PART II---MAADHYAAHNEEKAM (MID-DAY PRAYER)
1. Wash your feet, rinse your mouth, have kumkum or namam on forehead and stand to pray facing east. Then Chant the following: “apavitrah pavitroe vaa sarva avasthaam gatoepivaa yassmaret pundareekaakshaam sabaahyaa-bhyantarah suchihi”
[Individuals get purified internally as well as externally by meditating on the lotus eyed Lord at all times however pure or impure they may be.]
2. Do Aachamanam (sipping the water after chanting Mantra)—Keep the right hand in a cup form; hold water poured from the spoon from left hand; drink after chanting each mantra (3 mantras)—a) Om Achyutaaya Namah (sip) b) Om Anantaaya Namah (sip) c) Om Govindaaya Namah (sip). Touch the various parts of the body with the fingers chanting each mantra as indicated : “ A) Om Kesavaaya Namah (right cheek with the thumb); B) Om Narayanaaya Namah (left cheek with the thumb); C) Om Maadhavaaya Namah (right eye with ring finger); D) Om Govindaaya Namah (left eye with the ring finger); E) Om Vishnave Namah (right nose with index finger); F) Om Madhusoodanaaya Namah (left nose with index finger); G) Om Trivikramaaya Namah (right ear with little finger); H) Om Vaamanaaya Namah (left ear with little finger) ; I) Om Sridharaaya Namah (right shoulder with middle finger); J) Om Hrisheekesaaya Namah (left shoulder with middle finger) K) Om Padmanaabhaaya Namah (belly button with four fingers leaving the thumb) L) Om Daamodaraaya Namah (top of head with all fingers).
[These are obeisance to 12 Vishnu emanations. Various vital nerve points Nadis) are electrified by the touch with mantra, paying at the same time obeisance to all emanations of Vishnu]
3. Do Praanaayaama: This is breathing exercise and chanting. Close the left nostril with little finger and ring finger and release the breath (exhale); then close the right nostril firmly with thumb; breathe in from the left nostril. Close both the nostrils and hold the breath, close the mouth and chant the following mantra—“Om Bhuh, Om Bhuvah, Om Suvah, Om Mahah, Om Janah, Om Tapah, Ogum Satyam, Om Tatsavitur Varenyam, Bhargoe Devasya Dheemahi Dheeyoe Yoe Nah Prachoedayaat Om Aapoe Jyoetee Rasoe Amritam Brahma Bhoor Bhuvas Suvaroem”. (Please remember this mantra and Aachamana mantra as these will be repeated many times).
[The Earth (Bhooloka) is having Supreme Lord (Brahman) as inner controller. The Sky (Bhuvah), Heavens (Suvah), Middle Region (Mahah), Place of birth (Janah), The Abode of the Bleessed ( Tapah) and the Abode of Truth (Satyam) are all having Brahman (OM) as their inner controller (Antaryaamin). May we meditate on that Adorable Light (Savitar) of that Divine Generator who inspires our understandings (Intellect). Brahman is water, light, flavor, ambrosia, and also the three worlds, Bhooh, Bhuvah and Suvah. He who is denoted by Pranava (OM) is all these.]
[Systematic breathing exercise by Praanaayaama promotes long life and healthy living curing diseases and purifying mind for meditation]
4. Sankalpa (Religious resolution to do the ritual)—“Sri Bhagavad aajnyayaa Sri bhagavad kainkarya roopam Sriman Narayana preetyarthamm Madhyaahnika Sandhyaam Upaasishye. (This is for the mid-day prayer).
[As ordained by the Lord I undertake to offer my morning prayers in Lord’s (Savitar) service and to the pleasure of the Supreme Lord Naraayana]
5. Please chant and with your right hand sprinkle water on head: “Om aapoehishthaa mayoebhuvah—taana oorje dadhaatana—maheranaaya chakshase—yoe vas sivatamoe rasah || tasya bhaajayate ha nah—usateeriva maatarah—tasmaa arangamaamavah”. Next chant the following sprinkling water on the feet “yasya kshayaaya jinvatha”. Then chant the following sprinkling water on the body: “aapoe jana yathaa cha nah” and “Om bhoor bhuvahs suvah”.
[Oh Water Divines! You are enchanting and are great keepers of health in every individual. Please give us food to radiate our vital forces. Please make the same Lord Who is auspicious and blissful to you, friendly towards us in this very life. Oh Water Divines! We are craving for attaining that Supreme whom you adore. Oh Water Divines, make us worthy of attaining the knowledge of Brahman. Without water there is no life on earth. The subtle part of water are the Praanas or Life’s vital forces. The prayer seeks this auspicious liquid to shower benefits to the physical and subtle body]
6. Then hold a spoonful of water in the right hand cup and chant: “Aaapah punantu prithiveem prithvee pootaa punaatu maam || yaduchchishtham abhoejyam yadvaa duscaharitaam mama sarvam punantu maamaapoe asataam cha pratigrahagam swaahaa || (so chanting drink the water)
[May this water cleanse my physical body that is made of earthy matter! Thus purified, may the earthy body purify me, the Self (Soul) within! May the purified Vedas taught by the purified teacher purify me! (Or may the water purified by Supreme purify me!). My defilement, repast on prohibited food and misconduct if any, and the sin accruing from the acceptance of gifts from persons disapproved by the scriptures—from all these may I be absolved! May the waters purify me! Hail unto the Water Divines!]
7. Do Aachamana as in 2.
8. Chant the following: “Dadhikraavannoe akaarisham-jishnoer asvasya vaajinah-surabhinoe mukhaakarat-prana aayoogamshi taarishat—aapoehishthaa mayoe bhuvah—tana oorje dadhaatana-maheranaaya chakshase | yoevas sivatamoe rasah | tasya bhaajayateha nah—maheranaaya chakshase | tasma arangamaamavo yasya kshayaaya jinvatha | aapoejana yathaachanah” and sprinkle the water on body as before. Then sprinkle water on body chanting: “Om Bhoor bhuvahs suvah”. Then take water in the cup of the hand and chant: “drupadaadiva munchatu drupadaadi venmu-muchaanah-svinna- snaatvee-malaadiva | pootam-pavitrena-eva aajyam | aapas-suddhantu mainasah || so chanting leave the water in your hand on the right side on the floor. (This last mantra is omitted by many.)
[I offer my prayers to the Supreme Lord who is ever victorious, moves fast, Omni-present, always interested in protecting devotees and who pervades the entire Universe. Please purify our faces meaning give us trouble free long life!]
Dadhi-krā is the name of a divine horse, personification of the morning Sun, addressed in the Rigveda, hymns RV 4.38-40, RV 7.44, RV 3.20, RV 10.101. He is invoked in the morning along with Agni, Ushas and the Asvins. Although the etymological origin is not certain, it has been suggested that the name is derived from dadhi meaning thickened milk and kri meaning to scatter. This could alluded to the effect of the morning sun on dew or hoar frost (Wikipedia). Sun is often equated with Agni both being vyahritis of Brahman. Sandhyavandhana in the mornings and evenings are directed to Soorya while evening to Agni. Soorya and Agni are synonyms. It is therefore likely that Agni gets the name from the offering of Dahi and its scattering in fire and so in turn Soorya also gets that name.
[It is customary to pour yogurt as oblation to fire. Therefore Agni (Fire God) is known as dadhikrava. So Agni, an aggregate (vyaahriti) of Brahman the invisible source of all visible lights, is symbolically worshiped.]
[Just as the tethered log of wood is released with which an individual is bonded, just as the sweat is released from the body by bathing and just as the melted butter (ghee) is purified by the sacred Kusa grass, we pray to the Supreme Lord to get rid of the impurities from within.}
9. Arghyam (water oblation)--Do _Praanaayaama as in 3 and get up. Then join both the hands and hold water in both the hands and chant Gayatri mantra: “Om Bhoor Bhuvas Suvah, Om Tatsavitur Varenyam, Bhargoe Devasya Dheemahi, Dheeyoe Yoe Nah Prachoedayaat”. Then release the water downwards looking at the Sun. (To hold water on both hands first pour water from left hand holding the vessel on to the right hand cup maximum it can hold, then keep the vessel down and join the left with the right; then evenly distribute the water to both cups of hands. (In olden days they used to stand in the river and get water to both hands from the river or tank). By this act you are offering your prayers through the medium of water to Sun. This has to be done three times. If you are late to do your morning prayers you have to do this fourth time as indicated in 10 below.
10. Late performance-Do one Praanaayaama. Then chant Sri bhagavad aajnyayaa sri bhagavat kainkarya roopam Sriman naaraayana preetyartham kaalaateeta praayaschitta-artham tureeya arghya pradaanam karishye’’ so saying repeat the Arghya as done in 9 above.
[As per the command of the Lord (Savitar) and in His service as well as to the pleasure of the Supreme Lord Narayana, I offer this fourth additional water oblation (tarpana) for not keeping up to the time schedule (repentance for being late)].
11. Tarpana—chanting the mantra “Asaavaadityo Brahma”, sprinkle water on your body. Then Make a cup on your right hand, pour water from a vessel from your left hand each time and release water from right hand chanting each mantra after the word “Tarpayaami”—Kesavam tarpayaami (Release water); Narayanam tarpayaami; Maadhavam tarpayaami; Govindam tarpayaami; Vishnum tarpayaami; Madhsoodanam tarpayaami; Trivikramam tarpayaami; Vaamanam tarpayaami; Sreedharam tarpayaami; Hrusheekesam tarpayaami; Padmanaabham tarpayaami; Daamodaram tarpayaami.
[These are the same twelve names of Vishnu (emanations of Vishnu) you chanted for Aachamana to whom water oblations are offered. Tarpana means to satisfy somebody. We satisfy the deities with water oblation. The Lord Soorya is Brahman! May I be that Brahman (as we try to merge with that Supreme by our meditation!). That Brahman alone is Truth!]
12. Gaayatri Japam—Do one Praanaanaayamya as in 3 sitting. Then chant “Aaasana mantrasya prithuvyaah Meruprishtha rishih sutalam chandah sri koormoe devata--koormaasane viniyogah | pruthvi tvayaa dhrutaa lokaa devi tvam vishnunaa dhrutaa | tvam cha dhaaraya maam devi pavitram kurucha aasanam ||”.
(With this mantra you offer seat to Gaayatree Deity on spread out sacred grass invoking Lord Koorma who offerd his back to Mount Meru in Puraanas).
Then sprinkle water on the seat and sit down for prayer. Do three Praanaayamya as in 3 and say: “Sri bhagavad aajnyayaa bhagavat kainkarya roopam sriman naaraayana preetyartham pratah sandya Gayatreemantra japam karishye” “Pranavasya rishibrahma devee gaayatree chandah paramaatma devata anushtup chandah |” atha dhyaanam; Fold your hands and say: “Arka mandala madhyastham sooryakoti samaprabham | brahmaadi sevya paadaabjam naumi brahma ramaa sakham”. After this do Gayatri pranayama as in 3 for 10 times. Then chant: “aayaatvitviti anuvaakasya vaamadeva rishih anushtup chandah Gayatree devata, Gayatree aavaahane viniyogah ||” (By this mantra you are inviting the Goddess Gayatri and others). Then with folded hands chant: “Aaayaatu varadaa devee aksharam brahma samitam | gayatreem chandasaam maatedam brahma jushasva nah || Oejoeci, sahoeci, balamaci, bhraajoeci, devaanaam dhaama naamaaci, visvamaci, visvaayuh, sarvamaci, sarvasayuh, abhi bhoorome gaayatreem aavaahayami, savitreem aavaahayaami, sarasvateem aavaahayaami || “saavitryaah rishih visvaamitrah gaayatree chandah savitaa devata” “yoe devas savitaa asmaakam dhiyoe dharmaadi gocharah | Prerayet tasya yad bhargah tad varenyam upaasmahe || “Gayatri japa Mantra: Om bhoor bhuvahs suvah, om tat savitur varenyam, bhargoe devasya dheemahi, dheeyoe yoe nah prachoedayaat—Close your eyes and chant this mantra 10 or 28 or 108 times as time permits holding the knot of the holy thread with your thumb and index finger. This is the main Mantra.
[Oh Goddess Gaayatree! Thou art the essence of strength. Thou art patience or the subduing power. Thou art physical capacity. Thou art splendor. Thou art the abode of gods and their name. Thou art the insentient universe. Thou art the full span of life or the Lord of all. Thou art every living thing. Thou art the life span of all. Thou art the vanquisher of all that is hostile to us. Thou art Truth denoted by Pranava, I invoke Gaayatree into my heart. I invoke Saavitree. I invoke the prosodies (Chandas). I invoke Rishis and the gods. I invoke the splendor of all gods. Please come and receive our prayers. Of Gaayatree the meter is gaayatree, the rishi or sage is Viswamitra and the deity is savitar. They are responsible for our inspiration and intelligence.]
13. Do Praanaayaama as in 3 once. “Sri bhagavad aajnyayaa sri bhagavat kainkarya roopam sriman Narayana preetyartham Maadhyahnika Sandhya Aaadityoepasthaanam karishye”--(This is farewell to Sun God). Stand up and with folded hands chant: Uttame sikhare devi bhoomyam parvatamoordhani| Braahmanebhyoe hyanujnaanam gachcha devi yathaa sukham” Then repeat the send off mantra to Soorya .as follows : “Asatyena rajasaa vartamanoe nivesayann-amartam martyan cha | hiranyayena savitaa rathenaa devoeyaati bhuvanaa-vi-pasyan || Udvayam tamasaspari pasyanoe jyoetiruttaram | devam devatraasoorya maganma-jyoetiruttamam |\ Udutyam jaatavedasam devam vahanti ketavah \ drise visvaaya sooryam | chitram devaanaam udagaadaneekam chakshur-mitrasya varunasyaagneh | aapraa dyaavaa prithivee antariksham soorya aatmaa jagatasta-sthushascha tacchakshur-devahitam purastaat sukramuccharat ||
[Oh resplendent Gaayatree! Please bid good bye to those Brahmins who constantly worship you. Then depart from the top of the sacred hills as per your convenience and comfort!]
[Let us fix our eyes on the Lord for a long time and watch before our eyes for ever being strong healthy and wealthy, him who is the exponent of all scriptures, who imparts knowledge to all who is favorably disposed to all divines; let us enjoy his vision with friends, progenies and disciples; let us reach the pinnacle of happiness as we advance in age; let us hear his sacred stories; let us be indifferent to bad things; let us not be cowed down by atheists; let us be anxious to look at the dazzling Sun. That Lord who is clearly visible outwards though residing in the vast oceans and shines brilliantly shall we pray, who is the embodiment of Dharma, lotus eyed and Omniscient!]
[The Lord resides in Vaikuntha and the Universe, ever playful, rides the chariot of Garuda that bestows liberation (Moksha) and worldly wealth; he is the one who provides all beings fruits of their Karma (action and reaction) they deserve. Sun travels on all corners of the world. He is the store house of brilliance, immanent, sportive, guardian of the divines. Gazing at him high in the sky we reach the Light of all Lights, the Supreme Principle beyond Nature (Prakriti). Supreme Lord is reputed as Jaatavedasa and we with our prayers make his divine nature visible to all. Let us glorify by our prayers that great Lord; let us pray to him who gives strength to divines; He is the one who gave knowledge to Sun (Soorya), Varuna, Fire (Agni) and all other divines. He is the supreme lord of all beings; He fills all beings and the sky with him alone. He is the Self- luminous residing in all plant kingdoms too.]
13. Then with Yamapaasa mudra, an aperture to look at sun made with both the hands and fingers (consult your parents or priest-- ) chant the mantra: Pasyema saradassatam | jeevema saradassatam | nandaama saradassatam | moedaama saradassatam | bhavaama saradassatam srinavaama saradssatam | prabravaama saradssatam| ajeetaasyaama saradssatam jyoekcha-sooryam drise || ya udagaan-mahatoernavaat-vibhraajamaanah sarirasya-madhyaat samaa vrishabhoe roehitaakshah sooryoe vipaschin manasaa punaatu ||
[Let us live looking at Soorya for hundred years, let us live for hundred years, let us rejoice for hundred years let us enjoy for hundred years let us hear for hundred years! May Lord Soorya glowing like a fireball purify our mind]
14. Then do a series of salutations: “Sandhyaayai namah; Saavitryai namah; Gaayatryai namah, Sarasvatyai namah, sarvaabhyoe devataabhyoe namoe namah, kaamoekarsheen namoe namah”
[Obeisance to Goddess Sandhya, Saavitri, Gaayatri and all other deities including one responsible for our passions]
15. You are standing facing east. So salute the deity guards of all directions, space, sky, earth starting with East.“Praachyai disae namah (East), Dakshinaayai disae namah (South), Prateechyai disae namah (West), Udeechyai disae namah (North), Oordhvaaya namah (Space), Adharaaya namah (Below ground), Antarikshaaya namah (Sky), Bhoomyai namah (Mother Earth), Vishnave namah (Lord Vishnu)”
16. “Sankha chakra gadhaa paane dvaarakaa nilaya achyuta | Govinda pundaree-kaaksha raksha maam saranaagatam”-- chanting this mantra do namaskaram prostrating on floor touching all parts of the body and then say your abhivaadana mantram.
[Obeisance to the lotus eyed Lord of Dwaaraka Govinda who reveals himself with his weapons of conch, disc and mace.]
“Abhivaadaye Aatreya Archanaanasa Syaavaasva trayaarsheya pravaranvitah Aatreya gotrah Aapasthambha sootrah Yajus saakaaha-adhyaayee sri Vijay saraman naamaaham asmi bhoh”. Then do aachamanam twice as in 2 and say “sarvam sri Krishnaarpanam astu. Go round in circum-ambulation chanting: “Sriranga mangala manim karunaa nivaasam sri venkatadri sikharaalaya kaala megham | sri hasti saila sikharoejvala paarijaatam srisam namaami sirasaa yadusaila deepam”. (This is final salutation to Lord Vishnu. This sloka also says you are a descendent of three great sages Aatreya, Archanaanasa and Syaavaasva, you belong to Aatreya Gotra and you follow Yajurveda)
[For any commission or omission on my part in my discharge of my duties I request Lord Krishna to pardon me for I have laid everything at his feet. The prayer ends with obeisance to Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam and Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati and doing Abhivadanam, prostration with eight parts of the body touching the floor and announcing the lineage and Vedic educational status.]