[Advaita-l] RE: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 22, Issue 8

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 8 15:34:01 CST 2005

--- Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:


> If we mean that a
> brAhmaNa is one 
> who can perform or conduct ritual karmas, then the social
> reality for more 
> than two thousand years has been that it is determined by
> birth and gender. 
> The entire discussion is moot, in my opinion. To begin with,
> learning to 
> chant the veda and to perform rituals is not restricted to
> brAhmaNa males. 
> It is traditionally allowed for kshatriya and vaiSya males
> too. The deciding 
> factor is the upanayana initiation. 

The question that really has not been addressed is -- what about
women and non-Indians? I have personally heard both chant the
Vedas, having been taught by those who have worked with the
Chinmaya mission. And they did not undergo the upanayana either.

If you go to http://www.chinmayasaaket.org/Programs/Classes.htm
, there is a "Vedic chanting class" given by the Chinmaya
Mission in Dallas, Texas, where everyone irrespective of birth
and gender join in. The same is true in the UK (
http://www.chinmayauk.org/Study%20Classes/Study%20Classes.htm )
or Australia ( http://www.chinmaya.com.au/classlist.html ).

The fact is that the lineage of Chinmaya Mission (CM) is rooted
in the Sringeri Math.

FWIW, I have personally attended the lectures of Swami Dayananda
Saraswati (who was formerly associated with the CM), and his
eloquence in imparting knowledge of Vedanta is second to none.


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