[Advaita-l] Re: Question: Swadharma

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Mon Feb 13 10:04:11 CST 2006

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:

> I for one think this subject is squarely within the
> scope of this list. 
> To practice Vedanta 100%, one must take sannyasa. 
> As most of us are not, 
> it is of utmost importance for us to know and
> practice our dharma and in 
> order to do this we must know what dharma is.  

Thanks Jaldhar for your encouragement. You have
however raised another thorny issue with sannyasa. I
understand that as per shankara his teachings are only
for renunciates. Qualify it further, and renunciation
is available only to a brahmin male. It seems later
acharyas made some concessions for kshatriya and
vaishya also. And yet some included women too. I am
however not aware if any of them allowed renunciation
for those born as shudra.

You might argue that in practice it hardly makes any
difference since anyway krishna says only one in a
million can reach him. Thus probability of anyone
reaching advaita knowledge is negligible. However, in
principle, it seems to make a whole lot of difference
to me for those born as shudra. Moreover, I see that
people who are not born even as hindu have also been
allowed sannyasa by no less authorities than
shankaracharyas. (Note that I am not commenting about
the eligibilty of such non-hindu sannyasi mahatmas.
Most often they have brought only honour to the order
of sannyasa.)However, for someone born as a shudra,
the situation is so invidious that his religious
rights in the hinduism are inferior to even those who
are not born as hindus. 

With regards,
Ram Garib 

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