sandhyAvandhana bhAshyam – 4 – Daily activities

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Part 1 – jalabhAgam

Achamanam:

In jalabhAgam, Achamanam is first performed. Let us see how Achamanam is performed.

Make the right hand to the shape of cow’s ear and fill with water till mAsha rEkhA (line) gets immersed. Say achuthAya nama: and drink the water. When water reaches your chest portion, take water again as mentioned above, say ananthAya nama: and drink the water. Continue the same way, say gOvindhAya nama: and drink the water. Next wipe your lips twice with water in hand. With the root portion of thumb finger, wipe face. Join thumb & ring finger, wipe both eyes. Join index finger & thumb, wipe top portion on both sides of nose. Join little finger & thumb, wipe both ears. Join all finger or palm, touch chest & top portion of head.

Then utter the below phrase by touching the relevant parts of the body as mentioned below.

  • kESavAya nama: – right hand thumb to touch right cheek,
  • nArAyaNAya nama: – right hand thumb to touch left cheek,
  • mAdhavAya nama: – right hand ring finger to touch right eye,
  • gOvindhAya nama: – right hand ring finger to touch left eye,
  • vishNavE nama: – right hand index finger to touch right nostril,
  • madhusUdhanAya nama: – right hand index finger to touch left nostril,
  • thrivikramAya nama:- right hand little finger to touch right ear,
  • vAmanAya nama:- right hand little finger to touch left ear,
  • SrIdharAya nama:- right hand middle finger to touch right shoulder,
  • hriSIkEshAya nama:- right hand middle finger to touch left shoulder,
  • padhmanAbhAya nama:- right hand five fingers to touch chest, (as mentioned by hArithar, for padhmanAbhAya nama:, one can touch navel with right hand five fingers)
  • dhAmOdharAya nama:- right hand five fingers to touch head.

Now let us see the meaning, reason for the fingers touching relevant parts and purpose of doing Achamanam.

  • “mukhAdhindhraScha agniScha” refers that agni dhEvathA was created from face and hence he is the ruler of face. Thumb has agni as its dhEvathA, hence we touch our face with thumb.
  • Index finger has vAyu as its dhEvathA,
  • sUrya dhEvathA was created from eyes and ring finger has sUrya as its dhEvathai, hence we touch eyes with ring finger
  • Little finger has indhra as its dhEvathA,
  • Middle finger has prajApathi as its dhEvathA.
  • Ruler of thunder is indhra dhEvathA,
  • Nose is used for breathing air. 
  • So, for cleansing body parts, we are using parts which are related to relevant dhEvathA and also the finger related to them.

As per SAsthram, any karma done without doing Achamanam is considered useless without doubt. Further, Let us see more important reasons and meaning for the activities done in Achamanam.

Before we go into the meaning of each thirunAmam in Achamanam, let us see the importance of Achamanam.

amSau sprushtvA karAgrEna thOyam sprushtvA samAhitha: | samsmruthya padhmaNAbham savipra: samyag viSudhyathi ||

  1. vyAgrapAdhar says, brAhmaNan gets cleansed if he touches with tip of his hand, touches water and thinking of lord padhmanAbha.
  2. vyAsa smruthi says, by taking water thrice inside, all dhEvathAs are satisfied. By cleaning the lips, gangA and yamunA are happy. By touching our eyes, chandhra and sUrya are happy. By touching our nose, ashwini dhEvathAs are happy. By touching our ears, agni and vAyu are happy. By touching our chest, all dhEvathAs are happy. By touching our head, parama purusha SrIman nArAyaNa is happy. One who does this every day is making all of them, from parabrahmam to grass, happy.    
  3. bOdhAyana says, first time Achamanam makes rig vEdha happy. Second time makes yajur vEdha happy. Third time makes sAma vEdha happy. Wiping the lips first time makes atharvaNa vEdha happy and second time makes ithihAsa puraNas happy. Touching different parts of the body as per Achamanam makes OshadhIs, vanaspathis and other dhEvathAs happy. By doing Achamanam, one is relieved from all his sins.
  4. vishNu dharma promises that one who says achyutha, anantha, gOvindha, which is the ultimate medicine, will be cured of all diseases.

Next, let us see about the meanings of each thirunAmam in Achamanam and their importance.

adiyen madhusUdhana rAmAnuja dhAsan

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