[Advaita-l] Seeking guidance on ‘Sandyaavandanam’ - Question Set 1

Suresh Marur suresh.marur at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 07:31:26 CDT 2010

Dear Krishnan,

One of the best explanations of the Sandhyavandanam and the significance
(both dual and non-dual interpretations depending on the maturity of the
saadhaka) I have recently heard by Swami Paramarthanandaji. It is a series
of 10 lectures of 1 hour each and is strongly recommended for anyone looking
to build shradhha in this most beautiful ritual. Refer here:


I will attempt to answer only to question 1 and 2 regarding Kamorkarsheet
mantra with my limited knowledge and experience.

My understanding is that in this mantra we are objectifying our desires
(kamah) and anger (manyuh) and offering prostrations to them. It is an act
of surrender and disidentification at the same time. Most times, we fail to
objectify these two emotions and claim "I have desire" and "I am angry".
With this mantra, you are objectifying it as a devata and surrendering it to
Ishwara and disclaiming it. In doing so, you have transcended both these
obstacles to spiritual growth.

Why you imply that Gayatri Japa is an act of kama or manyu because we do
this afterwards is unclear to me. The purpose of the Gayatri japa is based
on the samkalpa and the dhyana mantra preceding it and also the meaning of
the mantra itself. In its lowest meaning, it implies a request to the lord
to illumiune our intellects and at the highest level, it is recognising the
consciousness that lightens/enlivens the world enlightening us and claiming
that light to be myself ("Aham Brahma asmi").

In my personal experience, no other upasana comes close to the advaita
bhaava that is imbibed in the sandhyaavandanam. My personal experience has
been that it grows "on me" and keeps pushing me deeper and deeper within
myself with each passing year of practice. It has all the yogas included in
it (bhakti, karma, gyaana and hatha) and has grown in relevance from the
time I was a beginner to where I am today. The reading of each advaitic text
improves the "quality" of the sandhyavandanam and it in turn improves my
understanding of the texts themselves each passing year (in some kind of
positive feedback loop).

I would request other more knowledgeable members and practitioners of this
ritual to comment so others can benefit from their comments too.

- Suresh

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 7:27 PM, Krishnan S <krishnan.sankara at gmail.com>wrote:

> I am a Tamil Smarta.
> I have some questions regarding the performance of 'Sandyaavandanam' and
> ‘Gayatri Japam’, done as per Tamil Smarta tradition.
> Let me post my first set of questions. I appeal to erudite members for
> guidance please.
>   1. We chant ‘kamoo.akArShit, manyurakArShit’ immediately after (I repeat
>   the word ‘after’) the Gayatri maha mantra japa. It seems to me that this
>   sequence may mean that Gayatri Japa is an act of ‘kama or manyu’.  Is
>   there a sense in my assumption?
>   2. I feel that perhaps this ‘kamoo.akArShit, manyurakArShit’ may be
>   chanted along with the ‘praashana’ manta like ‘suuryashca …, ‘agnishca..
>   . Here too, is there a sense in my assumption?
>   3. Also we chant ‘Sandyayai namaH, Savitiyai namaH, …  ‘ after (I repeat
>   ‘after’) the ‘upastaana’ of Devi Gayatri. Should not that to be done
> before
>   upastaana.?
>   4. During the chanting of verses like “yamaya..’ ‘R^ita’ and ‘namaH
>   savitre’ , at  the end of each verse, we chant the last two or three
>   words of the stotra along with ‘om namaH iti’ like
>                          citraguptaaya vai nama  om namaH iti
>                          vishvarupaaya vai nama om namaH iti
>                           keshavam pratigaChcati om namaH iti
> (This we do during Vishna Sahasranma Parayanm too). What is the
> role/meaning
> of the chanting the last 2 or 3 words along with om namaH iti’
> Thanks
> S. Krishnan
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