The Mantra-Tantras of SandhyaVandanam – Taking Bath
In TSV, one lifts mentally into the abode of Atma (with Achamanam/AngaVandanam), invokes peace from the consciousness inside (with Ganapati Dyanam), tames down the body (with Pranayama), takes bath in a protected source of water (say well or river), takes few drops of that water internally, bathes again, invites the ‘Savitr that makes the Sun’ into him, tells himself that the Savitr be manifested in him as the ‘Self-Confidence’, feels part of the continuum of creation, offers obeisance to the evolution that got him this life, declares the route to the abode of Atman, (remember the abode of Atman is now inside you), tames down the body by continuous pranayama, tames down the mind by Gayatri Japa, invokes that deeply embedded consciousness, salutes the Characteristics of that Consciousness, viz., ‘Change (Sandhyai)’, “Self-driving (Savtrai)”, “Creation (Gayatrai)”, “Fast movement (Saraswatyai)”, declare his/her identity as he/she reaches the abode of Atman, salutes the environment that emanate from the abode of Atman, Salutes the ‘Mortality that forms the basis of evolution’, Salutes the “Dark matter (Purusha) that manifests as our hidden intellect”, Salutes the Primordial matter (Amba), Salutes the manifestation of the Ultimate Atma (Kesava/Narayana) and dedicates all the actions to that Consciousness and feel at peace with ourselves.
In those days people would have spent several hours on TSV and would have definitely felt the bliss in everyday life (if they understood what they are doing).
TSV leads to ultimate balance of mind and balance of thinking. It invokes Self-confidence, suppresses false-egos, brings in the Big Picture to our mind and make us dedicate our actions with full understanding.
As the civilization progressed, procedures have morphed. For eg., Marjanam, Punar Marjanam (taking bath) etc have become sprinkling of water on the head.
But I see there is nothing wrong in going back and adopting them for the modern world. More on that in the last section of this blog.
Sankalpam – The Mantra part
Before we start an activity, we are asked to do a ‘Sankalpam’ in any vedic ritual.
Keep the right palm inside the left palm and keep the palms on the right thigh and recite the following manthra:-
Mamo partha samastha duritha kshaya dwara, Sri Parameshwara preethyartham*,
pratha sandhyam upasishye
(for madhyannikam- ” madhyaynikam karishye “and for evening sandhya vandhanam- “sayam sandhyam upasishye”)
Mamo partha – my dear
Samastha – all
Durita – Dangers, Discomforts
Kshaya dwara – to be eliminated
Sri Parameswara – (your favorite god-form)
Preetyartam – according to His wishes
Pratha Sandhyam – Morning Sandhya
Upasishye – in performing
My dear Lord, let all discomforts be eliminated in performing this procedure.
Sankalpam – The Tantra part
The position we keep our hands in Sankalpam makes our body and mind become fully ‘alert’.
Let’s say you feel sleepy or drowsy in any part of the day. Just sit in this position for few minutes and your drowsiness will reduce. When I feel slightly sleepy and I need to ‘read something’, I keep myself in this position and read it. It makes me remain alert.
Again if one has observed keenly, we clasp our hands tightly, when we are awaiting something keenly. Clasping hands is a natural reaction to make us alert. The position of Sankalpam procedure is an improvised version of it.
Another utility is when we are listening to a lecture or a presentation and find ourselves in-attentive. Then take this posture of Sankalpam and you will find your attentiveness improving.
Marjanam – The Purification of External body
Marjanam simply means washing (taking bath).
Sri kesavaya nama (write OM in water with the ring finger)
‘Salutations to the Kesava”. The Kesava (which I mapped to string) manifests itself in water to create life. By doing this we invoke that Kesava in the water that we take bath, in the water that is ‘bed’ of our life.
This procedure is a bathing procedure, where we bathe in a ‘protected body of water (say a well)’, while reciting this Mantra. But today it is done as a procedure where we sprinkle water on the head when we recite this Mantra.
Marjanam – The Mantra part
The mantras recited is from Rg Veda Mandala 10 Hymn 9 on Apa.
Aapo hishta mayo bhuva
thana oorje dadha thana
Mahe ranaaya chakshase
Yova shiva thamo rasa
Thasya bhajaya thehana
Thasma aranga mamava
Yasya kshayaya jinwadha
Aapo janayadha jana
(Sprinkle water on the head)
Apoh Hi– Oh, On the basic medium of life (that is called Apa)
SthA – stand firmly (placed)
Mayo – bhuvas – refreshes the galaxy
On Apa, the ‘base medium of life’ stands the delights of this galaxy (gas-clouds from which our galaxy originated)
TAna – monotonously, thinly
Urje – eminent, strong, powerful
Dadha – giving
Tana – offspring, posterity
Monotonously (single-mindedly) and powerfully giving rise to posterity
Mahe – great
Ranaya – going, motion, fighter
Chaksase – originating from Caksu (in Aitareya Upanishad – Aditya originates from Caksu, I have interpreted Aditya as the cloud from which our galaxy is formed11)
That Great Mover originating from Caksu (Aditya, whose representation is Sun to us, but Aditya in itself represents the cloud from which our Galaxy and the solar system are formed). Aditya originates from Caksu.
Yo va – that honorable one
Shiva – weaves/spreads lying down or Ziva the force of purusha on Prakrti that triggers the preponderance of Sattwa, after which Tamas acquires preponderance
Tamo – mass, heaviness
Rasa – sap or juice or property
That honorable one (Apa) that spreads the property of mass (Tamas originated after Satwa according to Sankhya philosophy)
Thasya – his, of him
BhAjaya – service, worship (bhajya – Divide, distinguish)
Te – unto you, they, thy, such people
Hana – becoming, becomes
That becomes the divider (That gives the property of mass by dividing)
Usa – dawn, birth
Tira – furthering
Va – honorable
Mathara – (like) mothers
Birth furthering honorable mother
Tasma – unto
Aranga – the bed of life
MAmava – protect
Unto protect the bed of life
(Sprinkle water on the feet)
Yasya- of one, one whose
Kshayaya – for the sake of destruction/diminishing, the dwelling, residence
Yasya Ksayaya – On which resides
Aksata – unbroken, ksata – broken into, ksaya – broken into it, residing, ksayaya – on whom resides (on whom broken into and living).
Jinvatah – arousing
(Sprinkle water on the head)
On which resides the arousing
Apo – medium of life
Jana – causing birth
yadha – after
Jana – birth
Apa causing birth after birth.
The meaning of the above is
On the ‘base medium of life’ stands the delight of this Galaxy, (which is) monotonously (single-mindedly) and powerfully giving rise to posterity.
That Great mover originating from Caksu (the Aditya, the gas-cloud that makes our galaxy) spreads the property of massiveness by being the divider and giving birth (this birth is more a dawn of matter) like mother, protecting the bed on which resides the arousing ‘base medium of life’ (that is Apa) that causes life’s birth after birth.
This sloka says Aditya protects the ‘bed’ on which resides Apa the base medium of life that gives rise to birth after birth
Marjanam – The tantra part
For us, Sun is the representation of Aditya and Water is the representation of Apa. The sloka says ‘Apa’ the medium of life is protected by the Aditya. Likewise ‘Water’ for us is protected by the ‘Sun’ and is purified by it.
In this procedure we are supposed to take bathe in water from a ‘protected source’, which is a ‘well’ in backyard of our house, that is exposed to Sun.
PrAsanam – Purification of Internal organs
In this, we sip a droplet of water, reciting one of the below mantras based on day or night.
Ahascha mA Adithyacha punatu swaha
IN the morning we invoke the Sky and Aditya (Sun) to purify the water we drink.
Ratrisch mA varunascha punatu swaha
In the evening we invoke the Varuna to purify the water we drink. I had mapped Varuna to electrons in my blog on Rudra Chamakam. Even according to science, sunlight and electrons do purify water by ionization.
Marjanam – Another way of doing it
Marjanam and Punar Marjanam can be done as part of our bathing procedure.
In fact from Achamanam to Punar Marjanam, in my view, we can do it as part of taking bath. After we come out of our bath, we can start from Aikya-anusandhanam, proceed to Deva tarpanam, Pranayamam, Gayatri Japam etc.
This would save a lot of time. Our bathing also becomes more meaningful. This means TSV starts right in our bathroom! It would be easy for kids also, as TSV becomes a compulsory post-bath habit, as it gets synchronized with Bathing.
In fact TSV is exactly meant as a post-bath habit.
More posts by this author:
- The Mantra-Tantras of Sandhya Vandanam – Punar Marjanam
- The Mantra-Tantras of SandhyaVandanam – Finishing the Bath
- The Mantra-Tantras of TSV – Breath Control – Pranayama
- The Mantra Tantras of Sandhya Vandanam – Surya Upasthanam
- Sarva Jana Sandhya Vandanam – For everyone