What is Sashtang Dandvat Pranam?

Sashtanga Dandvat Pranam

Prostration is an integral aspect of Sanatana Dharma. Hindus, prostrate before elders or people in the renounced order, to seek their blessings.

Why should we Prostrate?

When the body is aligned vertically with the palms joined, facing each other, in a stretched condition, above the head, lying on the chest, with the knees, wrists, chest, thighs, genitals, and toes resting against the ground, it represents a powerful energy meridian.

This pose is Dandvat Pranam.

When the inner mood of the heart, is that of prayer and surrender, this pose shall immediately attract, the vital energy force of the universe.

It aligns the bodily currents, just as electricity aligns the electrons, in an electric conductor.

This alignment calms the mind and energizes the chakras. It supports the Awakening of Kundalini without fail.


Paying obeisance through prostration is an effective means towards one’s higher journey.

It is in the Hindu faith, that one’s life goal is towards attaining the Supreme.

Other than this there is no purpose to life; only such a person is a true Hindu.

In the golden old days of yore, prostrations, offering the body full length with the body stretched, fully on the ground, in front of saints and elders, was a common practice.

Significance of Dhoti in Sanatana Dharma

You would have seen traditional people wearing Dhoti while visiting their Guruji’s ashram.

Dandvat pranam is a mark of respect for both, God and Guru.

In many parts of rural India, dhoti has survived to remain the regular outfit for men. However, with metropolitanization, this tradition has disappeared.

Dhoti is the simplest cloth possible to cover one’s body.

It is not fancy whatsoever. Meant only to cover the body, dhoti marks simplicity and dignity.

wearing dhoti

Silk Dhoti’s are most preferred for auspicious, religious, and spiritual festivals.

Men in South India prefer to wear Mundu which is a single piece of cloth wrapped around the thighs, less commonly seen in Northern India.

It is simple and extremely comfortable to wear.

Traditional outfits do not have any knots.

So, next time you wear a dhoti, ensure you don’t tie too many knots to it!

Spirituality aims at simplicity. If desires are less, only needs remain.

Fulfilling the needs of a spiritual aspirant is the Lord’s responsibility, which He should graciously fulfill.

So, let’s continue…

With changing times, Dandvat Pranam practice lost its presence.

Foreign invasions and British influence on the common man, has killed this practice, which then considered to be an expression of the higher journey.

Now, let us investigate the gesture of paying obeisance through prostration a little further.

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Dandvat Pranam: A Spiritual Practice

This practice of prostration, takes the form of sadhana when associated with the Supreme.

In holy sites connected with Sanatana Dharma, there is a sadhana or spiritual practice of paying obeisances through prostrations around holy structures like mountains and rivers.

People offer 108 prostrations in front of rivers like the Ganges and Sarayu Devi in Ayodhyaji.

People make many prostrations to Goverdhanji hill and the river Yamunaji in the Mathura district, in Uttar Pradesh, India.

These rivers and mountains are fully spiritual by Nature.

giriraj parikrama

They are a storehouse of other-worldly energy.

Undertaking a spiritual routine of prostrations is known as “Vandanam”.

“Vandanam” is one of the 9 main processes of Bhakti Yoga.

This practice breaks the unnecessary and unhealthy body vibrations and harmonizes the bodily vibrations in such a way that the chakras or energy centers become capable of raising the overall consciousness of the individual offering prostrations.

This process is also known as “Dandavat” or the act of “falling like a stick”.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

The more one subscribes to the habit of offering prostrations, the more, humility grows within one’s heart and one becomes capable of becoming a vessel to spiritual grace.

It is a practice that females offer “Dandavat” without touching their chest to the ground.

This means, only their knees and head must touch the ground with knees folded and body crouched.

The process of “Dandavat” can be life-changing if taken up as a process of spiritual practice.

People undertaking spiritual practices offer something known as “Surya namaskar” at dawn which also means offering prostrations to Sun-God.


Offering obeisance’s to the Sun, increases vitality and personal power.

One becomes the owner of a healthy body and one also gains immense fame and wealth, if one were to do Surya namaskar for a year, at dawn, without fail.

Offering obeisance through prostrations, is an act of sadhana or spiritual practice, that can bless one with the highest benefits incomparable to any material gains.

Thanks for reading!