In our tradition, there is a ritual of “Upanayanam” or thread ceremony when a boy is initiated into Gayatri Mantra and is taught the process of Sandhya Vandanam – invoking the Divine and peforming oblations at dawn, mid-noon and dusk. I think most of the men in Indian Hindu families perform this, though now-a-days the situation might be different. Sandhya Vandanam, if sincerely performed, is an integral part of Sadhana and reconnects one with the Divine. We need to understand the essence of any ritual which we perform, otherwise it becomes monotonous and routine and limits the benefits we may reap out of it.
I was reading a book last year called “Brahmanubhuti”. It is originally in Hindi written by Puja Sri Swami Akhandananda ji Maharaj – a great renowned sage and contemporary of Swami Sivananda ji Maharaj. It is a collection of articles focusing on Vedanta, Sadhana, Spirituality, Brahman etc. This book has been translated into Telugu by Sri Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji.
I don’t know where the Telugu or original Hindi book are available. You may need to contact the Swami Akhandananda Maharaj ashrama in Vrindavan for Hindi copies, or contact the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam if they have copies of the telugu books.
When I last met Swamiji, he blessed me with that book. I really liked it.
In this book, there is a chapter dedicated to “Sandhya Vandanam”. It is a very valuable chapter which in detail covers the process of Sandhya Vandanam, its purpose and necessity and also inclused some techniques and secrets that Pujya Swamiji himself has learnt from elderly saints etc. If you want to learn the intent of the ritual or expand on your knowledge of Sandhya Vandanam, it is very beneficial to read this chapter.
Part of SandhyaVandanam is the prayer called “Aghamarshana Suktam” which literally means prayer to destroy impure and sinful tendencies, mistakes etc. It is a very powerful Suktam which invokes Divine blessings and which when recited daily removes impurities from one’s mind and makes it pure. This prayer is an important part of Sandhya Vandanam.
I was inspired after reading the book to learn the Aghamarshana Suktam and recite it daily. Though as a woman I don’t have the Sandhya Vandanam ritual, I can still chant it.
I am still learning the Suktam and I hope in this year, this Suktam will form an integral part of my daily prayers.
You can download the Text (PDF) by clicking below and also listen to the rendition of this Suktam:
In Service of the Lord and Gurudev,