Gayathri Mantra !!!

Anshuman Pandey apandey at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed Feb 12 15:43:23 CST 1997

On Mon, 10 Feb 1997, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> As has already been pointed out, the reason why some say it will have no
> efficacy outside India is because a Brahman is considered ashuddha for
> crossing the ocean.  However one should still do Gayatri japa because it
> is ones duty and a duty should be done without expecting a reward or
> result.  Also this only applies to the immigrant generation.  For people
> like me who were born in the west we have not "crossed" so there is no
> sin--and no excuse for not doing it.

I believe that these injunctions against braahmaNa-s crossing oceans
appear fairly late and do not appear during the Vedic times.  I am not
sure as to whether or not they are found in dharmashaastra-s or in the
manusmR^iti. This bit about crossing oceans being a sin was often
used as an excuse for braahmaNa members of the British Bengal Army during
the 1850s as they did not want to serve in the newly annexed colony of

As for the ashubha and the ashuddha aspects of chanting mantra-s and
practicing sanaatana dharma outside of India, I believe this view is also
unfounded. Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami
Bhaktivedanta all came to the United States from India and were able to
carry on their dharmik duties and present brahmadarshanaM. If one is pure
in duty and thought, such petty injunctions as crossing oceans is sin, are

Lastly, you mentioned that since you were born here and did not cross any
ocean, then there is no sin for you to resolve. Keeping the injunction in
view, would you not then already be ashuddha for not having been born in

Anshuman Pandey

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