[Advaita-l] Re: Question: Swadharma

Abhishek RK rkabhi at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 09:14:05 CST 2006


> 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

Here the point is not that one in a million will reach Sri Krishna. But Sri
Krishna Himself says "svadharmo shreyah". Shudras are not allowed sannyasa
because it is not their svadharma. If you say will they gain moksha,
shastras and Shankaracharya say yes.

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.

Now we are getting into "rights". The duties of dvijas are much more heavier
and difficult while the non-dvijas do not have such onerous expectations.
Now do these duties constitute "rights"? In my humble opinion they don't.
This is because these duties are like "self-punishment" or
"self-discipline". The shudras do not need these "disciplines" at all! This
is the conclusion of "svadharma" in the shastras. The moment we start
equating present society or economic statuses with the shastric injunctions
we commit the blunder of trying to equate apples and oranges since present
Hindu society is not outcome of the shastras.

> With regards,
> Ram Garib


> bhava Sankara deSika me saraNam
> sadASiva samArambham SankaracArya madhymam
> asmadAcArya paryantam vande guru paramparam

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