Recitation of mantras
A Hymn or mantra is a prayer (with words and alphabets specially chosen) addressed to God or deity. It is supposed to posses mystic and super natural powers. For best results correct recitation of the mantras is necessary.
The energy from the universe is present everywhere. By reciting a mantra either orally or mentally, we tune ourselves to receive this energy. This is very similar to tuning a radio receiver to receive the electromagnetic waves around us.
Our sages through meditation have assessed the power of the various mantras and their applications to different situations and purposes.
The Chandas explains the potential of the mantra or the power it can create in our body by reciting it. It is for this purpose that the mantras must be recited in sanskrit only (as given by sages) and any equivalent translation will have no effect.
The mantras should be recited with due weightage to the characteristics of the alphabet namely Hasva (short), dheerga (long), alpaprana (less weightage), Maha Prana (heavy weightage). The vibration characteristics of a mantra are very important. The words and alphabets have been chosen to achieve this objective. This is akin to combining the seven notes to produce different ragas or tunes.
Every mantra is preceded by a verse indicating the name of sage, chandas, deity to whom the hymn is addressed and the purpose for which the mantra is used. The name of the sage indicates the sage who has achieved god realization through this mantra. The chandas indicates its potential. The purpose is also indicated as the same hymn can be used in different contexts.
Science, electricity and health
There is a flow of electricity in the human body (this characteristic is used in ECG electrocardiogram). This is referred to as bio-electricity. Electric currents pass through10 sets of lines corresponding to 10 fingers and toes. Finger tips and top of head constitute terminal points of these electric lines. Bio-electricity gets charged through water, earth, ether etc.
It must be appreciated that Sandyavandanam is not just reciting hymns or mantras, but it includes certain actions like stance, touching or making contact of different organs etc.
All natural therapies are based on the principle that human body has a self healing property. Further if the flow of bio-electricity is normal the body remains fit and healthy. Every person has a natural aura around him (an invisible body of charged particles also called bio-plasmic body). Flow of electricity within our body causes emission of electrons which in turn causes the aura. This field has been photographed through a process known as kirilian photography. This was known in ancient India and was used for health. The inner aura follows the contour of the body while the outer aura is shaped like an inverted egg. and may stretch away from the body some 8-10 inches. Our sages have developed a science known as Vastu shastra where by an environment conducive to this electromagnetic field will help in better concentration, meditation etc. This ancient Indian science has been taken up by modern scientists. A new subject known as geo-biology based on the above principles is being used in the design of factories etc. to improve efficiency.
The best application of this principle is in health which was also practiced in ancient india. This ancient science has been developed by one Choa-kuk-sui (The ancient science and art of pranic healing Cho-kuk-sui pub. Health Accecories Manila, Phillipines) for curing diseases also known as pranic healing
The healing method is one of the naturopathy systems. Detailed investigations and kirilian photography have shown that any disease first enters the bio-plasmic body and then our visible physical body. Hence the healing process attempts to rectify the bio-plasmic body through induction of bio-energy at specific points of the body known as chakras. Remedial measures also include use of energized water.
Studies have shown that meditation has great influence on the bio-plasmic body. Brain cells are known to produce electric waves of different frequencies.
In ancient india, one more system of natural therapy i.e. acu-pressure therapy existed. This system also recognizes the existence of electricity which is responsible for our health. This system recognizes our palm and finger tips as control boards for manipulation or alteration of bio-electricity. Healing is achieved by applying slight pressure to specific points.
In vedic rites water is used for purification. Modern scientists by passing sound waves through water have produced gas bubbles emitting blue light with very high temperature inside. These studies indicate the capacity of sound waves to energize water.
A vedic rite known as udakashanti is performed in which water is kept in a copper vessel and vedic hymns are chanted by a group of vedic scholars, some vedic scholars have found that the temperature of water in the vessel has gone up substantially. Punyahavchanam is another vedic rite where in water is energized through vedic hymns. This approach in a miniature has been used in Sandyavandanam i.e. prokshanam, prasanam, achamanam etc. Hence while performing these rituals sound waves must be produced emnating from the mouth.
Vedic rituals like pranayanam or japam have impact on bio-electricity. Electro cardiograms taking in a normal state, during pranayanam and during pranayanam mantra japam have been taken and they indicate substantial changes during prnanayanam and japam confirming the fact that we absorb bio-electricity during these rituals.
Sandyavandanam is essentially prayers to the Supreme Lord at sandya time. Though god realization is the main objective the importance of healthy body and mind have been duly recognized. Apart from reciting hymns it also includes karanas - namely stance, touching different parts of the body etc. They help to achieve the twin objectives of god realization and health.
(From the book: Sandyavandanam by Sri Visistadvaita recearch centre, Madras
Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchari Sadagopan
Srinivasan Sriram )