THE ELEVENTH BOOK
On the midday Sandhyâ
1-24. Nârâyana said :-- O Nârada! Now I am speaking of the auspicious midday Sandhyâ, the practice of which leads to the wonderfully excellent results. Listen. Here the Âchamana and other things are similar to those of the morning Sandhyâ. Only in meditation (Dhyânam) there is some difference. I will now speak of that. The name of the midday Gâyatrî is Sâvitrî. She is ever a youthful maiden, of white colour, three-eyed; She holds in Her one hand a rosary, in Her other hand a trident and with Her two other hands She makes signs to Her Bhaktas to dispel fear and to grant boons. Riding on the bull, She recites the Yayur Vedas; She is the Rudra Sakti with Tâmo gunas and She resides in Brahmaloka, She daily traverses in the path of the Sun. She is Mâyâ Devî, beginningless; I bow down to Her. After meditating on the Âdyâ Devî Bhagavatî perform Âchamanas and other things as in the morning Sandhyâ. Now, about the offering of Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc., made in worshipping a God or Brâhman). Collect flowers for Arghya; in the absence of flowers, the Bael leaves and water will serve the purpose. Facing the Sun, and looking upwards, offer the Arghya to the Sun upwards. Then perform other acts as in the morning Sandhyâ. In midday, some offer Arghya to the Sun, only with the recitation of the Gâyatrî mantra. But that is not approved of by the tradition and community; there is the likelihood of the whole work being thwarted or rendered fruitless. For, in the morning and evening Sandhyâs, the Râksashas named the Mandehâs become
ready to devour the Sun. This is stated in the Srutis. Therefore the midday offering of the Arghya is not for the destruction of the Daityas but for the satisfaction of the Devî; so with the mantra Âkrisnena, etc., the offering of Arghya can be effected; and the reciting of the infallible Gâyatrî mantra is only to create disturbance in the shape of thwarting the action. So in the morning and evening, the Brâhmana is to offer the Sûryârghya, repeating the Gâyatrî and Pranava; and in the midday to offer flowers and water with the mantra Âkrisnena, rajasâ etc., else it will go against the Sruti. In the absence of flowers, the Durba grass, etc., can be offered carefully as the Arghya; and the full fruits of the Sandhyâ
will be secured. O Best of Devarsis! Now hear the important points in the Tarpanam (peace offerings). Thus :--
Om Bhuvah purusam tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Yajurvedam tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Mandalam tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Hiranyagarbham tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om antarâtmânam tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Sâvitrîm tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Devamâtaram tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Sâmkritim tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Yuvatîm sandhyâm tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Rudrânîm tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Nîmrijâm tarpayâmi namo namah.
Om Bhurbhuvah Svah purusam tarpayâmi namo namah.
Thus finish the midday Sandhyâ mga Tarpanam. Now, with your hands raised high up towards the Sun, worship Him by the two mantras, praising thus :-- Om Udutyam Jâtavedasam, etc., Om Chitram Devânâm, etc. Next repeat the Gâyatrî. Hear its method. In the morning, repeat the Gâyatri at the proper moment with hands raised; in the evening time with hands lowered and in the midday with hands over the breast. Begin with the middle phalanx (joint) of the nameless finger, then the phalanx at its root, then the phalanx at the root of the little finger, its middle phalanx and its top, then the tops of the nameless, fore and ring fingers, then the middle and finally the root of the ring finger (in the direction of the hands of the watch; avoiding the middle and root phalanx of the middle finger). Thus ten times it is repeated. In this way if the Gâyatrî be repeated one thousand times, the sins arising from killing a cow, father, mother, from causing abortions, going to the wife of ones Guru, stealing a Brâhmanas property, a Brâhmans field, drinking wine, etc., all are destroyed. Also the sins acquired in three births by mind, word, or by the enjoyments of sensual objects are thereby then and there instantly destroyed. All the labours of him, who works hard in the study of the Vedas without knowing the Gâyatrî, are useless. Therefore if you compare on the one hand the study of the four Vedas with the reciting of the Gâyatrî, then the Gâyatrî Japam stands higher. Thus I have spoken to you of the rules of the midday Sandhyâ. Now I am speaking of Brahmâ Yajñâ. Hear.
Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the midday Sandhyâ in the Mahâpurânam Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.