General questions

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Sep 27 23:27:05 CDT 2000

On Wed, 27 Sep 2000, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> 1. What is the importance/significance of Shikha?

It is mandatory for Brahmans.  Other castes also have a tradition of
keeping shikha.  If you read the recent Bhagavata Purana post by
Mrs. Vidyaranya, Asvatthama considered it very humiliating to have his
shikha cut off.

As to what exactly it represents, like the yagnopavit, it is a symbol of
the competency for karma.  That's why the Dashanami sannyasis cut it off
and stop wearing yagnopavit when they take sannyasa.  Those who believe
karma can be combined with jnana like various Vaishnavas, contine to wear

> 2. What is the use of wearing a rudraaksha?

Mala dharana is part of the sandhyavandana.  I've been taught that
Brahmanas should wear rudraksha mala regardless of whether they are
personally worshippers of Shiva bhagawan or Vishnu Bhagawan.  Again,
Vaishnava sampradayas disagree and say they should wear tulsi mala if they
are Vaishnavas in term of ishtadevata.  Interestingly Swami Sahajanand who
was the founer of one of the bigger Vaishnava sampradayas in Gujarat
agreed with the Smarta view.

> 3. Are there any Vedic pundits in the Dallas area who can teach the Shukla
> Yajur Veda?

I have heard from my uncle who lives in Fort Worth, that the priest of the
Hindu Temple of DFW is quite knowledgeable.  (Mr. Janardanbhai Shukla?)
I've never met him myself.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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