Sandhyā सन्ध्या (422)

Sandhyā means non-separation.  It means non-separation of our mind with caitanya which is said to be in the sun.  Caitanya is nothing but cit (pure consciousness) in its operational state that has been already discussed in nāma 416. Both the external experience caused by the senses and the internal experience caused by the mind happen only in cit or consciousness.  It is here that both subjective and objective worlds develop as experience.  So consciousness can also be called as the place of all experiences.  Vedānta calls this as the Brahman and science terms this as consciousness.  Non-duality is referred to by different names and forms and the word sandhyā is one among them.  Everything that exists in this universe is only the manifestation of this cit or the Brahman.  When sun itself gets its light only from the Self-illuminating Brahman, why caitanya is said to be in the sun?  The answer is obvious.  Everyone knows that earth cannot survive without sun.  Secondly, sun is visible to our eyes.  Since it is difficult for most of us to manifest the Brahman without form, for easy visualization, Brahman’s domicile is referred to as the sun and its rays are referred to the various creations of the Brahman.  The time of dawn and dusk is also known as sandhya.  Meditating during these times is said to provide the necessary impetus to the process of non-separation. Śiva Sūtra III.25 declares the result of such non-separation.  It says,”Śivatulyo jāyate शिवतुल्यो जायते”. This Sūtra talks about final stages of liberation of a yogi. A yogi, who has not merged with Śiva but appears like Śiva.  The difference between merging with Śiva and appearing like Śiva is significant.  Merger with Śiva happens only in the stage of kaivalya, the ultimate stage.

Therefore, this non-separation means that our mind should stand united with the Brahman, destroying the evil effects of māyā or illusion.  Destruction of duality is advocated in this nāma.  Sandhya is also known as the kinetic power of Śiva or the vimarśa form of the Brahman.  The prakāśa form of the Brahman is Śiva

There is a story which says that Sandhya is the daughter of Brahma, the Lord of creation.  She was born to Brahma during his meditation.  She performed supreme penance and left her mortal body to be reborn as Arundhatī, {the little and scarcely visible star Alcor (belonging to the Great Bear, and personified as the wife of one of its seven chief stars, Vasiṣṭha, or of all the seven, the so-called seven riṣi-s}, wife of sage Vasiṣṭha.

The three important nādi-s in kuṇḍalinī meditation iḍā, piṅgalā and suṣumna meet at ājñā cakra.  This place is called sandhya as sandhya also means joining.

Dvijabṛnda-niṣevitā द्विजबृन्द-निषेविता (423)

She is worshipped by those who recite Gāyatrī mantra.  Those who recite Gāyatrī mantra are called dvijā-s or twice born.  Twice born because, first birth through the mother and second birth is the initiation of Gāyatrī mantra.  It is generally said that without initiation, Gāyatrī mantra should not be recited.  Generally, father initiates Gāyatrī mantra to his sons. 

Nāma-s 421, 422 and 423 said to mean the three stages of consciousness viz. sleep, dream and deep sleep. Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (IV.iii.18) compares the first two stages of sleep and dream to that of a fish.  It says “As a fish swims alternatively to both the banks of a river, so does this infinite being moves to both these states.  In the first stage, awareness (with reference to mind) is total.  In the second stage, awareness is partial.  We are not aware of the happenings in the stage of deep sleep.”  This stage is described in Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (IV.iii.19).  “As a hawk flying in the sky becomes tired, and stretching its wings, is bound for its nest, so does this infinite being run for this state, where falling asleep, he craves no desire and sees no dream”.

But Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VI.viii.1) explains all these three stages. “When we are awake, both body and mind are functioning.  When we are dreaming, body is not functioning and the mind is still functioning (partially).  In the deep sleep stage, the mind also ceases to function.  When a person is said to be sleeping, he becomes one with the Self and he attains his real Self.”

In the stage of deep sleep, we become unconscious.  This is the stage where the individual consciousness stands merged with cosmic energy and in the process derives the necessary energy for sustenance of the body.  This is the stage where one realizes the Brahman.  For the world, he is said to be in the stage of unconsciousness, but he knows that his consciousness stands united with the Brahman. This process is called transcending consciousness, the stage of turya and beyond.