What does ignorance to anything specifically "Gayatri hymn" mean?


A Brahman, ignorant of the Gayatri hymn, is more .... (Parashara Smriti,Chapter 8,Verse 24)

What does ignorance specifically mean here?

  • It means not having upanayanam done.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


We need to see what word is used in the Sanskrit verse which is given below.

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GAyatri rahito viprah sudrAdap-yasuchirbhavet |
GAyatri brahma-tattvajnAh sampujayante janair-dvijAh ||

So, the key word here is "rahita" which does not exactly mean "ignorant". It means absent,bereft of, deprived of, want or lack of etc..

So, Gayatri rahito viprah will denote a Vipra (i,e. a Brahmin) in whose life Gayatri is absent ( which can either mean that he has never been initiated into it or he is initiated but does not chant it regularly).

If a Brahmin is never initiated into Gayatri mantra then he becomes a Vratya and becomes fallen like an outcaste. And, if he is initiated but never chants it as prescribed (doing which is his Nitya Karma-daily duties) then also he is fallen.

That is what is meant in the first part of the verse.

[NOTE: The translator has translated the part "Gayatri rahito viprah" as "a Brahmin ignorant of the Gayatri hymn", which is not exactly right IMO (and as shown from the dictionary), but it does not change the overall meaning conveyed by the verse either].

  • Yes in the 2nd part of the verse Garatri is a typo. @SK
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 12:50
  • @Rickross Can you answer this? hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/38426/…
    – user19925
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 13:28
  • Right now it can not be answered. We will have to wait for it to be reopened. Even when it is reopened I have to think how to answer it because we can not find anything in scriptures directly dealing with subject matter like downloading from internet. @JohnRay
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 13:33
  • @Rickross Ok, thanks!
    – user19925
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 13:34

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