[Advaita-l] saMnyAsa and brAhmaNas (was RE: Fw: Re: waking, dreaming, sleeping as mutually supportive)

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Oct 27 06:57:45 CDT 2009


Thank you, that's very clear. But which ashrama is the one for sudra ? If
it's householder, then labour is incidental for the sudra. If it's
brahmacharya, then does that widen the sense of that ashrama for all varna ?
Or is it to be taken simply as 'learning to do one's divinely allotted job
well' ?


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Anand
Sent: 27 October 2009 04:34
To: advaita advaita
Subject: [Advaita-l] saMnyAsa and brAhmaNas (was RE: Fw: Re: waking,
dreaming, sleeping as mutually supportive)

The dharma shAstra texts attempt to reconcile the two positions - saMnyAsa
is meant for

 brAhmaNas alone and saMnyAsa can be taken up by kShatriyas and vaishyas

First there is a jAbAlashruti statement, "brAhmaNAH pravrajanti".

Next, Manu smR^iti says, "Atmani-agnInsamAropya brAhmaNaH

VijnAneshvara and other authors too agree with this.

VR^iddhayAjnavalkya says, "chatvAro brAhmaNasyoktA AshramAH shrutichoditAH

kShatriyasya trayaH proktA dvAveko vaishyashUdrayoH", meaning four ashramas

prescribed by the shruti for brAhmaNas, three for KShatriyas, two for
vaishyas, and one

for shUdras.

However, mAdhava quotes the kUrma purANa statement, "brAhmaNaH kShatriyo vA

vaishyo vA pravrajed-gR^ihAd", whereby those from the three varNas are
eligible to take

up saMnyAsa.

The nirNaya sindhu of kamalAkara bhaTTa reconciles these statements as

The earlier statements that speak of only brAhmaNas are meant to prohibit
the wearing

of signs of saMnyAsa such as the kAShAya vastra (ochre robe) and daNDa by

kShatriyas and vaishyas.

In support of this, the nirNaya sindhu quotes a BaudhAyana statement,

dharmo yadviShNorliN^ga-dhAraNam.h rAjanya-vaishyayorneti

The dharma of wearing of signs of ViShNu belongs to brAhmaNas, not to
kShatriyas and

vaishyas. Thus says dattAtreya muni.

The nirNaya-sindhu concludes by saying, "tattvaM tu kuTichakAdiparametat.h",

kSahtriyas and vaishyas are not to take up kuTichaka, bahudaka, haMsa, and

haMsa forms of saMnyAsa.

The author of dharma sindhu, kAshInAtha upAdhyAya, closely following the

concludes, "daNDagrahANAdirUpe vividiShAkhye viprasyaivAdhikAraH,
vidvatsaMnyAse tu

kShatriyavaishyayorapi", meaning the eligibility for vividiShA saMnyasa
involving the

acceptance of such signs as the staff (as in stick, not support staff !), is

 the brAhmaNa alone. KShatriyas and vaishyas are eligible for


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