[Advaita-l] Gayatri Mantra and Sandhyavandana

Ramesh rkmurthy at gmail.com
Tue May 18 06:08:38 CDT 2010

Dear Rama,

Thanks for your mail. I do agree with your comments, and did not
really mean to say that there was a single original sandhyAvandana or
that there was some kind of ancient unanimity which later got
corrupted. What I meant was the sandhyA procedures as specified in
some of the sUtra-s such as those of bodhAyana are broadly subsets of
what is practised today by South Indian smArta-s, and it is likely
that the current form evolved over centuries with additions of various

That said, I do believe that the bodhAyana sUtra-s are more ancient
than most of the purANa-s, and I believe this relative dating can be
accepted even if we do not subscribe to a Western historical analysis.

I am also not suggesting that viShNu-upAsanA is entirely post-vedic,
but if one looks at the vulgate sandhyAvandanam as practised by
Southern smArta-s today, it does contain a fairly heavy dose of
vaiShNava elements that are absent in the sUtra-s.

To further clarify my position, I am not even remotely suggesting that
the sandhyA in the bodhAyana sUtra-s is the "correct" one and that
other variants should be given up. In other words, what I am saying is
"there are variations and there is an element of historical melding
and evolution", which is quite different from saying "there was an
original correct version which has been corrupted, and we must
jettison the later changes and go back to the pure original". Taking
such a revisionist stance would be out of tune with our culture.

On 18 May 2010 14:02, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Ramesh,
> The idea of an "Ur-sandhyavandanam" assumes a unanimity among all people on
> how to do sandhyAvandanam at some remote point of time, and also assumes it
> was recoreded by someone faithfully. This is a Western historical analysis
> and the hypothesis is not necessarily sound in the Indian context. Whys is
> worship of viShNu post vedic?
> Rama

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