crossing the oceans (fwd)

Sankaran Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Sat Feb 12 16:22:14 CST 2000

I asked my father whether or not there is a mention of RAma performing a
prAyashchitta for "crossing the sea" in the VAlmIki RAmAyaNa. Here's the
reply I received:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 08:06:56 +0530 (IST)
To: kartik at
Subject: Re: crossing the oceans

Dear Kartik,


3. Regarding crossing of the ocean, there is no mention in Vaalmiki-
ramayana about Sri Rama doing    Praayaschitta for that. There is also
another story that  Sri Rama did    Praayaschittam at Rameswaram for
having killed a Braahmana, namely, Raavana. There is no mention of that
either in Vaalmiki's work. The day he abducted Sitadevi, Raavana lost any
remnance of Brahminhood left in him after his other demonic activities.

The only mention about Rameswaram is :

        When they return to Ayodhya on the Pushpakavimaanam, Rama
describes to Sita the various locations traversed by him after
she was abducted by Raavana, he tells Sita,' This is the spot where
Raavana was killed; this is where Indrajit tried to perform a Yaaga which
was intercepted by Lakshmana and Indrajit was killed; ...;this is where
the bridge was built across the Samudra. "THIS IS WHERE LORD SIVA
BLESSED    ME. (atra pUrvaM mahAdevaH prasAdaM akarot.h vibhuH)"...'
Lord Rama    continues to describe in 'fast forward'-style till he
says,'here is where    I met Sugreeva...'

4. I think that the Praayashchittam must have come, because when one is
not under scrutiny by one's native social group, one is likey to    commit
undesirable (or unacceptable) actions .  The Praayaschittam is    intended
for that. In fact, many acts of Praayaschittam are atonement    for
undesirable former actions. The rule is : If one has offended or    harmed
another, the atonement must be done in the presence of those who    were
present  at the time when the offence was committed.

5. I do not know the reason for asking this query under the subject you
have    mentioned at the top of your mail. If I start discussing that, I
may take    another half an hour or more. The power may go off and I may
have to    retype this mail.

Hence, so far for today.

With love,


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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