Done scientifically, pranayama improves oxygen supply, expels carbon dioxide, helps blood circulation, improves concentration, memory power and general health. Bhasma and Gopeechandana grahanam - this is done as a means of protection, purification, Bhasma contains salts that have salutary effect on our body progression and as a symbol of brahminisam. This point is considered very central to the awakening of the thought process. Hence, kumkum, gandha and bhasma are applied here. THE Process: Sankalpam - Taking the resolve - has benefit of auto-suggestion telling yourself that this is your focus for next 15 odd minutes. It should be always done after careful contemplation, in a calm and positive frame of mind mustering the will to act upon.
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Broadly speaking the difficulties and conflicts he faces can be categorised as physical on the one extreme and spiritual on the other, intervened by various other stages like ethical, intellectual, emotional, filial, occupational, professional, societal, national and so on. While enormous education, training and efforts go into tackling difficulties, conflicts and uncertainties at the basest physical level onwards, these are waning with the progression to the noblest spiritual level.
It is towards strengthening in this direction that man has evolved rituals and faith in that Universal Power and set out in search thereof. Ideally, man should turn everything he does into sacred with a view to know himself and his God and towards this strengthen all his faculties. SandhyA vandana, worship of Gods three times a day at the junctures of Night-Morning-afternoon-evening, invoking their blessings and strength, is one such important activity.
SandhyA vandana is a daily duty for a Brahmana after upanayana. It is very auspicious and sacred also. TrikAla SandhyA vandana means paying obeisance to the Lord, three times a day, i. It is called SandhyA Vandana also because the obeisance is offered at the junctures of 1. Night and day, 2. Day and night.
The first one, prAtaH SandhyA, is performed when the sun is about to rise and the stars are still aglitter in the sky. The second one, mAdhyAhnika, is performed during the noon time. The third one sAyaM sandhyA, is performed just before the sunset.
These junction times are regarded as highly sacred for this purpose. For prAtaH SandhyA, it will be by means of the morning bath and for the other two it will be by means of washing the legs, hands and face. After this, You will wear clean clothes specially meant for this purpose. The practice is to wear a dhoti and a shalya. Keep readily available minimum three vessels, two with clean water one for Achamana and the other for Arghya and ladle spoon and the third one empty arghya pAtra.
Also ensure that you have complete privacy during the whole process and avoid external noises like music systems, TV, talking to others etc. You will also take the following steps for prAtaH SandhyA only. Keep a set of mudras five metallic stamps with different shapes explained later and gopichandana a special variety of mud ball.
Then, apply gopichandana on your body. Generally, if available, nirmalya tIrtha holy remnant water after deva pooja by self or someone is used for this purpose.
In case of unavailability of nirmAlya tIrtha i. Arghya Water can also be used. Start the process invoking the blessings of the Lord by reciting the following mantras. Apply this paste at 12 places in the body - one on forehead, three on abdomen, one on chest, one each on shoulders, all 4 parts of neck, one on bottom of back-bone just above trunk and one on top of head.
Then, one more is applied on the right side of the chest. Some people do also apply a similar final mark on the left side of the chest, if this is the tradition that they have been taught as per their sampradAya custom. While applying, recite Keshavadi Dwadashanama explained below , one nAma each for one application. The shapes of the paste applied will be as follows. On the chest: heart lotus leaf shape. On the shoulder: leaf shape preferably with a stem.
Elsewhere: deepAkAra burning candle light shape. Concentrate on the mantra and quickly go through the process of applying the paste instead of trying to perfect the shapes. After applying gopichandana, apply mudras as follows in that order. In order to extinguish the sins or effect of base deeds in the previous night for prAtaH SandhyA this verse is uttered. The pramAna says that this mantra will destroy all the sins committed previously or previous night if it is prAtaH SandhyA, morning if it is mandhyanika SandhyA and it is afternoon till evening if it is sAyam SandhyA.
To start with one has to leave the air from right side of the nose 1 unit of time that is called rechaka, secondly one has to inhale the air from left side of nose 2 units of time i. The gist of this verse is: Sri Hari in the form of Sri Gayatri is complete with all divine virtues, always prosperous and wealthy, always happy, considered to be the best or excellent, one who creates this world, one who regulates this world and one who is being prayed by all of us.
Further, Sri Hari or paramAtmA also has the power of creating the brightness enlightenment , does not have extinction, has complete knowledge, is always prosperous and wealthy and has got complete virtues, is the paramAtmA Supreme Being whom I am praying.
It denotes the commitment and determination of the performer to rightfully and sincerely perform such sacred rituals. KAla, i. Even one has to remember that the prayer is initiated by paramAtmA and to get His blessings and love, I am performing the respective ritual.
This is a must as it has been understood that without this sankalpa the prayer or ritual will not materialise or not received by the God. It is again purifying the body and mind for offering Arghya and chanting Gayatri mantra. Here is the substance of this verse. It is prayer to Water related devatAs aqua-Gods.
In order to destroy the sins which we have committed and also to acquire knowledge we are praying Sri Narayana who is omnipresent in the water and whom we are praying to bless us to lead a happy life and also to liberate us at the earliest.
If I commit any sins, ratrI abhimani related devatA should bless me to wipe it off and if any of my sins are over, I am performing homa burnt offering of the same to You i.
You confer on us the knowledge of medicine to destroy sAnsArik troubles for two and four legged animals. Hey, ParamAtma You have manifested in the form of of water to bless us with the knowledge to understand these curative medicines. Sri Hari is incarnated and is omnipresent in water. Sri Hari created water-related amruta knowledge to lead us towards liberation. For this purpose He created day and night abhmimani related devatAs.
For acquisition of knowledge and protection of my body from any diseases I am welcoming You Narayana to reside in my soul and body. You should have the feeling that in order to extinguish the sins committed you are offering, symbolically, a spoon full of water. ParamAtma, the supreme head of everything, created the following in that order: four-headed Brahma, night, day and all kinds of living beings.
ParamAtma, one who is the cause of creation has created first the Sun and the moon, then He created heaven, then He created the universe, then He created the sky and then He created heavenly bodies.
They got a boon from Him that even if they die one day they should be born the next day. It is believed this process goes on even now. In order to kill these AsurAs and to protect the Sun God for illuminating all of us, we have to offer three Arghyas on each occasion. This story has been explained in Vishnu Purana of 8th chapter. If the prescribed time for performing SandhyA has passed, You have to offer the fourth Arghya as compensation.
This verse is for obtaining eligibility and capability for offering Arghya and protection of the soul. The presence of Moon and Indra is invoked to watch out AsurAs see that the later will not spoil the process of performing SandhyA and prevent the performer realising the benefits thereof.
It is believed that both Sun and Indra are capable of killing or destroying these AsurAs, who cause impediments and even destroy the process of performing sacred rituals. For shukla pakSha first half of lunar month devatA tarpaNa is given with the first 12 names of Vishnu keshava etc. Meaning : All AsurAs living on this earth should disappear. Those AsurAs who obstruct good and sacred work should be destroyed by the orders of Sri Rudra devatA. It is a prayer to the existing devatAs who are present in different forms and taking their permission to start the sacred SandhyA and request or pray to them to destroy all AsurAs, devils etc.
AsanashuddhiH will be a part of that. This has been told by Surya Sun. By reciting this cut a thread of the cloth worn by you and make two small pieces. Throw the one on the left hand, on the left side and keep the other under the seat. Silently think like this. Earth is like four poles i. I am sitting on that. ParmAtma is sleeping on top of snake shesha bed. I am bowing to You. I am bowing to Vishnu Kurma tortoise one who is protecting the earth Brahmanda from destruction. After this, settle on the seat for chanting Gayatri MantraH.
Prayer to Prithvi i. Hey, Prithivi, You authorise me by purifying the seat where I am sitting. Prithivi, You also purify me. You are very special and I am bowing You. By uttering this, touch the seat and bow to it. By uttering this Gayatri verse all the sins committed by me in my daily life will be destroyed extinguished.
Please extinguish, through the night related devatA who is none other than Sri Hari, all my sins committed in the night. He has been called in 24 keshava nAmas, His presence is there in all three places i. While reciting the japa, imagine the following picture of Sri LakShmi Narayana who is the subject and object of your prayer.
They are : Settled in the centre of the Sun, He is sitting in the posture of a yogi padmasana , He has been decorated with the ornament of shoulder, He has worn ear rings, He has put head gear, He has the necklace, He has the body of hiranya and He has conch shell and wheel on His both hands.
The same Sri LakShmi Narayna is the subject and object of my prayer. I am chanting this verse sincerely according to my abilities and capabilities. Take note of the following guidelines while reciting Gayatri Japa : 1. Reciting should be with calmness and peace of mind. Later it can be recited either standing or sitting. While counting the beads, cover the right hand either by the left hand or with a cloth and the number of Gayatri mantraH to be recited should be ten or in geometrical progression thereof i.