Thought for the week

S. V. Subrahmanian svsubrahmanian at YAHOO.COM
Sat Oct 27 15:44:26 CDT 2001

                        || Om Sri lalitAmbikAyai namaH ||
                 || Salutations to Divine Mother Sri Lalita ||

I wanted to post this during devi navarAtri itself, but I could not discipline
myself to doing it.  Anyway, it is something that is worth contemplating at any
time and hence I write the following.  It is a minor detail about worship of
Divine Mother in various forms.

The main deity behind sandhyAvandanam is sandhyA devi.  She is to be worshipped
as residing on the solar orb ie., in the savitR^ mandalam ie., as sUrya maNdala
antargata sandhyA devi.  sandhyA devi is none other than ISvara the saguNa
brahman worshipped in a feminine form.  So the presiding deity of
sandhyAvandanam is ISvara Himself seen as sandhyA devi.  sandhyAvandanam apart
from other interpretations, means sandhyA devyAH vandanam ie., worship of
sandhyA devi.

sandhyA-devi has 3 aspects or 3 forms.  They are gAyatrI, sAvitrI and
sarasvati.  One can write volumes about what is mentioned in the scriptures on
these three forms, but I present below the salient differences in the 3 forms.

Attributes          gAyatrI              sAvitrI           sarasvatI
==========          =======              =======           =========
Worship time        Morning              Noon              Evening

Appearance          kumAri(girl)         yuvati(maiden)    vR^ddhA(mature)

Color               lohitA(red)          SvetA(white)      SyAmala(dark)

guNa                rAjasI               tAmasI            sAtvikI

vAhana(vehicle)     hamsa(swan)          vR^sha(bull)      tArxya(garuda-eagle)

Function            sR^shtI              laya              sthiti

Form                brahma               rudra             vishNu

Nature              Ananda-svarUpa       sat-svarUpa       chit-svarUpa
                    (Fullness-bliss)     (Truth, Existence)(Consciousness)

Our scriptures say aharaha sandhyOpAsItam ie., worship of sandhyA devI should
be performed everyday.  kAlE sandhyA samAcharet - one should perform the
worship of sandhyA devI at the right times without fail (ie., dawn, noon and

Have a nice weekend.


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