[Advaita-l] Re: Question: Swadharma

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 13 15:34:51 CST 2006

--- Ram Garib <garib_ram at yahoo.co.in> wrote:


> I understand that as per shankara his teachings are only
> for renunciates.

Yes, that's the ideal, but non-Sannyasins are not prohibited from
studying Vedanta.

> 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.

I think that Swami Vidyaranya in his Jivanmuktiviveka permits
everyone including Shudras to take up Sanyasa. I'm not able to find
the quote offhand though.

> 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. 

This doesn't seem correct. The Kovilur Math ( http://www.kovilur.com/
) teaches Vedanta in Tamil to virtually any good human being, and one
of the past Sringeri Acharyas has actually visited the place and
commended them on their practice and studies. Many of those initiated
into Sannyasa from this Math may not be dvijas, IMHO.

> With regards,
> Ram Garib 



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