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significance of madhyaanikam

From: Rajiv Madabhushi (madabhus_at_eng.umd.edu)
Date: Thu Oct 03 1996 - 07:04:31 PDT

Dear Esteemed members of the prapatti group!

I have a question which may have been dealt with already.  Mr. Mani,
if this is the case, please direct me to the related archives.

My question is on the significance of Madhyanikam.  I understand the
word "Sandhya" to mean twilight (dawn or evening), so
"Sandhyavandanam" relates to the prayers at those times.  I have heard
that from a historical basis, the "Praathas sandhyavandanam" was
performed before the vedas/scriptures are to be studied at the start
of the day, and "Saayam sandhyavandanam" to be performed after these
scriptures have been studied at the end of the day.  Is this a proper
understanding of these prayers?  Has the "madhyanikam" been followed
since vedic times?  Was its purpose to cleanse oneself before studying
the scriptures again and before taking the midday meal?

Thanks,


Om Namo Naaraayanaaya,

-Rajiv