[Advaita-l] Did Sankara have non-brahmin disciples?

Sarma KV sarmakv at gmail.com
Wed Oct 13 01:21:26 CDT 2010

Sankara digvijaya clearly says that the "chanDaala" was Siva Himself.
(Sankara sees Siva everywhere, as a matter of fact.)

However, if we confine to the question of whether Sankara had disciples
among non-brahmins... we need to first think of what "disciple' means. If it
means the ochre-robed samnyaasi-s, there are less chances that there were
non-brahmins among them. Because, Sanakara didn't give samnyaasa ASrama
deeksha to whoever comes without establishing arhata (the way Budhdhism did
and added another reason to its own fundamental flaws, leading to its
If we think of disciple as someone who "follows" the advise/instruction, it
is more likely that the disciples include non-brahmins. And the teachings
are 'for each his own.' For example "bhaja gOvindam" is not reserved for
only brahmins.

I am eager to see what Sankara-digvijaya says on this, if at all.


On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 2:07 AM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> In his Gita commentary, Sankaracharya says that previous commentators have
> commented on every sentence and word but the meaning is not clear to lay
> people. And that he is writing this to make it clear and that this message
> would spread. Did he teach advaita to non-brahmins and accept them as
> disciples? In Manisha Panchakam, he accepts as guru a low born jnani but
> dont know if scholars accept that this incident took place at all.
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