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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.