[Advaita-l] janmana jaayate shUdraH

Subrahmanian, Sundararaman V [FI] sundararaman.v.subrahmanian at citigroup.com
Thu Feb 10 08:35:53 CST 2005

Dear Sri Ravishankar:

> person who has not undergone the ceremony of upanayana is shuudra (janmana 
> jaayate shuudraH - by birth all are shudra-s only) and 

janmanA jAyate shUdraH - By birth (one is) known to be LIKE a shUdraH.  "Like" has to be supplied.  If he were intrinsically a shUdraH then he would not be entitled to samskAra.  He appears and behaves like one though essentially he is not and hence he can be refined.  The difference is subtle but significant.

Supplying of this word "LIKE" is not my invention.  In a different contexts we encounter situations where we have to supply this important word.  For example (infact the only one that comes to my mind now):

matR^devO bhava |

Standard translation:  Be one for whom mother is God.
Correct translation:  Be one for whom mother is (LIKE) God.

The authority for the 2nd version is Sri Shankara who in his commentary says:

devavat ete upAsyAH |

They (mother, father, guru and God) should be worshipped LIKE God.  He does not say they ARE God.


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