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2nd prashna of 2nd anuvaka of Taittiriya Aranyaka only mentions what Brahmavaadins did in ancient times when rakshasas gained boon with which they fought with Aditya, and to aid Aditya in such fight Brahmavaadins threw Indra-vajraayudha-mantra powered water in the air at morning sandhya, noon sandhya and evening sandhya times and drove away such rakshasas and freed Aditya. It does not say that such fight is still going on, and Aditya still needs our help today and that we still need to do what Brahmavaadins did back then.

Chandogya Upanishad and Brihadaranyaka upanishad elaborate on gayatri mantra but I did not see in them (and I may have missed since I read only translated versions) any prescription or mandatory statements that dwijas must go sandhyavandan.

Sri Krishna does not mention this as a duty of a dwija person in the Gita. So on what authority can we say that dwijas today MUST do sandhyavandan today?

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  • I believe sri krishna mentions clearly do your prescribed duties
    – Prasanna R
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 5:53
  • Prasanna R - My question is who/where prescribed sandhyavandan as a 'duty'/dhamra for dwijas? Sri Krishna himself prescribed duties for dwijas in B.Gita, and he did not mention Sandhyavandan or even Aditya worship as a 'duty' for dwijas. Commented May 21, 2020 at 12:13
  • He show by practice he did sandhya vandhanam, amavasya tharpanam..and now whole of north india, as soon as you see elder you touch their feet right that was done by Sri Krishna, They saw krishna they followed how one should behave
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 12:56

1 Answer 1

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So on what authority can we say that dwijas today MUST do sandhyavandana?


The oldest extant scripture to mandate Sandhyāvandana is probably the Āśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra attached to Ṛgveda:

Adhyāya III, Kaṇḍikā 7

  1. If the sun sets while he is sleeping without being sick, he should spend the rest of the night keeping silence, without sitting down, and should worship the sun (when it rises) with the five (verses), 'The light, O sun, by which thou destroyest darkness' (Rig-veda X, 37, 4 seq.).

  2. If (the sun) rises (while he is sleeping without being sick), being fatigued without having done any work, or having done work that is not becoming, he should keep silence, &c., as before, and perform his worship (to the sun) with the following four (verses, Rig-veda X, 37, 9 seq.).

  3. Invested with the sacrificial cord, constantly fulfilling the prescribed duties regarding the use of water, he should perform the Sandhyā (or twilight devotion), observing silence.

  4. In the evening he should, turning his face to the north-west, to the region between the chief (west) point and the intermediate (north-western) point (of the horizon), murmur the Sāvitrī, (beginning) when the sun is half set, until the stars appear.

  5. In the same way in the morning—

  6. Standing, with his face turned to the east, until the disk (of the sun) appears.

  7. If a dove flies against his house or towards it, he should sacrifice with (the hymn), 'O gods, the dove' (Rig-veda X, 165), verse by verse, or should murmur (that hymn).

  8. 'We have thee, O Lord of the path' (Rig-veda VI, 53)—if he is going out for doing some business.

  9. 'Bring us together, Pūṣan, with a knowing one' (Rig-Veda VI, 54)—if he wishes to find something lost, or if he has strayed.

  10. 'Journey over the ways, Pūṣan' (Rig-veda I, 42)—if he is going out on a long or dangerous way.


A similar rule is also found in Baudhāyana Dharmasūtra (Kṛsna Yajurveda):

Praśna II, Adhyāya 4, Kaṇḍikā 7

  1. Now, therefore, we will declare the rule for (performing) the twilight devotions.

...

  1. It is declared in the Veda, 'A Brāhmaṇa who in this same manner daily worships in the twilight, both at morn and at eve and, being sanctified by the Brahman, becoming one with the Brahman, and resplendent through the Brahman, follows the rules of the Śāstra, gains the heaven of Brahman.'


Manusmṛti also states it as compulsory (if you want to remain a dvija):

Section XIX - Twilight Prayers

Everyday during the earlier twilight one should stand repeating the Sāvitrī, till the sun becomes distinctly visible; and during the later twilight he should sit till the stars ark clearly seen.—(2.101)

One who, during the morning-twilight, repeats (the Sāvitrī) standing, removes the sin of the (preceding) night; while he who, during the evening-Twilight, repeats it seated, destroys the sin committed during the day.—(2.102).

But he who does not stand during the morning-twilight, and who does not sit through the evening-twilight, should be excluded, like the Śūdra, from all that is due to twice-born persons.—(2.103)

Commenting on Manu 2.103, Medhātithi says:

The present verse, describing the evil accruing from the non-performance of the Twilight-Prayers, serves to emphasise the compulsory character of these.

He who does not keep standing during the morning-twilight and who does not keep seated during the evening-twilight, should be regarded as a Śūdra.

‘From all that is due to twice-born persons’;—i.e., entertaining as a guest, honouring, offering of gifts and so forth.—‘He should be excluded,’—i.e., discarded.

For this reason, in order to avoid being treated as a Śūdra one should observe the Twilight Prayers every day.

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