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Sandhyavandanam is prescribed thrice a day for Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Back in the day one could perform Sandhya thrice a day. But now after Hindus have diversified and left their traditional occupations, how could one do this?

Imagine one is a normal Software Engineer. Let's say they have a 9-5 schedule. Fine, one can do PrAtah-Sandhya but how does one fit in the Madhyanika Sandhya during their schedule? One can't practically do it during work. Even sAyan Sandhya will be tough because coming back at 6:00PM sharp is difficult.

Is there any remedy for this? I heard one can combine PrAtah and Madhyanika together and do it during PrAtah Sandhya.

If not how does the average Dvija fulfil the thrice a day requirement?

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    Office goers and other workers may perform the madhyahnika (the midday vandana) 2 hours 24 minutes after sunrise that is called "sangava kala". (by HH Chandrashekara Saraswati Swami).If one has a true intent, this info can be of any help.
    – Athrey
    May 29, 2022 at 13:45
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    (Afaik), 48 mts, after sunset (as per almanac) is said to be gauna kala for sayam sandhya. Despite missing gauna kala one is encouraged to do the saayam sandhya atleast before mid night.Please crosscheck this with any expert in shaastras.
    – Athrey
    May 29, 2022 at 14:41
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    you can do it late with prayaschitta-arghya. btw, for IT folks, there are bigger rules to follow first before finer-detail-rules. for e.g. we are not supposed drink alcohol, we are not to eat in hotels food made (with salt) from other varnas, not eat onion/garlic/mushroom, watch adult film, mingle romantically with multiple colleagues, go to night club etc. and importantly, not mingle closely with people that do the above (dur-sangha). but most important, we are supposed to be learning and teaching vedas as our main occupation. until then we're brahmins in name only.
    – ram
    May 29, 2022 at 17:16
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    @Apastamba_01 - hard working upadhyayis (purohits) make Rs.1 lakh per month. others make 50K. Most of them have ancestral homes, so no mortgage/rent trouble. this is comfortable salary.
    – ram
    May 30, 2022 at 7:58
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    @Apastamba_01 You can do pratah before work, sayam after coming home from work (with prayaschitta arghya if needed). For madhyahnikam, you can do it during lunch time through manasika, or if possible go somewhere and do with water. Also, if you're working from home in an IT job (like me), you can do everything at the right time.
    – Ikshvaku
    Sep 26, 2022 at 14:40

1 Answer 1

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Within the book Nitya Karma Pūjā Prakāśa published by Gita Press Gorakhpur, the following statements quoted from nibandha texts.

गायत्रीं दशधा जप्त्वा सन्ध्यायाः फलमाप्नुयात् स्मृतिसमुच्चय

One earns the benefit of having performed sandhyavandanā by performing the japa of Gāyatrī 10 times.

आपन्नश्चाशुचिः काले तिष्ठन्नपि जपेद्दश आचारभूषण

Even in times of distress & pollution, one must perform the japa (of Gāyatrī) 10 times.

Manusmṛti defines distress as the time when a person is unable to maintain himself & his family by performing the occupation sanctioned for him on the basis of his caste-status while pollution is defined as that caused by birth (sūtaka) & death (mṛtaka).

The time for performing sandhyāvandanā is defined as

Prātaḥsandhyā is to be done early in the morning while the stars are visible. When the sun is in midle of the sky, the madhyāhnasandhyā is to be performed; & the sayaṁsandhyā is to be performed while the sun is visibly going down. Now again, the following distinctions are made regarding the time of performing sandhyāvandanā - prātaḥsandhyā performed while the stars are still visible is the best; when the stars have disappeared (i.e dawn), middling; and with the sun risen above the horizon, inferior. Similarly the sayaṁsandhyā is of 3 kinds - best, middling, and inferior. Performance of sayaṁsandhyā while the sun is visibly disappearing is the best; when the sun has gone down the horizon (i.e dusk), it is middling and when the stars have become visible, it is inferior....At the sunrise and the sunset the time for sandhyāvandanā is 2 daṇḍas (i.e 48 minutes) and if sandhyāvandanā be not done or rather neglected in the interval, prāyaśchitta is to be duly performed. [Devībhāgavata Purāṇa:9:16]

The prāyaśchitta for failing to perform sandhyāvandanā is defined as

सर्वथा सन्ध्यालोपे प्रतिसन्ध्येमेकोपवासोऽयुतमष्टोत्तरसहस्रं वा गायत्रीजपः । अत्यशक्तौ प्रतिसन्ध्यालोपं शतगायत्री जपः । द्व्यहं त्र्यहं लोपे तदावृत्तिः । ततः परं कृच्छ्रादिकल्प्यम् । धर्मसिन्धु

In case of non-performance of sandhyāvandanā, one must fast or perform the japa of Gāyatrī 10,000 or 1008 times for each time of the day the sandhyāvandanā is missed. Extremely incapable persons will perform the japa of Gāyatrī 100 times for ommision of sandhyāvandanā on each time of the day. The same is to be repeated in case of ommision for 2 or 3 consecutive days. Beyond that, one is to resort to the likes of Kṛcchra(vrata).

The Devībhāgavata Purāṇa mandates the japa of Gāyatrī 108 times before the performance of sandhyāvandanā for that time of the day if the same for the previous time had been ommitted (For example - if sayaṁsandhyā has been ommitted, then Gāyatrījapa is to be performed 108 times before starting prātaḥsandhyā)

(N.B - Nibandha refers to a class of Hindu literature which is mainly a compilation of opinions extracted by religious scholars from smṛti, purāṇa, pariśiṣṭha, gṛhyasūtra, dharmasūtra & other pre-existing nibandha texts on a list of topics related to personal law, social conduct & religious observances from which the scholars determined which opinion is to be followed. These texts are considered more authorative than the original smṛti texts in modern times because they quote texts which were lost to time & lines attributed to smṛti texts but not found in the printed version of those very same texts, thereby providing evidence of interpolation. For example, the practice of wearing maṅgalasūtra is attributed by nibandhakāras to Śaunakasmṛti although manuscripts of Śaunakasmṛti itself hasn't been found till date. Divergence of opinion among the nibandhakāras themselves results in variance in the observance of Hindu customs. For example - marrying one's maternal cousin is a popular practice among South Indian Hindus due to its practical applications & the fact that it follows the prohibition on marrying within one's own gotra but this practice is abhorrent to North Indian Hindus)

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