[Advaita-l] Chanting Gayatri overseas

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Sun Oct 1 13:01:57 EDT 2017

For vaidika karma, the purity of the place is very important and hence it is clearly 
mentioned in shruti itself vide स्वाध्याय ब्राह्मणं of तैत्तिरीय आरण्यक :

तस्य वा एतस्य यज्ञस्य द्वावनध्यायो यदात्माऽशुचिर्यद्देशः

There are 2 anadhyAyAs for swAdhyAya (brahma-yajna) viz., one is during the impurity 
associated with oneself (ashauchAs) and another is during the impurity associated with 
the dEsha (place / surroundings / ambience / etc.).  

It is said that those regions other than Aryavartha, is considered as म्लेच्छ owing non-observance of varNa dharma, madya-pAna and gO-mAmsa-bhakSaNa.  Hence, those regions are considered as unfit for vaidika-karma anuSTAna.  

Now, several people (my own relatives) have argued with me stating that in foreign 
countries too there are many temples, pundits and Indians following traditions and culture.  
Now, how far they are following the siSTAchAra like rajaswala-niyamAs etc. only God knows 
and this has to be given a ‘benefit of doubt’.  They also argue that even in bhArata, 
the values of vaidika dharma have degraded and many are into beef eating, drinking and non-veggie.  

My answer is well – we have Kasi, Tirupathi, Srisailam, Puri, Dwaraka, Ayodhya, 
Srirangam, Kanchi, Sringeri etc. and we have puNya-nadi-pravAha like Ganga, Krishna, 
Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Narmada, Godavari etc. Our AchAryAs have sanctified our land 
with their holy feet, our rAmachandra & kriSNa are born here; whose substitute we 
cannot find in foreign countries. These are sweet memories associated with our 
bhArata and when we do sankalpa at the time of sandhyAvandana we tend to become 
emotional and proudly utter ‘भरतवर्षे भरतखण्डे मेरोः दक्षिणदिग्भागे श्रीशैलस्य वायव्यप्रदेशे....”
thereby mentally visualize the ‘srisaila’ kshetra – the seat of jyotirlinga and shakti peeta 
where Sankara Bhagavatpada composed ‘shivAnandalahari’.

Not to point out any NRI but a fact is a fact.  The bhArata is the only place for 
performance of vedic rituals as it is a karma-bhumi.  

गृहे जपः समं विद्यात् गोष्ठे शतगुणं भवेत् । नद्यां शतसहस्रं तु अनन्तं शिवसन्निधौ ॥

The gAyatri-japa done at home though gives the fruit, however, 100 times 
effective when done in gO-shAla; 1000 times effective when done at the banks 
of holy river; infinite when done siddha kshetras / swayambhu temples / shivAlayAs etc.

Taking all these difficulties in Kali Yuga as the mleccha-samparka would be at a spree,
the bhakti, nAma-sankirtana and bhagavannAma smaraNa is considered to be the only refuge:

हरेर्नामैव नामैव नामैव मम जीवनं । कलौ नास्त्येव नास्त्येव नास्त्येव गतिरन्यथा ॥

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