foreign travel by a sanyasin (forwarded message)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Feb 8 11:19:14 CST 2000

Regarding a Sanyaasin travelling overseas, it is explicitly prohibited
in our Dharma Shastras . It is very clearly mentioned that Dharma
Prachaara can be done only in a place where the Varnaashrama Dharmaas
are followed and where the black Saaranga deer wanders carefreely.
Since the Varnaashrama vyavastha is not there abroad, why only a
sanyaasin, even a Grihastha is prohibited from travelling abroad ! Well,
now a days a grihastha may argue that he has a right to go abroad to
earn money. But where is the need for a sanyaasin to travel abroad ? If
we quote the examples of some mathaadhipathis who have travelled abroad
in recent times, I am sure it does not carry the approval of our
Sringeri Dakshinaamnaya Peetha’s ( the peetha which is strictly adhering
to age old traditions ) Shankaracharya. His Holiness Sri Bharathi
Thirtha Swamiji would not approve of this , nor would He raise an
objection openly if anybody did from other maths. He keeps himself away
from all these controversies. He would definitely consider this matter
as a loukika vyavahaara and certainly not spiritual.

Even if some people argue that the varnaashrama vyavastha is being
discarded here also and that all vices like meat eating, drinking
alcohol etc are prevalent in India too, this is a Karma Bhoomi and hence
a Punya Bhoomi where a Praayashchitha karma to atone for all the sins
committed is valid, whereas the Dharma shastra says that a sanyaasin who
returns from abroad is not eligible for this kind of prayashchitha too !

Even the Bhiksha that he accepts there can corrupt his mind as the crops
grown in those mlechcha deshas ( purely materialistic world )  is not
fit for consumption by a sanyaasin whose very ideal is to attain the

If people say that times are changing and hence the ideas regarding the
code of behaviour also change and that we should adjust to these changes
and not be too rigid regarding what the Shastras say, is not a valid
argument as far as the matters of spirituality are concerned. “
Ateendriyaanaam vishayeshu Shruthi eva pramaanaha “.  If you say that
Shruthi itself asks us to follow what eminent people do, I would say
that in these matters shruthi considers one eminent or a mahaatman who
is a Shrotreeya and a Brahma Nishtha. And one who does not strictly
abide by the Dharma Shastra need not be considered a true preceptor and
one who accepts such a person as his Guru has no guarantee that he would
reach that highest destination or the parama purushaartha.

yaH shaastravidhimutsR^ijya vartate kaamakaarataH |
na sa siddhimavaap{}noti na sukhaM na paraaM gatim.h || Geetha 16.23 ||

One who acts under the influence of their desires, disobeying
scriptural injunctions, neither attains perfection nor happiness
nor the supreme goal.

With warm regards,
Hari Om,
Latha Vidyaranya

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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