Author Topic: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion  (Read 31856 times)

Nagaraj

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2013, 04:04:46 PM »
Friends, i have been going slow over this. just want to update that i will try and finish this soon, apologies for the same, not much is left. The concluding steps are to follow. will finish it asap. Thank you.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Anand

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2013, 07:18:07 PM »
dear Friends,
I have one query .As office goers we come very late say around 8 PM also.What is the latest time one can perform the evening Sandhyavandanam.
Regards,
Anand .
Sundaram Anand

atmavichar100

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2013, 08:11:48 PM »
dear Friends,
I have one query .As office goers we come very late say around 8 PM also.What is the latest time one can perform the evening Sandhyavandanam.
Regards,
Anand .

Sandhya Vandanam is a Nitya Karma and ideal is to do it at the correct time but when you cant do it at the correct time the rule is : better late than never .

As an alternative to Sandhya Vandanam I feel one can Chant Aditya Hridyam daily twice ad it can be done while traveling also as the Sun God is always visible and all u need is to look at the sun in the morning and evening and chant Aditya Hridyam .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

deepa

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 09:05:26 PM »

I have a humble query to sandhya vandhanam experts. Please don't think I am being "adhiga prasangi"  :D

While I come from a traditional tamil brahmin family, exposure to Bhagawan as well as Chinmaya mission has led me to believe that the purpose of nithya karmas is only for chitta shuddhi that in turn will help in removing avidya/knowing Self.

In that case, I question why it has been precluded for women over ages. There are some sources (Harita dharma shastra) which talk about yagnopavita for girls too, but the practice seems to have ended ages back.

I understand the notion of women/mothers doing selfless seva (karma yoga), but per Bhagawan/Adi Shankara et al, eventually knowledge is required for moksha. So, if all a woman does is karma yoga for her family, when does she get the knowledge required for removing avidya?

I am conflicted because I consider Kanchi Periyava also as my guru. He says girls should consider their husbands as their guru and for a girl, marriage is equivalent to upanayanam (and hence he recommends early marriage). With all due respect, most husbands are not "guru" material these days  ;)

We bring our children up equally these days. We expect our daughters to do as well as our sons in academics, sports, arts and later, in employment. Then, why do we discriminate when it comes to the most important pursuit in life?

I am throwing this question because my 2 older children (10 yr girl and 8 yr boy) are getting the benefit of my vedantha study. Even living in the US, they are regulars in Chinmaya mission, chant many sukthams/shlokams/aksharamana malai, Vishnu sahas, Geetha, etc, we spend a lot of time talking/discussion Vedantha, they have direct access to Swamiji, who we consider a Jivan muktha. They can quote the pancha koshas, sadhana chatushatayams, have a decent Samskrit vocabulary and prefer to watch Upanishad Ganga on TV rather than other serials!

In this context, the grandparents are asking to do the upanayanam for our son. And I question why not daughter too?
Of course, we can argue she can continue seeking vedanta knowledge even without upanayanam, but to me, at this juncture in our life/society, it has to be for both. It feels like the right thing to do, even if it is not the popular/easy way.

I notice this practice has started in some areas (Pune, Andhra and of course, chinmaya centers in US). I want to perform this for both the children in Chennai with blessings of both grand parents. I don't want to make rebel statements, just want a quiet, meaningful home-based function that will help the children commit to spiritual path.

I am seeking Bhagawan's grace to help me with this. Can I also seek your opinions/guidance on how to accomplish this?
Deepa

 

Ravi.N

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2013, 03:07:29 AM »
Deepa,
At the outset,I have to express deep appreciation of the way you are bringing up your children.You have asked a fundamental question -Why not upanayana for girls as well?Why this should be a monopoly of Males(we do not seem to be intrigued any longer as to why it has been prescribed for the Brahmin,Kshatriya and Vaishyas only and not for the sudras!Any way ,let us not get into that aspect).
I am happy to note that you consider kAnchi Mahaswami as your Guru.When it comes to Vedic Dharma,there is no better exemplar than Kanchi Mahaswami.Personally I have not come across anyone with such a deep understanding of all the Pros and cons ,the nuts and Bolts,the warp and woof of Vedic Dharma as our Kanchi Mahaswami.Having critically read Deivathin Kural,which contains the Mahaswami's talks on the various aspects of Sanatana Dharma,I can vouch that all his recommendations come from an impartial,Thorough and First hand grasp of the subject matter in all its aspects-Physical,Moral,social,Psychological,Intellectual and Spiritual-A veritable encyclopaedia and authentic source of Wisdom unmatched.Based on this,my simple recommendation is that one can safely go by what he says, with the full conviction that he has considered all the usual doubts and objections that the best of the modern Intellect can come up with and has prescribed what is only for the wellbeing of not just ourselves in our individual capacity but for the whole of mankind.
It is not possible to cover all this here,yet I will simply place a few key thoughts for your consideration.
1.Is Sandhya a Nitya karma?What is Nitya Karma?
Nitya means that it is to be performed forever,Daily 3 times irrespective of Rain or shine,irrespective of whether it is war time or Peace time,irrespective of whether one is sick or Healthy.
Why this prescription?This is so because it is not something that is performed just for oneself but for the interest of the world at large-Parameswara preetyartham.Chitta Shuddhi is a by product and not the main purpose of this Nitya karma.For Chitta shuddhi,even chanting Of Rama Nama is sufficient and this is something that all can do.Chitta Shuddhi is for the individual,although the one who has it does good to others and thus contributes in his or her way.
Nitya karma is for collective good and is not performed for one's Growth alone.
2.The performance of this Nitya karma makes one fit to do other Karmas that are required to be done depending on specific Times and Period,or walk of Life or on occassions(Birth,Marriage,Death,all the Yagnyas,etc).Without the performance of this Nitya karma,one is not empowered to conduct or perform other Karmas.
The whole of Vedic Karma involves the use of Mantra Sastra which demands a Good part of one's time and Dedication-sometimes as much as 20 hours a Day.Obviously such a thing is not for all and sundry.This does call for specialization and this does imply that the entry into this scheme must take place very early in Life -at the age of 6 for a Brahmana ,8 for a Kshatriya ,etc.
Now in a Household if both Males and Females take to this 20 hour schedule(as happens nowadays in modern day professional workplace!)where is the question of a family?Who will take care of the Household?
It is clear that some basic ground rules have to be there to avoid anarchy.It is not a question of 'entitlement' as is commonly misunderstood.

3.The Sandhya Vandana involves the use of Argya and chanting of gayatri mantra-This calls for the preliminary achamana that is done in a certain posture followed by Pranayama.This posture ,as also the Shastanga namaskar and Vandana are just not recommended for Females for obvious physical and physiological reasons.

4.Please go through this link where Kanchi Mahaswami explains the significance of the Sandhya:
http://thapas.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/gayatri-and-sandhyavandana-kanchi-mahaswami/

I suggest that you read Deivathin Kural volumes that will give a good understanding of Vedic Dharma.There are are many other weighty and valid Reasons as to why things are the way they are-and this is not just 'Orthodoxy' and 'Dogma' but a result of Distilled Wisdom.
Just like we take the Doctor's prescription trusting in his wisdom,we may do likewise here.No better Doctor one may find than the Sage of Kanchi when it comes to Vedic Dharma-What He recommends can be safely complied with and What he does not recommend can be safely dispensed with.
Namaskar.

deepa

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2013, 09:13:03 AM »

Ravi-ji
Thank you so much for taking the time to give a detailed answer. It is only my weakness that I even question what Periyava says. But such is our mind and ego :(

I agree that at some point of time, there may have been rational reasons for one group of people (either by gender, caste, occupation) to be exempt from certain activities/rituals. The question is how traditions change when the societal conditions change, or do we continue same traditions even while society changes. (Harijans did enter temples, women did go to school/work, Arya samaj/Pune do have women priests)

1. Fact is that most men no longer do the prescribed rituals (forget agnihotram or aupasanam, most men in my generation like cousins/friends don't even do sandhya vandanam). (In my case, neither my husband nor my father-in-law do it. My husband frantically searches for a internet guide to assist him for avani avittam  :D which technically makes us dur-brahmanas) I cannot expect my children to do it.

2. Even if they perform them, do they have the shraddha to perform for "loka kshemam" as periyava says? How can I rely on the men in my family if they don't perform/perform without shraddha?

3. Physical/physiological constraints on women no longer significant - my daughter plays 2 hours of hard tennis, she will laugh if I tell her she cannot handle the physical needs of sandhya vandhanam. Earlier, women had constraints - frequent pregnancies, poor health, anemia, no assistance and of course, having to care for whole joint family.

4. Considering how our traditions are already eroding, it is a pity if 50% of the population cannot play a role in continuing the tradition. In my family, if I didn't teach my children about religion/spirituality, they would not learn anything. (Not complaining about my husband - he is a good person/good father, but does not have the interest/aptitude for this since his father never imparted it to him).
I don't mean to generalize - but many men (atleast in the US) follow traditions much less than the wives. Many have taken to eating meat/drinking alcohol and invariably, it is the wives who still try to maintain and instill atleast some culture. I know a dozen families where the men eat meat, but women don't (not making any judgement here, just commenting on tradition). All I am saying is that relying entirely on men to carry tradition is not the best or safest way forward.

Anyway, there is evidence of women getting yagnopavitam (Harita dharma shastra is referred), so it is only a question of reviving a long-lost practice. Apart from "tradition", I am not finding a convincing reason why women should not perform this.

Sorry if this is a controversial subject. I can stop if this is objectionable.
Deepa



Nagaraj

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #66 on: February 08, 2013, 10:02:42 AM »
Dear Sri Deepa,

Its really nice to see your interest in our traditions. There are two ways, one is this, if your are genuinely interested in carrying over our traditions to the posterity of your family, slowly you can inspire and motivate your family members to return back to India and settle down here. Because, our Shastras first declare that upon crossing the oceans none of the karma kanda really apply, even if you do them the shastras do not recognise them as they do not permit crossing the oceans for the very reasons as mentioned by you. Shastras have said Bharata COuntry alone is Karma Bhoomi, so even if you perform any karma karya outside of karma bhoomi, it is invalid. So even the performance of sandhya or pithru karya etc... become invalid. but we can keep them going for personal benefit.

Secondly, there are no such barriers for Bhakti or Jnana sadhanas, you may engage in these sadhana that does the necessary for chitta shuddhi. So we may presume minus the prescribed karmas, one may reside in foreign land and pursue his sadhana, But Hindu way of life is, for atleast first 3 varnashramas is enjoined with karma kanda, the hindu way towards salvation uses rituals hand in hand in taking the sadhaka towards moksha. So even this becomes invalid upon deeper analyses. Also, does going abroad satisfy all conditions of Shastras, ie., taking care of ones parents is utmost duties of a person as prescribed by Shastras, then he has duty towards his family, extended family, brothers, sisters, kula Guru. So going out of country means, going against the principles of Shastras. Upon analyses if we subtly look deeply, our samskaras are really wonderful, if we truly follow the spirit of it, as the Constitution says, Hindu is not a religion but a way of living, (inclusive living) and towards salvation (Updated later - Nagaraj)

Now, why Shastras say all these become invalid upon crossing ocean? because, our Seers did not not want to be a cause of intrusion into the Dharma of other foreign country. That would result in clash of ideology, and may cause friction. Hence, if you cross the ocean and go to foreign country, you cease to be a Hindu, unsaid, it is assumed you adopt the foreign land's Dharma for the benefit of the person as well as his dharma to follow the respective Land's Dharma. (Updated later - Nagaraj)

Acharyas have said, we have no authority to change the Shastras to fit our needs rather, it is us who have to change and adopt as per the injunctions of Shastras.

and as regards to the woman performing Sandhya vandanam, yes in the days of yore women were initiated into Gayathri but, that was even before the Krishna Yuga, in treyta yuga. Kanchi Mahaswami has said somewhere that marriage itself is a upanayanam for a woman. The Sages have said, for a woman her duty towards her husband and family is more important than praying for loka kshemam. Guiding the husband subtly in remaining in the tenets of Dharma Shastras whenever the husband is found to deviating from it, and taking good care of the husband and family is the True Gayatri for a woman.

Woman is said to be a pillar of a family, she is given the privilege to light the light the lamp of the house, which signifies lighting the lamp of knowledge of Dharma always shining in the home, which is the guiding light for the family.

Many rationalists of today say that our Shastras belittle woman by keeping her in home etc... today woman are matching men in all spheres, but day by day the home becomes smaller and smaller, the lamp that shines has slowly flickering to the low.

Modern Rationalists talk of equality of women and men in a way that women match men, that is the definition of equality of modern day rationalists, with woman slowly turning into a man as in matching him in every way and even better than man itself. But our Sages were not rationalists, they were seers, they knew the importance of women and their caliber and where are they most essential, they are the back bone of every man, they are the guiding mother for every husband and children, and eventually guiding them the woman guides herself.

a Woman is much more than Gayatri and sandhya upasana, she does not need these rituals, a chaste woman is she who is devoted in shining the lamp of the house. she who is ever focussed in the spirit of Dharma is truly a chaste woman.

personal musings, any points of disagreements, please feel free to ignore these humble thoughts of mine and beg your forgiveness for the same.

with prayers,

« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 11:07:24 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #67 on: February 08, 2013, 10:45:44 AM »
Deepa,
Surely you are welcome to express yourself freely and all what you have expressed is something that we are already familiar with.All that I will say is that a thousand wrong examples do not offset a Right example and invalidate it.
What a Thousand or a million people do or not do ,do not concern us.The Question is whether we recognize value in Traditional Vedic Dharma and whether we want our children to partake of it.Most only want to have a 'Touch' of it to assuage their social ,cultural needs;it is the Rare few who wish to explore and pursue it seriously.We need to do some serious soul searching as to what our motives are,and whether we are prepared to give it the best that we have.

Why is it that Kanchi Mahaswami is saying that Marriage is upanayana for the Female?
I will briefly touch upon this.One of the reasons why a boy is initiated into Brahmacharya quite early is to equip him to handle the early sexual awakening that is likely to happen when he reaches age 10 or 11.He needs to be equipped to handle involuntary night emissions.The Mantra in the sandhya explicitly states these aspects.Females do not have this problem(I am assuming a Normal Responsible family)and for them Marriage at the Right age is enough to take care of the urge in a normal way.This may easily be understood by anyone with some understanding of these matters.

As I said,it is a vast subject and one that I do not have time to discuss here.However,as I have said that one may learn from Kanchi Mahaswami's Deivathin Kural.
The other examples that you cite as happening elsewhere as a 'Revival' ,where Ladies are initiated into upanayana,have no authenticity;If one is only concerned about the social and cultural aspects ,well that may be emulated but that does not make it authentic.
Are we eager that our son should follow the footsteps of the Vedic forefathers and seers?How do we ensure that the Right understanding and environment are provided so that he finds the necessary inspiration to stick to it?These,to me are imperative than any other consideration.Ultimately it is this that matters.We may easily go ahead and invest our son and daughter with upanayana ceremony.What next?.......hmmm
Wishing you the very Best.
Namaskar.

Nagaraj

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Sarpa Raksha mantra - Discussion
« Reply #68 on: February 08, 2013, 03:56:41 PM »
Sarpa Raksha mantra

Astika, the brahmana boy of tender years, persuaded King Janamejaya to end his snake sacrifice. The King had earlier initiated the sacrifice to avenge the death of his father Parikshit by Takshaka, the poisonous snake.

After crores of snakes perished in the fire, the young lad intervened on behalf of the snakes, and convinced the king to cease the yagna. The delighted snakes offered Astika a boon in return for saving their lives. Astika said, “Let the brahmanas, who recite my account in the morning and evening, have nothing to fear from you”.

The snakes acceded to his request and said, “He who recites the following need not have any fear from us:

‘I call to mind the famous Astika born of Jaratkaru, that Astika who saved the snakes from the snake-sacrifice. Therefore it behoves you not to bite me. O snakes of virulent poison, remember the words of Astika after the snake sacrifice of Janamejaya. You shall be blessed‘.

That snake who does not cease from biting even after hearing such mention of Astika, shall have his hood divided a hundredfold like the fruit of Sinsa tree”.

(Source: Adi Parva, Chapter 58 - http://jayarama.wordpress.com)

 
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

ksksat27

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #69 on: February 08, 2013, 04:07:15 PM »

Ravi-ji
Thank you so much for taking the time to give a detailed answer. It is only my weakness that I even question what Periyava says. But such is our mind and ego :(

I agree that at some point of time, there may have been rational reasons for one group of people (either by gender, caste, occupation) to be exempt from certain activities/rituals. The question is how traditions change when the societal conditions change, or do we continue same traditions even while society changes. (Harijans did enter temples, women did go to school/work, Arya samaj/Pune do have women priests)

1. Fact is that most men no longer do the prescribed rituals (forget agnihotram or aupasanam, most men in my generation like cousins/friends don't even do sandhya vandanam). (In my case, neither my husband nor my father-in-law do it. My husband frantically searches for a internet guide to assist him for avani avittam  :D which technically makes us dur-brahmanas) I cannot expect my children to do it.

2. Even if they perform them, do they have the shraddha to perform for "loka kshemam" as periyava says? How can I rely on the men in my family if they don't perform/perform without shraddha?

3. Physical/physiological constraints on women no longer significant - my daughter plays 2 hours of hard tennis, she will laugh if I tell her she cannot handle the physical needs of sandhya vandhanam. Earlier, women had constraints - frequent pregnancies, poor health, anemia, no assistance and of course, having to care for whole joint family.

4. Considering how our traditions are already eroding, it is a pity if 50% of the population cannot play a role in continuing the tradition. In my family, if I didn't teach my children about religion/spirituality, they would not learn anything. (Not complaining about my husband - he is a good person/good father, but does not have the interest/aptitude for this since his father never imparted it to him).
I don't mean to generalize - but many men (atleast in the US) follow traditions much less than the wives. Many have taken to eating meat/drinking alcohol and invariably, it is the wives who still try to maintain and instill atleast some culture. I know a dozen families where the men eat meat, but women don't (not making any judgement here, just commenting on tradition). All I am saying is that relying entirely on men to carry tradition is not the best or safest way forward.

Anyway, there is evidence of women getting yagnopavitam (Harita dharma shastra is referred), so it is only a question of reviving a long-lost practice. Apart from "tradition", I am not finding a convincing reason why women should not perform this.

Sorry if this is a controversial subject. I can stop if this is objectionable.
Deepa

In this age of kali,   even male are not able to perform sandhya vandhanam and even if they peform  they cannot follow all gestures of body, under proper place with proper water and standing postures.

So what is required out of everybody is to feel the futility of this worldly life and start getting detached from all its affairs.

japa,  nama sankeerthana,  self enquiry etc.. are made available by great sages like Maharishee Ramana only for people like us.

leaving all these sadhanas,  one need not go after analyzing these complex sastars.

it may be intellectually appealing but to follow all these sastra to the word ,  that too everyday is nearly impossilble for all.

your husband is nice but he does not know sandhya vandhanam.

but the major question i ask is,  how far he is attached/detached from this material clutch?

that is holding the key nowadays.

so better you can adopt self enquiry and chant lalitha sahasranamam etc. and progress in your sadhana.

nothing new is going to be gained by all this re-engineering phenomenon.

current state of affaris is not so conductible even for boys to do sandhya vandhanam.


Nagaraj

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #70 on: February 08, 2013, 04:28:36 PM »
Dear Sri Krishnan,

So what is required out of everybody is to feel the futility of this worldly life and start getting detached from all its affairs.

While i see the reasons generally in todays times men are unable to even perform sandhya, but i am simply choosing not to respond to that as each ones life path holds various things. but i believe with total conviction that these things should not be thrusted on somebody and force somebody to perform. Ultimately it has to come from within.

However on the other hand, the above quote of yours is generally over used in spiritual texts which keep conveying that we should feel uselessness of this world and one should get vairagya and so on. But that is a completely different perspective and is subject to special context and a particular person.

I reason on the other hand that, one should experience the world well adhering to the ethics. One has to follow the protcol, dharmaarthakamamoksha, the sprout of vairagyam has to sprout again naturally and not self thrusted in the name of Atma Jnana or religion or moksha or desires.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

deepa

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #71 on: July 26, 2013, 10:18:46 AM »

Hari Om all:
After discussion with my guru, we decided to perform the upanayanam for both our daughter and son in Chennai. With Bhagavan's grace, this function happened very nicely last week with immediate family. The family priest was amenable to perform some of the rituals for my daughter also - especially udhaka shanthi japam and brahmopadesam. Instead of upavitham, we put a tulasi japamala for her. 

I felt Bhagawan was with me since a few days after the upanayanam, I went for the 3rd day of Nochur's Bhagavatham in Narada gana sabha. He started Vamana avatharam discourse with a discussion on upanayanam. He echoed Bhagavan's opinion of upanayanam's purpose. Most importantly, he said that in Vedic times, both boys and girls used to be invested with munja grass around 7/8 years of age. Both started their spiritual studies... with boys having the option to study at home or gurukulam and girls only under the adults of the house. Boys had their sacred thread in a different ceremony only when they went to gurukulam.
Over time, the munja ceremony for boys were combined with the sacred thread ceremony.
The munja ceremony for girls were combined with the marriage ceremony (which still exists)

It was my first time hearing Nochurji in person and was very special.

I am planning to go to TV malai next week. Praying for Bhagawan's grace!
Deepa


Ravi.N

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Re: sandhyA vandanam - Discussion
« Reply #72 on: October 28, 2017, 07:13:51 AM »
Udai/Friends,
Here is the discussion thread on the Sandhya...and we may take a look at this as well...and it may help to put in perspective our forthcoming discussion on the Glory and significance of The Gayatri mantra.
Namaskar
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 07:34:04 AM by Ravi.N »