You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1996

Re: significance of madhyaanikam

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale_at_qualcomm.com)
Date: Fri Oct 04 1996 - 17:38:30 PDT

At 10:04 AM 10/3/96 -0400, you wrote:
>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,


Let me try to answer this question. First of all the last line of your email
indicates a mantra known as moola mantra.  Please do not write this mantra
on emails. use some other name of our lord or just Narayana.  The reason I
am saying is this, this is one of the most esoteric of our mantras. This is
should not be published with no control. I have seen this being done by many
of our prapatti group members. There are controversies regarding whether
this should be not published or widely publised. But at least according to
Rahasyatrayasara, Sri Vedanta desika feels that this should not be published
even though Sri Ramanuja published this ( an exception).  I am sure Sri
Manavala Mamuni probably agrees with Sri Vedanta Desika in this aspect.  If
not, someone can let me know.

Coming to Madhyanhika.  This is done as midday prayers at the sandhi kala of
purvanha and aparanha (ie. junction of before noon  with after noon) this is
an ancient practice as old as our dharmashastras.  In fact on the day of
poonal, the vatu or the brahmachari is  first initiated into Sandhyavandana
teaching him madhyanhika on that day, since typically, poonals are performed
in the morning (not evening), the next prayer is madhyanhika.  This is as
ancient as other two sandhyavandanas prathaha and sayam of the day.  The
mantras "Asatyena rajasa.... and pasyem sharadasshatam, jeevema
sharadasshatam etc. are related to the madhyanhika quite closely even
considering their meaning ...
which ends in "jyokcha suryam drishe" - indicating "sight of surya".  

But the question pops up,  how can office going working people do
madhyanhika at the right time? so why not skip it!!

The answer is simple, just do it in the morning before coming to work.  This
is not optimal but " sa dosham api na tyajet". (bhagawadgita) - nitya karma
should not be avoided even though they may have mistakes.  How many of us
can do pratah sandhya at the right time before sunrise or at sunrise every
day?  It is not practical. but we do it later at a convenient time.
Similarly madhyanhika should be done in these modern times during morning
after sandhyavandana.  

Some may say, USA is not pure country or it is bhogabhumi so karmas need not
be done there. So one can leave sandhyavandana!. This is not true, wherever
one person is whether in USA or in a plane, one should atleast do "manasica"
or mental sandhyavandana if water etc. are not available at certain
times/places.  The practice of sandhyavandana is good even  considering that
it gives peace of mind for few minutes at day amidst this rat race.

Hope this helps. please send comments / questions if any


Dasan Krishna Kalale


Krishna Kalale
619-658-5612 (phone)
619-658-2115 (fax)