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Sandhya Vandhanam and Madhyanhnikam

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Mon Oct 07 1996 - 05:24:32 PDT

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

Recently, Rajiv Madabhushi wanted to know the significance of ThrikAla Sandhya 
vandhanam.  I would like to share a little of what I know, gathered from our 
elders.

Sandhyavandhanam is derived from the word Sandhi which means joining or a 
meeting point.  When the day meets the night or the night meets the day, nature 
quitens and a sense of tranquility prevails.  We being a part of nature, our 
minds have a like tendency to quiten itself, thus showing a inclination to 
retire from its relentless wanderings.  Our sages thought that this is the best 
time to turn it inward and meditate on the Gayatri Mantra.  Gayatri Japam is 
the most important element of Sandhya Vandhanam.  "Brahma Tejas", which Sage 
Vashistha naturally possessed, was obtained by Sage Vishwamitra through 
Gayatri-Japam.  All other activities in the Sandhya Vandhanam is in preparation 
for Gayatri-Japam.  Thus our smrutis again and again proclaim that  Sandhya 
Vandhanam is a pre-requisite for all other spiritual sadhanas without which no 
other Karma or Sadhana can bear any fruit.  "Vipro Vrikshaha, Tasya Moola Hi 
Sandhya....".    There is no point in watering the leaves and branches of a 
tree allowing the root (which is Sandhya Vandhanam) to go without nourishment.  

Madhyandhina Sandhya is done during the mid-point of the day and usually 
completed in much lesser time (28 Gayatri-Japam).  It is done, immediately 
after the Madhyanhika snanam and before the Bhaghavat ArAdhnam.  The purpose is 
similar, i.e. to shift the focus of the mind from circumference to the center 
(where the Anthryami is seated) before doing the Bhaghavat ArAdhanam.  

Vijayaraghavan

PS  Mani I enjoyed your article on Thirupan Azwar's poem and Swami Desika's 
commentary.