[Advaita-l] Saying abhivAdanam

M. S. Ravisankar ravi at ambaa.org
Thu Apr 8 17:26:14 CDT 2004

There are quite a few rules on when and how to say abhivAdanam.  There are
also equivalent set of rules on doing namaskAram. I was not aware of these
few years ago.

Here are some of them:

1) You should say abhivAdanam only to those who can say pratyabhivadanam.

2) If you were to do a namaskaram to a sadas of brahmaNa-s, you should not
say one abhivAdanam for all. It should be done on a one-to-one basis.

3) You should not say abhivAdanam to sannyaasis, pitru-s, or devata samuuham
(the exception of saying this is only during sandhya vandanam).

4) You should not say abhivAdanam to women, with the exception of one's
mother and guru' wife (again she is another mother).

Sending this via e-mail (I have sent mine to a dozen or more in the past,
when I did not know) is not correct. You can simply say my gotra is such and
such if some one asks you casually.

Regarding namaskAram:

1) Namaskarams should not be done towards south.

2) You can do namaskaram towards north, east, and west.

3) In the morning, you should not do towards west and in the evening not
towards east. This is to avoid putting one's feet towards Sun.

4) You should  namaskAram in abhimukha to humans (that is toward them) and
not so for devata-s.

5) For devata-s you should do namaskAram in the cross-ward. That is if your
altar is facing west. You can do namaskAram only in the direction of north.
If its facing south, then you should do namaskaaram facing east in morning
and west in evening.

6) In Temples, you can do namaskAram only at the outside at the flag post
(dvaja stambha), not in side the temple before each sanctum sanctorum. This
is because there are deities all around in the temple and you will be
inadvertently pointing your feet toward one deity or other.

7) According to book on mahaanyAsam (published by Mylapore (madras) veda
adhyayana sabjha) I have, you have to do namaskaram according to style which
is now only followed in shriivaishhNava vaDa kalai sampradaayam. That is
your should do it twice. That is do namaskaram fully once (sAshhTaangam) and
get up and do it once more again.  It tamil it is called daNDamiduthal.
daNDam (skt) means stick. Literally, namaskAra, is falling like a stick
(helplessly) without any mamakAra.

Most books on sandhya vandanam (will list these rules) [at least the two of
three I have discusses them]. One of them also explains how to do
pratyabhivadanam. The book on mahaanyAsam I have discusses this subject
matter for two pages. I have summarized what I could remember. Vaidyanatha
dixitiyam also discusses this matter.

My 2c. Corrections are welcome.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jaldhar H. Vyas [mailto:jaldhar at braincells.com]
> Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 7:33 AM
> To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
> Subject: [Advaita-l] New member introduction: Subramanian Sahasranamam
> Namaskaram,
> Abivadhaye vasishta Maitri varna, koundalya gothra, aapastambasoothra,
> yadhustakathra, Sri Subramania Sharmanam Asmi Ohm

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