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Re: Vedic deities

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Mon Jun 07 1999 - 17:27:56 PDT

Sri Ramakrishnan wrote:
> I'd be interested in knowing what order Sri Vaishnavas follow. If you
> don't mind, please also post  which forms of devatas are invoked for
> each nyAsa. Just the devatas would be sufficient, if you don't want to
> post the entire mantra. Thanks.

Rama,

The following is taken from the Ahnika of Tirukkudandai Gopala
Desikan (18th century), who set a standard for Vaidika anushThAna
in the sampradAya. My sandhyA krama is nowhere near so detailed,
and what I reproduce below is taken purely from my understanding 
of the text, so I apologize in advance for any errors.

After arghya-pradAnam and tarpaNam, the details for gAyatrI japa
are as follows.

1) Rshi-chandas-devatA nyAsa for the prANAyAma mantra --
   praNava and vyAhRtis, then for gAyatrI, then for 
   gAyatrI-Siras (om Apo jyotIraso'mRtam brahma bhUr-bhuvas-suvar om)

2) bodily nyAsa (?) for the seven vyAhRtis
   bhU: -- feet
   bhuva: -- calves (jangha)
   suva: -- knees
   maha: -- thighs and belly button
   jana: -- throat, heart, and abdomen
   tapa: -- face
   satyam -- top of the head (mastaka)

3) Meditation on some particular forms. They are not named, but from
   the description, they are male forms, presumably of Narayana.

4) Now, first anga-nyAsa of just the gAyatrI (no vyAhRtis):
   up to savituh -- jnAnAya hRdayAya nama:
   vareNyam -- aiSvaryAya Sirase svAhA
   up to devasya -- Saktyai SikhAyai vaushaT
   dhImahi -- balAya kavacAya hum
   up to yonah -- tejase netrAbhyAm vaushaT
   last word -- vIryAya astrAya phaT

5) First part of gAyatrI dhyAnam -- muktA-vidruma...
   
6) vyApaka nyAsam using the gAyatrI-Siras 
   ("SiromantreNa karAbhyAm Sira:prabhRti pAdAntam 
     vyApakanyAsam kRtvA...")

7) "arka maNdala-madhyastham" -- meditation on Narayana
   within the orb of the sun 

8) 3 prANAyAmas 
   (So far, most of us would have skipped steps 2-7)

9) sankalpa for japa

10) gAyatrI AvAhanam with "AyAtu varadA devi"
   
11) Now, further gAyatrI dhyAnam, with
    the "prAtar dhyAyAmi gAyatrIm" sloka mentioned
    earlier

12) Mentally offer the 16 upacAras to Gayatri Devi
    using the praNava.

13) Now, *another* anga-bhUta-kara nyAsa, as a preliminary
    for gAyatrI japa. This is for the three vyAhRtis and
    the gAyatrI mantra itself. 

    a) First Rshi-chandas-devatA nyAsa
    b) With the astra mantra, (vIrAya astrAya phaT) purification
       of one's hands
    c) vyApaka-nyAsa for gAyatrI
    d) "praNavena prakoshThAntam karadvaye'pi talayoH pRshThayo:
        paryAyeNa parAmRSya, karatalayoH praNavam nyasya" (?)
    e) anga-nyAsa 

14) Next, meditation on the meaning of the Gayatri itself, with
    "yo devaH savitA'smAkam..."

15) Meditation on Narayana as described in a few slokas

16) Finally, the japa itself (whew!)
    (most us would probably have skipped 11-13 and 15)


I thank God (I mean that literally) we prapannas do not depend on
our performance of sandhyAvandana for moksha!

Rama, would you care to tell us how this differs from the
smArta krama as taught to you?

Mani