parakAya praveSa

Vidyasankar vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 4 12:55:18 CST 2003

To add to Ravi's post, it must be kept in mind that even saMnyAsa applies to
the physical body. One either takes up the external form of a saMnyAsin in
order to devote all one's life to knowing Brahman or one renounces after the
dawn of knowledge, knowing that nothing remains to be accomplished. The
latter kind of saMnyAsin is not affected by physical actions, but the former
is rule-bound.

As a model saMnyAsin, anything that Shankara did would have been deemed
worthy of emulation by disciples and others who came later. Hence, by
challenging him about kAma SAstra, bhAratI hit upon an extremely brilliant
strategy, as far as the terms of debate were concerned. That Shankara
responded with the tactic of using parakAya pravesha needs to be seen as
something done under duress. At the same time, he did not violate the
conventional vows of saMnyAsa, which applied only to the physical body in
which he was born.


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