“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Bhagavad-gita 9.34)

Vandanam is about offering prayers and obeisances. The bhakta keeps close contact with his object of love by offering beautiful prayers.

Vandanam is of two kinds.The first type is the recitation of a traditional prayer of one of the previous acaryas. The second type is a personal prayer composed by yourself. Both of them are essential in bhakti.

Traditional prayers

Because a pure devotee is on an advanced level of devotion, his or her prayers express a special and intense feeling of love. Reciting such prayers with feeling can invoke strong devotion in ourselves.

You can recite such prayers reading them from a book or piece of paper, but if you have found a prayer you really connect deeply with it would be good to learn it by heart.

The prayer may be recited in your own language or in its original language, usually in Sanskrit. In the latter case make sure that you understand the actual meaning of the text.

Some examples




Personal prayers

In a personal prayer open your heart completely and reveal your confidential feelings. There is nothing a devotee cannot share with the Lord. No prayer goes unheard. Praying is like talking to the Lord personally. It creates strong bounds between you and Him.

Vandanam requires the right mood and attitude. In a spontaneous personal prayer this mood is naturally there. In other kinds of prayers try to create a similar confidential and meditative mood. Take a few moments and reflect on what you are going to say.

Usually a prayer is offered mentally. But it could also be uttered in low voice. In both cases you might receive an immediate reply.