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What to do if there's "No Time" for Puja or Nitya Karma - Sringeri Jagatguru

Today many people lament: "Swamiji, we are not in a position to put into practice the principles ordained by the sastras. Times have changed. In the past people led a leisurely life. They used to indulge in religious pursuits from morning till evening. We have to rush to our offices at 8 AM in the morning. How can we take up religious practices, like in the past?" They request me to frame a new set of principles to suit the present day situation. In their opinion, rules framed by the Jagadguru would be accepted by all and would be valued.

I told them that Sri Adi Sankaracharya did not establish the Peethas to stipulate new sets of rules and procedures. He established these Peethas to guide the people, to encourage them and ensure that they abided by the Sastras. It is thus impossible, to change the sastras.

They persist, saying it is not possible to follow the guidelines laid down in the sastras. This is only due to the poor understanding of what is prescribed in the sastras. What do the sastras prescribe?

It is prescribed that we offer worship both in the morning and in the evening. If an elaborate worship is not possible owing to some constraints the sastras prescribe a shorter method of worship as a solution. Why is this not being adopted?

It is prescribed that you should chant the Gayatree mantra 1008 times during the sandhyavandana. If this is not possible it suggests that the mantra be chanted at least 108 times. If, even this is not possible it suggests that you chant the mantra at least 32 times.

The sastras suggest both, mukhyakalpa and anukalpa. lf you follow mukhyakalpa you have to chant the mantra 1008 times. If it is not possible to follow mukhyakalpa you may follow anukalpa and chant the Gayatree mantra only 108 times. What you are asking is - If there is a means by which sandhyavandana can be totally avoided. I am emphatically saying that it is not possible. It is my firm opinion; if it is not possible to chant the Gayatree mantra 1008 times, chant it 108 times; even if that is not possible chant it atleast 32 times, but do not give up sandhyavandana.

If you cannot perform worship in an elaborate manner, chanting Rudra and chamaka, perform it at least in a brief manner, chanting only the purushasookta.

lt would be sheer escapism if you say that even this is not possible.You have time for reading the news papers, for watching the television serials and all other activities. If you say you do not have time only for chanting the Gayatree mantra 108 times it would only amount to escapism. It is a lame excuse given to cover, your lack of interest and faith.

Excerpted by Nithin Sridhar from the book: Sanatana Dharma Vol. 1 Chapter 11 Dharma is eternal and unchanging - Page 75-77

Prashant Parikh <prashantparikh@gmail.com>
vedanta-study@googlegroups.com

dharmika-samvada@googlegroups.com

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