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

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 8 16:38:35 CST 2005

hariH Om !!

--- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- 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 (
> )
> 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.

I have been visiting Chinmaya Mission in California
for the last 5 years. I have not heard from any one in
the Chinmaya Mission saying that it has a lineage from
Sringeri Matha. Svami Chinmayananda learnt Vedanta
from Svami Tapovanam. If I remember correctly, Svami
Tapovanam did not take sanyasa in the formal sense
through Viraja Homa etc. He first assumed sanyasa and
probably later he did go through formal ritual. Either
case it does not matter.

In my view one of the reasons why Svami Chinmayananda
became popular is because he did not care caste while

I even know that in Andhra, Chinmaya Mission under
Svamini Saradapriyananda and now Svamini Shilananda
make  orphan children (don't know any caste info)
perform daily sandhyavandanam. Not even sure if they
have a formal Upanayanam. In either case it is not as
per tradition.

Even in San Jose, CA Vedic Chanting is taught to all
people without asking about caste or upanayanam. Also,
women are allowed.

> 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.

Svami Dayananda did not do all his Vedanta learning
from Svami Chinmayananda, though he started his
Vedanta learning from Svami Chinmayananda. In web page
giveng details of Svami Dayananda, only Svami
Tarananda is referred as his Guru. I understand Svami
Dayananda learnt Brahma Sutra from Svami Tarananda.
So, all the skill of teaching Advaita Vedanta which
Svami Dayananda exhibits is not from Svami
Chinmayananda. So, we do not have to link his teaching
Advaita Vedanta to Chinmaya Mission lineage.

Om Namo Narayanaya !!


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