Sandhya (सम रूप से ध्यान करना). Apni indriyon ko ekagra karke dhyaan karna – Unifying our sense organs for focused Meditation). Through Sandhya, we are meditating on our 3 primary duties (that we all have). The entire Sandhya Mantras can thus be categorized into the following, in order of importance,
Duty towards ourselves
Duty towards others beings
Duty towards God.
आचमन मंत्र: (Achman Mantra – Sipping of Water): Sandhya starts off by a process of cleansing and sanctifying ourselves, Water is a symbol of peace and tranquility. By sipping the water during achman, we are symbolically bringing peace & tranquility within us.]
इन्द्रियां स्पर्श मंत्र (Indriyan Sparsh Mantra – Cleaning our sense and action organs): We are symbolically cleansing our sense organs and organs of action.
मार्जन मंत्र: Marjan Mantra – Sanctifying Key parts of the body): Here we are symbolically “Sanctifying” (पवित्र करना) key parts of our body.
प्राणायाम मंत्र: (Pranayama Mantra): Regulated breathing techniques to enhance comprehension and understanding.
The above 4 mantras constitute the Duty towards ourselves since they symbolize keeping ourselves, physically, mentally, and spiritually fit.
अघमर्षण मंत्र : (Aghamarshan Mantra – Sin Destroying Mantra): This mantra is also called “पाप न करने की कामना “ (Taking a vow of not committing Sin). It talks about the entire creation and the creator (God) of life on earth. No deeds good or bad done by humans can escape the eyes of God.
The essence of this mantra “A vow not to commit sin” (पाप न करने की कामना ) constitutes our Duty towards other beings.
मनसा परिक्रमा मंत्र (Mansa Parikrama – Mentally seeing around, below and above) Through these 6 mantras, we mentally perform a परिक्रमा (going around) feeling the presence of God, protecting us from all 6 directions clockwise – East, South, West, North, Below and Above.
उप स्थान मंत्र: Oop Sthaan Mantra: – Getting a seat close to God) This mantra means achieving a seat close to God as if sitting in Gods lap and feeling secure as a child feels in his/her mother’s lap.
These last 2 mantras define the domain of God and our acknowledgment that God is the ultimate ruler imparting justice, impartially for all our Karma – actions.
This constitutes our “Duty towards God”
At this point, having gone through the above process of paying our dues through Sandhya (Meditation), as we approach the end, the devotee rightfully prays and asks God for a disease-free, long life of at least 100 years or more without suffering any humiliation or being dependent on anyone.
गायत्री मंत्र (Gayatri Mantra – Guru Mantra): Appropriately, at this point, we chant the Gayatri Mantra and seek gods continued blessings in guiding our intellect in the right direction. This logically is a proper place for Gayatri Mantra in Sandhya.
समर्पण मंत्र: (Samarpan Mantra – Unconditional Surrender to God): In conclusion, the devotee, after making a best effort through Sandhya, surrenders to god and prays for help in completion (tie-up loose ends) that are beyond the realm of the devotee.
नमस्कार मंत्र: (Namaskar Mantra – Bowing with clasped hands to God): In the end, the devotee ends the Sandhya by doing Namaskar to the eternal, blissful, healer – God who always works for the welfare of all beings.
Through Gayatri Mantra the devotee is asking God to reward him/her in guiding his/her intellect in the right direction. The timing for such request is only after the devotee pays his dues and performs the necessary Karm to earn the reward(s).