Then he is no more than a jiva, which I aIso am. Why should a Jiva make
prostration before another Jiva, howsoever superior?

Why should your son or pupil respect you and why should you show respect to your
superior officers? Are not both of you jivas?

No doubt we are. But we respect our superiors as it is in their power to help
us or injure us, if they so desire.

That is a very low kind of respect. Anyhow, taking even that kind of respect,
we must respect Surya devata if it is in his power to help us or injure us, if
he so desires.

Of course.

Being a jiva as much as your superior officers, he will help you if you appeal
to him for help or injure you if you ignore or despise him. In your own
interest then, you are bound to worship him and secure his goodwill.

But 1 need not court the favour nor fear the displeasure of my superior officer,
if I carry out the duties of my office faithfully.

Quite so.

If I preserve that attitude, there is no reason why I should propitiate my
superior officer

Certainly not.

Similarly, if l carry out strictly the duties enjoined on me by the

sastras, I need not propitiate any other jiva, be he the highest devil.

Quite so.

Then, should I not give up the worship of Surya devata?

Certainly you may, unless of course such a worship is part of the duties
enjoined on you by the Sastras.

The Sandhya Worship 93

How can that be?

It is true that an honest and strict officer in performing the duties of his
office need not mind the pleasure or the displeasure of his immediate superior.
But the mere fact that he thinks it necessary or obligatory to perform those
duties properly, shows that he has as the ultimate end the pleasure, or
avoidance of the displeasure of a still higher officer who is superior to him as
well as to his immediate superior. Even if he has no personal acquaintance with
that higher officer, he always has in the background of his mind an undefined
power, call it the King or the Government, when he performs the duties of his
office. And that power has the ability to benefit him by a recognition of his
services or to punish him by taking note of his delinquencies. Further, that
power rules both him and his immediate superior officer. If therefore that
power requires him to behave in a particular manner towards his superior
officer, he cannot afford to disobey that injunction, for if he disobeys, not
only does he incur the displeasure of that officer but also of the higher power.

That is so.

Similarly, if a power which rules both you as well as Surya devata requires you
to conduct yourself in a particular manner towards that deva, you cannot afford
to neglect that injunction, but must conform to it or take the risk of incurring
the displeasure of that deva as also of the higher power.

It is no doubt so. But in that case, in prostrating myself before Surya devata,
I shall be really worshipping the higher power even when my worship may seem
addressed to the Surya.

What of that?

If I am able to conceive of such a higher power who rules even the Surya, that
power is really the worshipped entity although to all appearances the worship is
addressed to the Surya only.

Quite so.

But Your Holiness said that it, was Surya devata who was worshipped?

Yes. It is correct so far as persons who are not able to conceive of a higher
power are concerned. To those however who can conceive of that power, He is the
real upasya. That power is called Hiranyagarbha. He enlivens and ensouls not
only the Surya, but all devils. He enlivens and inhabits not only the solar orb
but all things. He is the cosmic personality who is the soul of all things.

I suppose just as we have the sense of I 'in our physical bodies, so does that
cosmic personality has the sense of "I" in the entire cosmos.

He has.

If so, the difference between Him and me lies not in the presence or the absence
of the sense of 'I' but only in the degree, the range or the magnitude of that
sense. Mine is restricted, His is extended.

It is so.

if it is the sense of "I" that is responsible for the concept of a Jiva, he must
be as much a jiva as myself

Quite so. In fact He is called the First Born.

Then, even if this higher power happens to belong to the category of Jivas, just
like myself, the same objection which I mentioned against the worship of Surya
devata holds good in his case also.

What then would you like to worship?

A transcendent power which is not a jiva.

Have it then that it is such a transcendent power that is worshipped in the
sandhya. We give Him the name of lswara, the Lord, or the antaryami, the inner

But I have heard it mentioned that the terms Lord' and Ruler' are only relative
terms which are used in regard to Him when we want to describe Him in relation
to the universe, which is 'lorded over 'or 'ruled' by Him.

Yes, it is so.

It cannot be that we can have no conception of him apart from his relationship
of some sort to the universe. His relationship to the universe can at best be
only an extraneous circumstance. In His essence, He must have an independent
existence quite unrelated to anything else.

You are right. We call that unrelated essential existence Brahman.

If it is so, that must be the real object of worship rather than the relative
aspect called lshwara.

It is even as you say. It is really the unqualified Brahman that is worshipped
in the sandhya.

I cannot really understand Your Holiness. You first said that it was the solar
orb that was the objector worship, but when I pointed out that it was only inert
matter, you said that it was Surya devata that was the object of worship; when
again I pointed out that he was only a limited jiva like myself, you said it was
Hiranyagarbha, the cosmic soul, that was the object of worship: when once again
I pointed out that he was after all a jiva, however cosmic his sense of 'I' may
be, you said that lswara the Lord and Ruler of the universe was really the
object of worship; and lastly when I said that even he is but a relative aspect
of Brahman, you said that the object of worship was Brahman itself

I did say so.

But I fail to see how all these statements can be reconciled.

Where is the difficulty?

The object in a particular worship can be only one. How can it be the solar orb
or the deva enlivening it or Hiranyagarbha or Iswara or Brahman at the same

I never said that it was the solar orb or the devil and so on.

Does Your Holiness mean to say then that the object of worship is the solar orb
and the devil and Hiranyagarbha and Iswara and Brahman all put together?

Nor did I say anything of that sort.

How then am I to understand Your Holiness' statements?

When did I tell you that the upasya was Surya?

When I mentioned that the physical mass of burning matter cannot be the object
of worship.

Before you mentioned it, I said that it was even that mass that was the upasya.


I never mentioned that it was the solar body or the deva as an alternative. To
one who cannot conceive of an enlivening soul, the upasya is the physical mass;
to one, however, who declines to accept inert matter as an object of worship, I
said the upasya was Surya devata. The upasya is ever one, but its exact nature
varies with the competence of the worshipping aspirant. The upasya gets further
refined when even the concept of a devil does not satisfy the enquiring devotee.
We say then that it is Hiranyagarbha. When even such a concept seems meagre or
unsatisfactory, we tell the devotee that he is really worshipping the Supreme
Lord himself When he begins to feel that even the Lord-ness is a limitation of
His essential nature, we tell him that it is the infinite Brahman itself that is
really worshipped. Where is the difficulty?

Does Your Holiness then mean that it is not possible to definitely say what the
object of worship in the sandhya is except with reference to the mental
equipment or intellectual advancement of the worshipper?

How can there be an object of worship if we ignore the worshipper? The nature
of the worshipped necessarily depends upon the nature of the worshipper.


Take me for example. All of you show me respect. But the object of respect,
though it is, roughly speaking, myself, does differ with each one of you.
Ordinary people respect me and like to see me surrounded by glittering
paraphernalia; their attention and respect are claimed by those articles rather
than by my personality. Such people will show the same respect to others who
have similar paraphernalia. Their homage is not therefore really paid to me but
only to the paraphernalia. Some others respect me for the position that I hold
or for the Asrama in which I am. Such people will equally respect others who
are or may come to be in such a position or in such an Asrama, their homage is
therefore not paid to me but to my position or to the Asrama. And some others
may not care what position I hold or in what Asrama I am, but give me homage
wherever I go and however I may be; their object of respect is my physical body.
A few others will not mind if my body is dark or ugly or even diseased, but will
nevertheless give me homage if by purity of mind and character or by the power
of my intellect and learning or by any spiritual merit that I may possess I
command their respect. Very few indeed will respect me for the spark of divine
intelligence which inheres in me, as it does in all of you.

Of course it is not possible to say that all the devotees that approach Your
Holiness are of the same mental equipment.

Quite so. But, ordinarily all these people, whether they really tender homage
to the paraphernalia or to my status and Asrama or to my body or to my mind or
to my intellect or to the divine spark in me, prostrate before me to show their
respect. Can you tell me, apart from any reference to the several devotees, to
whom or to what they prostrate?

It is no doubt very difficult to answer

Similarly, with every kind of worship. Externally viewed, there will be no
appreciable difference between the one who respects me for the paraphernalia and
another who respects me for the divine spark in me. Externally viewed, there
will similarly be no appreciable difference between the devotee who in his blind
faith is content to address his prayers to the luminous Sun and another who
turns to it as a visible symbol of the infinite Brahman. The question as to
what is the upasya in the sandhya worship can therefore be answered only in
this way.

I now understand how in the simple worship of the Sun all possible stages in
spiritual perception have been provided for

It is not only this, for you will find if you consider the matter still
further, that all the three ways known as karma, bhakti and Gyana have been
given places in the daily worship, but that is a different matter. Simple as
the sandhya worship seems to be, it is sufficient to help us on to the highest
stages. It is as useful to the highest aspirant as it is to the beginner. It
is a folly, therefore, to belittle its value or to neglect it in practice.
Dear Shri.pviyer,
Thank you for posting knowledgeable and useful information about 'Sandhyavandana' for the benefit of all tabra members who beleive and perform
this 'nityakarma'.
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