Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_sundaram at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 20 16:53:33 CDT 2002


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jagannath Chatterjee" <jagchat01 at YAHOO.COM>
> What is the janeyu besides serving as a mark for the twice born? What
> purpose does it serve ?. Is it a must for every twice born to wear it?
> is the prayaschitta for one not wearing it?

 The yagnyopavitam is for "srauta smarta vihita nitya karma anushtAna
yogyada siddhyartam" - that is to get the permission and authority to
perform the karmas that are enjoined on grhastas by both the sruti and the
smriti ... as per my understanding, the word yagnyopavitam by itself means
"accessory to the performance of yagnyas" .
 I don't know of any specific prAyaschittam for not wearing it when one is
expected to etc - but look at it this way - one only has to look at the
present accounting scandals in the corporate world to know that when someone
is in a position that has some associated "duties" and "responsibilities" in
the diligent discharge of those duties, and the person is delinquent in the
performance of those duties, there are consequences (and perhaps associated
punishments) and atonements for the same. So also with dvijatva - in the
series of births and deaths that the jiva undergoes, one has been born a
human and this is not a "right" (as in fundamental rights accorded by the
constitution etc.!), but a **privilige**. Perhaps this privilige is also
"earned" thru the due performance of duties in previous lives as well, but
more than that, it is the Grace of ishwara that one is born a dvija - please
refer the first few verses of the vivekachUdAmani for Shri Shankara's views
on the hierarchy - so, not doing an enjoined duty does have consequences.
The simplest atonement I can think of is to just start doing what is
expected and hope that the associated bad karma of not doing (in the past in
this and previous lives) is still sanchita or agama and not prarabda karma,
and can hence be washed away by His Grace!

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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