Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Raise Prayer to The Higher

Hari OM
'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

We now explore the Sri Adi Shankara text, "SadaachaaraH". To obtain your own copy, click here.

The times of the day when we are most likely to turn our thoughts to the sacred are likely to be dawn and dusk. There is something about the shift from dark to light and vice versa which stills the being. Is there something we can do to mark such times?

Layiv]epyae> sNxaE mnStÇ inraim;m!,
Sa siNx> saixtae yen s su´ae naÇ s<zy>.9.
layavishepayoH sandhau manastatra miraamisham,
Sa sandhiH saadhito yena sa mukto naatra samshayaH ||9||
The mind is desireless at the conjunction of the dissolution and projection. The one who has achieved that conjunction is said to be liberated. In this matter, there is no doubt whatsoever.

Sandhyaavandanam is the name given to prayers offered at set times of the day. The Rsis and subsequent sages found that dawn, midday and dusk were the most efficacious times to attend to prayer, for it is considered that the energy fields of the planet are particularly resonant then. The term 'sandhyaa' translates as the meeting point, or the conjunction, of the day and night. 'Vandanam' is to offer up praise.

The best time for morning prayers is considered to be while there are still stars visible; midday prayers, when the sun is directly overhead; the evening prayers are best done as the sun is dropping over the horizon. At times of prayer, it is advised that we not eat, sleep, or fritter our time on gossips, distractions (tv, music…), but that we should at least focus on the higher in some contemplative activity. Prayer and meditation, of course, is optimal. Sandhyaa is not desire prompted in the manner of kaamya karma, but is part of the duty of life - kartavya karma - and it adds to inner unfoldment as well as outer prosperity. It ought to be as natural a part of our daily routines as bathing, eating and sleeping, but ought not to be interfered with by any of these. No matter how busy (or lazy) we think we are, we can always find time for prayer - we can and we must!

There are thirteen steps for Vedic sandyaavandanam ritual, and there is the Vedantic approach. These will be discussed next week.

Look at your daily routines - assess where you might best fit in (if you do not already do so) appropriate time for prayer focus.

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Hari OM
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