The Mantra Tantras of Sandhya Vandanam – Pranava Japam


TSV broadly consists of two parts. One part where we prepare mentally and physically to visit the abode of Atman and another part actually we do it.


Let’s understand that the visiting the abode of Atman is symbolic. Since we have declared the abode of Atman as our body, our consciousness embedded deep within is the Atman. We are invoking that consciousness when we say we are visiting the abode of Atman.


That’s why we do continuous pranayama which tames down the body completely, do Gayatri Japa which tames down the mind completely and then go back in time, mentally, invoke that Narayana (gtma that resides in mortal matter) in our consciousness and dedicate all our actions to that consciousness.


In rationalist way, we can see this also as taming down the body and mind, invoking our conscience and doing things according to our conscience.


This is where the ‘Self-Realization’ (being true to our conscience in rationalist view-point) and the ‘Realization of the Self’ (Realizing the Atma that embeds everything and makes that work) meets.


That Parama-atma is deeply embedded in our consciousness and drives us, evolving us.

When we do Gayatri Japa, where we invoke the Savitr  so that we get ignited and productive like the Sun gets ignited by the nuclear fusion,  we invoke that Savitr as the ‘Self-Confidence’. Since that Atma is deeply embedded in our consciousness, it has to manifest as our ’Self-Confidence’ with which we are able to radiate our energy and create higher intelligent beings.

Ganapati Dyanam and Sankalpam

Before we start on the second part of TSV where we are going to ascend steeply to reach the abode of Atma or descend deeply into our consciousness (both are same!!!), we perform Ganapati Dyanam and Sankalpam.


Now we are ready to Pranayama, which now is called Pranava Japam.  Remember the Pranayama Mantra as below.


Om Bhoo

Om Bhuva

Ogum Suva

Om Maha

Om Jana

Om Thapa

Ogum Sathyam

Om Tatsa vithur varenyam  Bargo devasya dhi mahi  dhiyo yona prachodayath

Om Apa

Jyothj rasa

Amrutham brahma



For details on how to do it, see here.

Pranayama and Pranava Japam

The Pranayama that is done as part of TSV is NOT just a breathing exercise. As described before we synchronize our mind with our breathing by recitation and breathing slowly.


With this Pranayama we are exercising our brain, lungs and heart together. We are ‘taming’ them all over so that we are completely relaxed to do the Gayatri Japam.


When this Pranayama is done continuously ten times, it is called Pranava Japam.

What is Pranava..?

PrAna is a strong binding force that glues. Pranava is one that has this property. The sound AUM is characterized as Pranava, sound with this binding force.


AUM according to Mandukya Upanishad, is a representation of the Universe or the ‘model of Universe’ when mapped to modern science. See my blog on AUM here.


According to Mandukya Upanishad, AUM is the binding of four different parts. Vaivasvanara which means materials produced by fire represents the perceptible matter produced by heat/nuclear fusion is the Akara. Taijasa, which means light, energetic represents the energy hidden in the matter is the Ukara.  Prajna, which is a bundle of consciousness sleeping inside represents the imperceptible dark matter is the Makara. Atma that exists beyond all this is silence that follows AUM.


These four different parts are ‘bound’ by the AUM and hence AUM is called the Pranava Mantra, or the word that binds the Universe.

How Pranayama becomes Pranava Japam..?

Like AUM that binds the four parts, Our Prana binds the four parts of our body.


Prana is observed, analyzed and controlled from the Brain as an involuntary action. Hence it first binds the brain. This is the Akara part equivalent to the Vaisvanara.


Nostrils filter the air and provide the filtered air to lungs. Hence Prana binds the nostrils, lungs and parts of the body that involve in breathing. This is the Ukara part equivalent to the Taijasa.


Lungs separate the oxygen, supply it to the Heart which oxygenates the blood and pumps it to all organs of the body thus supplying the needed oxygen to all the parts through blood. This is the Makara part equivalent to the Prajna.


Prana also binds the consciousness that is in us that drives the Brain that is equivalent to the Atma.


Our Prana is actually spread on all these four and binds these four as the Pranava is spread of four parts of Universe.


Hence by Pranayama where we control the breathing in synchronous with our mind becomes a ‘Japa’ of Pranava, as our body is a representation of the Universe and our consciousness, a representation of that Atman.

Rishi, Chanda and Devatha

Rishi is one who absorbs, observes etc. Rsh means observing, absorbing etc.  Rishi is one who by the virtue of being the ‘absorber’ tends to be the originator.


Chanda is the way in which that something is manifested.


Devathas are the ‘ends’ towards which a thing is driven. They are ‘destinations’ in which thing ends up or submerges.


Every thing in this Universe has a Rishi (originator), Chanda (manifestation) and Devathas (destinations).


Similarly Prana and AUM also have Rishi, Chanda and Devatha.

Rishi, Chanda and Devatha of Pranava


For the Pranava AUM, the ‘originator’ is the Atma, who is called Brahma, when it starts the evolution. When it evolves continuously, it is called BrAhman.


For the Prana, the ‘originator’ is the Brain, which originates it as an involuntary action.


The way in which the AUM is manifested is by Gayatri. Gayatri means one that manifests itself in three ways. AUM manifests itself in three ways (Akara/Matter, Ukara/Energy, Makara/Dark matter). Hence the Chanda for AUM is Gayatri.


The way in which the Prana is manifested is by Gayatri, ie three ways. Two holes of the nostril and one of the throat delivers the Prana to the body. Hence the Chanda for Prana is also Gayatri.


The ‘ends’ of  this manifestation is the ultimate paramAtma and hence parmAtma is the devatha for it.


The ‘ends’ towards which Prana drives is the evolution of consciousness, which is a manifestation of ultimate ParamAtma. Hence for Prana, paramatma is the devatha.

Reciting Mantras for Pranava Japam – Pranava part

After Ganapati Dyanam, we recite the origin, manifestation and destination of Pranava Mantra that manifests as our Prana in our body.


Pranavasya Rishi Brahma(touch the forehead with fingers)

Devi gayathri Chanda(touch below the nose)

Paramathma devatha(touch the middle of the chest)


What are Vyahrities..?

From that Big Bang Explosion, Universe evolved in seven stages.


Science says on the Primordial matter (Satya Loka), there was intense heat (Tapa Loka; Tapa – Heat) at the start of the Big Bang.  From this huge heating up, sub-atomic particles, atoms and primitive elements formed (Jana Loka ; Jana- group of distinct particles, mapped to people). From this huge heating up gas-cloud stellar evolution kicks in when nuclear fusion is triggered. From these stars and galaxies form (Mahar Loka ; Mahar – stars and galaxies). As the gas-clouds form the stars and galaxies, they are expanding and moving away creating the inter-stellar space (Svar Loka; Svar – Inter stellar space) guided by the dark-matter (Purusha). Galactic systems are formed from these stars (Bhuva Loka; Bhuva – Galaxy). And from these, planets with Life gets formed (Bhur Loka ; Bhur – (Place of ) metabolizing beings)


VyAh means an explanation or a reason or elaboration. Vyahrti means an utterance or sound that comes out as an elaboration of something.


The seven stages of Universe (Satyam, Tapa, Jana, Mahar, Svar, Bhuva, Bhur) are the elaboration of that AUM. Hence the sounds that represent these seven stages are called vyAhrties.

Rishi, Chanda, Devatha of Vyahrties


Satya Loka : Driven towards Agni (transferring of energy)


Atri which means ‘Not the three’ or in other words the ‘Silence beyond the three of AUM’ (which is the Paramatma) is the Originator of Satya Loka. Satya Loka is the Loka of Primordial matter.  Satya Loka, the way I see it is, is equivalent to the ‘Bose-Einstien Condensate’ state of matter, which is near absolute zero in terms of temperature.  This is the state in which atoms become standstill and ‘merge together’ becoming indistinguishable.


Ushnig, which means ‘Heating up/ Burning’ is the Chanda. It starts heating up to a point it catches ‘fire’ (or starts transferring energy). Agni which means fire (communicator of energy) is the Devata, as Satya Loka is driven towards Agni by heating up.


Tapa Loka : Driven towards Vayu (gaseous state)


Brhu which means ‘one that grows great’ is the Originator of Tapa Loka. Tapa Loka is the stage of huge heating up of matter. Tapa Loka is equivalent to the stage when strings start crystallizing on top of the ‘skin’ of this great plasma.


Anushtub  means ‘a Sudden raise’ which could be interpreted as ‘Shout of Joy’ or ‘Stop/Pause which causes a pile-up in a flow’.  The energy piles up and reaches a peak there by heating up the plasma, causing the forming the strings. Tapa Loka is driven towards ‘Vayu’, the gaseous states and hence Vayu is the devatha for it.


Jana Loka: Driven towards Arka (Radiation due to heat)


Kutsa which means lightning is the Originator of Jana Loka. Jana Loka is the stage in which sub-atomic particles of various types crystallize. It is the stage in which the heat energy, which piled up, starts radiating in the complete EM spectrum, there by releasing them and the cloud becomes gaseous in nature. In other words it is the stage in which the strings of Kesava are vibrated by Rudra to give rise to various sub-atomic particles, which start getting emitted.


Brhati which means ‘fully grown up’ is the Chanda.  Arka, which means ‘light radiating from heat’ is the Devata, as Jana Loka is driven towards radiating more and more energy.


Mahar Loka: Driven towards Vageesa (expansion)


Vasishta which means ‘plenty’ or ‘blood’ is the Originator of Mahar Loka. Mahar Loka is the stage in which galaxies and stars are formed. It is the stage in which ‘Savitr’ (which I map to nuclear fusion) kicks in and goes on the stellar evolution.


Pankti is the Chanda. Pankti, which means ‘set of five’ is one that is delivered in five ways.  Mahar Loka is driven towards ‘Vageesa’ which means ‘expression or expansion’  or in other words, it is driven towards expansion of gas-clouds forming the inter-stellar medium (or space).


Svar Loka: Driven towards Varuna (Envelope)


Gautama which means ‘Large Elements, Large Rocks’ (Large Ox) is the Originator of Svar Loka. Svar Loka is the stage in which the expansion of stellar systems take place through mega-explosions and formation of heavier elements and form the inter-stellar medium or space as we see it.


TriStubh is the Chanda. TriStub which means three shouts (or three raises) is the way in which the Svar Loka or the inter-stellar medium is delivered. I surmise that the three raises or three ways are matter (matter interspersed in space between stellar systems), energy (cosmic rays) and dark-matter.


This is driven towards Varuna, which means an ‘envelope’, which I map to nebulae or gas-clouds that are thrown around and become an envelope. They gradually drift and become galactical systems of their own.


Bhuva Loka: Originated by Kazyapa, the Black-hole


Kasyapa which means ‘one that has Black teeth’ is the Originator of Bhuva Loka.  Bhuva Loka is the stage in which Galactic with Solar systems and planets are formed.  From the stellar evolutions and explosions, gas-clouds/nebulae spread all over. When fuel for some of the stellar systems run out at the center and they become a ‘black-hole’ they are called ‘Kazyapa’, ones that have black teeth. These black-holes absorb all the matter around them into them and provide the stability and motion for the nebulae around them in which solar systems and planets form.


For eg. In the center of Milky Way Galaxy, there is a Kazyapa, one with black teeth, a black-hole, that munches away all the matter and sucking the matter towards it. Our solar system is in one arm of this galaxy.


Our Galaxy (Bhuva Loka) in some way is originated by this Black-hole, as the ‘Parent nebulae’ of our milky-way galaxy has what has turned into the Black-hole now. Hence huge gas-clouds go around this black-hole called Kazyapa.


Jagati is the Chanda. Jagati means one that contains the planetary worlds. Bhuva Loka is delivered/manifested through these Planetary worlds.


This is driven towards Indra the one who gives ‘being’ to the Sun, according to Rg Veda. I had mapped Indra to hydrogen (the first element or first deva. Devas are forces that are externally expressed, while asuras are hidden forces) in my earlier blogs. It is the hydrogen-helium conversion (nuclear fusion) that runs the ‘engine’ in the sun, which radiates energy and gives rise to life in the planets.


BhU Loka – Driven towards acquiring all the forces of Universe

Angirasa, who is the ‘Father of Jupiter’ is the originator of Bhu Loka.  Jupiter is part of the original nebula that formed the Sun. Angirasa, by being the father of Brhaspati, is the pre-cursor of Solar nebula that formed the Sun and Solar system.


BhU Loka is used in general to refer to the ‘World’ with all its biological beings and not strictly the Planet Earth in terms of its physical structure.


Chandamsi is the Chanda. Chandamsi means the intelligent beings capable of evolution, beings with consciousness. The Bhur Loka  is delivered through the evolution of intelligent beings.


This is driven towards the ‘viswe devas’, which means all forces of the Universe. We the beings with consciousness are driven towards acquiring/reaching all the forces of the Universe.


Evolution of Chandas and Mandalas

As the Chandas are the ways of delivery or manifestation of anything, Mandalas are the ways in which the stellar systems are manifested, physically. Chandas are typically used for measuring the delivery of verses.


Gayatri Chanda – PiTa Mandala

The Gayatri Chanda that manifests in the Pranava, AUM,  which symbolizes the entire Universe, corresponds to PiTa Mandala. The Pita mandala has a core and a loop around it. The core is that of Primordial matter that streamed from an unknown or partially known source (according to Nasadiya Suktam). The core (A), inside (U) and outside (M) of loop form the three manifestations/ways of delivery of it. When delivered as Verses of Gayatri Chanda, Gayatri is composed of 24 (8*3) syllables.


Usnih Chanda – MahaPiTa mandala

The Usnih Chanda that manifests in the Satya Loka, the world of primordial matter which begins to heat up, corresponds to MahaPiTa Mandala. It can be visualized as the ‘Core’ from being a mass diverges becoming a loop, leaving a small core at the center, as the process of evolution starts. It has 2 loops and a point core (very small core) in it. The inside and outsides of the 2 loops (3 parts) and the point core (considered 0.5 parts)  is the way (3.5 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Usnig Chanda , it is composed of 28 (3.5*8) syllables.


AnuStubh Chanda – UpaPiTa mandala

The anuStubh Chanda that manifests in the Tapa Loka, the world of heating up corresponds to UpaPiTa Mandala.   

Somewhere in that point core, more primordial matter streams out from that Partially known/Unknown source and the core becomes bigger and bigger at the center.


Now it comes to have 2 loops and a core in it. The inside and outsides of the 2 loops (3 parts) and the core (considered 1 parts)  is the way (4 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Usnig Chanda , it is composed of 32 (4*8) syllables.


Brhati Chanda – UgraPiTa mandala

The Brhati Chanda that manifests in the Jana Loka, the world of distinct particles, corresponds to UgraPiTa Mandala.

Again the core that became bigger with Primordial matter, diverges and becomes a loop, leaving a very small core at the center.


Now it comes to have 3 loops and a point core in it. The inside and outsides of the 3 loops (4 parts) and the point core (considered 0.5 parts)  is the way (4.5 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Brhati Chanda , it is composed of 36 (4.5*8) syllables.


Pankthi Chanda – Sthandila mandala

The Pankthi Chanda that manifests in the Mahar Loka, the world of stars and galaxies, corresponds to Sthandila Mandala.

The core again becomes bigger, as primordial matter streams from that unknown source, becoming bigger and comes to have 3 loops and a core in it.


The inside and outsides of the 3 loops (4 parts) and the core (considered 1 parts)  is the way (5 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Brhati Chanda , it is composed of 40 (5*8) syllables.


TriStubh Chanda –  Manduka Mandala

The Tri-Stubh Chanda that manifests in the Svar Loka, the world of inter-stellar medium/space/expansion of universe, corresponds to Manduka Mandala.  

Again the core that became bigger, diverges and becomes a loop, leaving a very small core at the center, forming 4 loops. 


The inside and outsides of the 4 loops (5 parts) and the point core (considered 0.5 parts)  is the way (5.5 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Brhati Chanda , it is composed of 44 (5.5*8) syllables.


The above expansion of Universe keeps on happening as the primordial matter from that Unknown point source (the Atma) streams out (kind of bubbling up from a place), becomes bigger and diverges forming a loop and pushing the Universe out to expand.  Nasadiya Suktam explains exactly this streaming and says one can know only partially about the source and none can know that one that exists beyond it.


It could mean that matter content in the Universe is ever increasing. Since there are 32 mandalas, one way to interpret is that the Universe would sustain till 32 such loops are formed and probably converge back into that point source on reaching 32!!!


Jagati Chanda – Paramasayika Mandala – Milky Way Galaxy

The Jagati Chanda that manifests in the Bhuva Loka, our galaxy, corresponds to Paramasayika Mandala.  This is a structure that has 4 loops and a core in it. The inside and outsides of the 4 loops (5 parts) and the core (considered 1 parts)  is the way (6 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of  Jagati Chanda , it is composed of 48 (6*8) syllables. See my blog on vastu sastra about how Paramasayika Mandala fits the structure of Milky Way galaxy.


Chandamsi Chanda – Asana Mandala – Bhumi

The Chandamsi Chanda that manifests in the Bhu Loka, our world with its biological beings, corresponds to Asana Mandala. This is NOT the planet Earth in terms of its physical structure, which corresponds to the PiTa Mandal. This is a structure with 5 loops.  The inside and outsides of the 5 loops (6 parts) and the point core (considered 0.5 parts)  is the way (6.5 parts) in which it is manifested. When delivered as verses of Chandamsi Chanda , it is composed of 52 (6.5*8) syllables.


Life Originated in Moon of Jupiter..?

Chanda refers to the moon. Chandamsi refers to the ‘mooned beings’.

From the scriptures I read and interpret, I  understand that there is a notion that life originated in one of the moons of Jupiter. (Jupiter is called Brhaspati in Vedas, Dyaus Pita by Romans ec). That moon of Jupiter called ‘Taraka’, hit a much larger moon that was orbiting around the Planet Earth and transplanted life into moon. From moon that life got transplanted to Planet Earth, where it survived and matured. (Refer to my blog on Deva Tarpanam).


This is just my interpretation and no scientific basis. Chandamsi  is used to refer the beings of planet earth in many places in scriptures.


The Five Elements of BhuLoka and Beings

As an Asana mandala structure, the five loops of Bhu Loka corresponds to Agni (Heat produced by the Sun), Vayu (Carrier of Heat and Energy from Sun), Arka (Creation of Energy from Sunlight), Vageesa (Expression or Expansion or Growth of Biological beings) and Varuna (Water that envelopes the Earth). 

As an Asana Mandala structure the five loops of Chandamsi (intelligent beings) corresponds to Prana/Agni (absorption of oxygen leading to metabolism), Blood/Vayu (Carrier of Heat and Energy),  Metabolism/Arka (Creation of Energy in Cells), Bones/Muscles/Vageesa (Expression or Expansion or Growth of body) and Skin/Varuna (Envelope).

Reciting Mantras for Pranava Japam – Vyahrti Part


After we recite the Mantras for Prana part, we recite the Rishi, Chanda and Devatha of Vyahrities, which manifests in our body.


Agni manifests in us as absorber of oxygen producing the heat. Vayu manifests in us as the blood that carries the energy to all the cells. Arka manifests in us as creator of energy in cells. Vageesa manifests in us as bones, nerves and muscles. Varuna manifests in us as Skin, the envelope.


Indra manifests in us as ‘Senses’ or Jnanendriyas that receive and process the sensory information in brain (Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell and Taste).


Viswe Devas manifests in us as our consciousness with which we are able to do realize ourself and evolve further in intelligence.


Bhooradhi saptha vyahrudeenam athri- brugu – kuthsa – vasishta – gowthama – kasyapa – aangeerasa rishaya ( touch forhead)

Gayathree- ushnig- anushtup -brahathi –pankthi- trushtup- jagathi –chandamsi (touch below the nose)

Agni- vayu- arka- vageesa- varuna- indra- viswe deva- devatha (touch the middle of the chest.)


Do pranayama ten times as described in my blog on Pranayama.

Pranayama – Taming the body and mind to invoke that consciousness

As seen above, our body is a representation of that Universe. Our consciousness or conscience is the representation of that Paramatma, which keeps streaming primordial matter, causing the evolution of Universe.

By Pranayama, we are taming ourselves down so much that our consciousness is ready to be invoked.


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