Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Aug 21 15:51:12 CDT 2002

On Tue, 20 Aug 2002, Jagannath Chatterjee wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> What is the janeyu besides serving as a mark for the twice born?

This question is stated backwards?  Who are the dvija (twice-born) execpt
those who are entitled to wear Janoi?

> What other
> purpose does it serve ?.

It is yajna + upavita.  It signifies the adhikara for performing Shrauta
and Smarta karmas.  Upavita means it worn draped over the left shoulder
which is the position it is in when doing Devakaryas.  For Pitrkaryas such
as Shraddha it is worn over the right shoulder and called prachinavita.

> Is it a must for every twice born to wear it?

Yes.  see above.

> What
> is the prayaschitta for one not wearing it?

While I agree with other posters on the necessity of mental penance, there
should be a physical one too.  As the dosha was inaction it can only be
cured by an action.  But for the details you should consult a learned
Shastri of your own locality.  I am told the Smrtitattva of Raghunandana
Smartashiromani Bhattacharya is considered an authoritative dharmashastra
in Bengal but I wouldn't really know.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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