Friday 4 January 2013

The daily routine, according to Madhwa

I have often been asked whether there is any text or guide to tell us how we have to perform our daily ablutions and how do we lead our daily life. They also want to know what are the rituals that we have to perform as a Brahmin.
Well, the answer is yes, there is such a book and that it is written by none other than Madhwacharya himself.
The book gives us in details the everyday ritual we have to perform and the regular drill that we should keep up with. The book is a short one and it comprises of 41 verses in Sanskrit. The work is called Sadakara Smriti or Hymns for Pure Living.
This Smriti is important as it gives us complete details about a man’s daily activity from an orthodox point of view, keeping in mind the Vanarashrama and Brahminical way of life.
The Smriti details the routine which we should follow from morning till night. Unfortunately, some of what has been said here  has no bearing on present day life. Yet, many of the points such as taking bath, performing sandhavandana and meditating on Hari can be adapted in daily life.
The topics in the Smriti include Sandhya, Brahmayajna, Vaisvadeva and the duties of ascetics. Madhwacharya himself says the verse is also a short anthology on the percepts of  Vyasa and his religious life.
All the 41 verses are in the Anustubh metre. It starts with the right time to wake up, the first activities to be performed in the morning, taking bath and the correct method of doing so, intoning the correct mantras and performing meditation of Japa and performing  Sandhyavandana.
Another beautiful verse here tells us the right way to serve God-Hari.
As per the Smriti, the wake up time is around 4 a.m., and finish all your ablutions quickly. Do not forget to remember God while waking up at Brahmamurata.
The Smriti says recite “Odrutasi varahena” mantra and apply  tulasimruttike on the body. Then take a dip into the water thrice and chant the names of Vasudeva, Narayana, Vishnu or Krishna.
After taking bath, perform Achamana and recite “Apo hishtha” and sprinkle water on the body. Repeat this process again and instead of saying“Apo hishtha” chant the Aghamarshana Sukta,  “Rutvancha satyam cha”.
Hold your breath and immerse your head into the water and recite purushasukta and sprinkle water on your head.
When you complete your bath, wear dry cloths, perform  Achamana and sprinkle water on the body reciting “Apo hishtha”. Then purify the water by reciting “Suryascha mamanyuscha” and drink the water. Chant the name of Narayana and recite Gayatri Mantra and give arghya three times.
The next step is sprinkle water around you by reciting “Asavadityo brahma”. Then perform Achamana, give tarpana to Narayana, wash the cloths which should be kept on the eastern side.
Madhwacharya says meditate Gayatri Mantra thousand or hundred or at least ten times in the morning. Do this in a standing posture till the Sun rises.After Sun rise, you can sit and perform the ablutions.
The Acharya says perform the morning sandhyavandana when stars can still be seen in the sky and  evening sandhyavandana when the Sun can still be seen. He says it is essential to maintain silence while performing Sayam sandhyavandana.
If you have meditated on Gayatri Mantra once, meditate on Narayana mantra thrice. After the japa concludes, remember the devotees of Vishnu like Brahma, Indra, guardians of eight directions, other devatas, teacher and parents.
During the afternoon, take a bath once again and worship Hari according to Veda-Pancharatra-tantrasara.
Vaishvadeva and Baliharana should be performed everyday.
The time to sleep is after 9 p.m. Go to sleep thinking of Janardana and if you happened to wake up, think about Janardana and go back to sleep.
The Acharya says all the above hold good for both Gruhastas (married people) and Vanaprastas. Except Vaishvadeva, Baliharana and Dantadhamana , the rest of the austerities should be performed by Brahmacharis also.
He says, sanyasis should not perform vaishvadeva and baliharana. However, the seers should perform Devara pooja from the things they have collected without asking. They should take bath with “pranava”,  and they should give tarpana only to Vishnu.
Throughout the smriti, Madhwacharya makes it clear that a person should never cease thinking about Narayana.Whatever he does, he should always keep in mind that Vishnu is supreme. Here, the Acharya says the Taratamya should be followed strictly and in accordance with the Puranas and Shastras.

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