Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Wed Feb 12 09:36:34 CST 1997

On Wed, 12 Feb 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> On Mon, 10 Feb 1997, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:
> > Re: Gayatri mantra, please note that it is meant not only for brAhmaNas
> > but for all dvijas, i.e anyone who has undergone the yajnopavIta ceremony.
> But for all practical purposes the kshatriyas and vaishyas have stopped
> this practice generations ago so it is only the Brahmans who do it now.

Maybe, but the fact remains that nobody has prohibited those of kshatriya
or vaishya descent from the use of the mantra, or the study of the Vedas.
Nobody has specifically said that the Gayatri mantra and the study of the
Vedas are restricted to Brahmanas only. You may remember that
Suresvaracharya explicitly says this as the reason why sannyasa is
open to all dvijas. Actually, if you look closely enough, you will find
many people identified with the kshatriya subcastes, especially from
Bengal and Orissa, who still chant the mantra. From other regions of
India, even if they do not chant it daily, people do use it on ceremonial


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