[Advaita-l] Question: Swadharma

Ram Garib garib_ram at yahoo.co.in
Mon Jan 30 13:31:38 CST 2006

S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:Instead of second guessing these terms, how about approaching a
Swamiji for direction? There are literally hundreds of great Swamijis
who are ready to guide, if only asked to do so. If even "foreigners"
(who don't strictly have any "caste" or "station" in life) can
receive guidance on these topics from our Swamijis, there is no doubt
that one who has been born into the religion can easily find a
qualified teacher.
I do not think situation is as simple as that. It is in fact easier for a foreigner to get a qualified teacher than the one born into the religion with wrong credentials. The symbolic status value attached with foreigner students is not available in the latter case. Moreove Swamiji-s are able to more liberally interpret the "caste" of a casteless one than whose caste is known with certainty.

That certainly doesn't mean that it is impossible to get a qualified teacher for someone born in a wrong situation. I had the rare luck of getting initiated into the first verse of brahma-sutra by no less an authority than Swami Krishnananda-ji himself. But I will not pretend that it is as easy as mentioned in the above mail.

However, I entirely agree that approaching a qualified teacher is the best (and quite possibly the only) way to learn ones swadharma.

With regards,
Ram Garib

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