[Advaita-l] Re: Question: Swadharma

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Wed Feb 15 11:00:59 CST 2006

--- Abhishek RK <rkabhi at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

I am afraid this is not advaita stand. Unlike
maadhwaas and sri vaishnavaas, in smaarta tradition,
liberation is available only to a renunciate. This is
how taittiriya verse "na karmanaa, na prajayaa.." and
the shwetashwatara “atyAshramibhyah..”, have been
interpreted by advaitins. In advaita, there is no
possibility of moksha without sannyasa. In
jivanmuktiviveka, Swami Vidyaranya argues that even
the knowledge of self cannot bring moksha without

> 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! 

But the result is also different for dvija-s and
shudra-s! By following swadharma, dvija-s gain
eligibility to study vedanta while shudra-s do not.
Not having to go through the self-discipline is no
consolation if it bars one from the pursuit of the
highest goal.

Note that while some commentators permit shudra-s to
gain vedantic knowledge through gita etc., others
including shankara do not.

With regards,
Ram Garib

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