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

ravi chandrasekhara vadhula at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 13 23:00:35 CDT 2010

Pranam to all:

Several points:

1.It is shastrically acceptable for Adi Shankara to have non-Braahmana disciples.
2.What matters is if veda-adhikara was transgressed, which Adi Shankara would not do.
3.Kanchi Paramacharya in Voice of God mentions that a jnani has equal vision for all but does not equate to "equal functions of varnas or social equality".
4.With regards to point 3 however, shastrically can a Braahmana be a spiritual disciple or take mantra deeksha, etc from a Non-Braahmana grihastha or sanyasi ?
5.As mentioned many times before, the process of niyoga involves the progeny belonging to the maternal caste. Hnece Vidura was a Shudra, Pandavas were Kshatriya, etc. Niyoga is nishedha in Kali Yuga.
6.Veda Vyasa's father was a Braahmana: Parashara and mother Satyavati (Kshatriya raised by fisherman); hence a Braahmana (anuloma union, with mother being one varna below father, among dvijas results in progeny belonging to the father's varna).

Ravi Chandrasekhara

--- On Wed, 10/13/10, Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Rajaram Venkataramani <rajaramvenk at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Did Sankara have non-brahmin disciples?
> To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 3:00 PM
> Thanks for the responses. My comments
> and questions
> *Venkatesh* : Why people say Adi Sankara bowed to Candala?
> This is  politics
> and lies in a bad way.
> *Response*: I dont know if we can blame people for what
> Sankara Dig Vijayam
> says if it says that Sankara bowed to a candala. In any
> case, he would not
> have differentiated between a learned and humble brahmana
> such as you and a
> dog eater noting that the difference is only in the
> conditioning by the
> modes of nature! Please read the venerable acharya's
> commentary to Bhagavad
> Gita verse vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni
> caiva sva-pake
> ca panditah sama-darsinah.
> *Venkatesh*: If we take Adi Sankara meeting Candala when
> Sankara Digvijaya
> says it we must also take the Candala as Siva in disguise.
> Here the text
> clearly says he prayed to Siva.
> *Response*: The text is not a glorification of Lord Siva
> but teaches that
> even if a candala is self-realized, he is to be revered as
> a guru. Of
> course, one can question the authenticity of the text.
> Sankaracharya, if he
> did compose Manisha Panchakam, says "If one is convinced
> firmly, that he is
> that very Soul which manifests itself in all the conditions
> of sleep,
> wakefulness and dream, in all the objects from the great
> Brahma (the
> creator) to the tiny ant and which is also the vibrant, but
> invisible,
> witnesser of all, then as per my clear conclusion, he is
> the great
> teacher/preceptor, be he a dvija or a candala". So as per
> the author of this
> verse, not only dvijas (brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaishyas)
> but even a
> candala can be revered as a guru, if he is a jnani.
> *Ramakrishna:* It is simply impossible to imagine
> SankarAchArya teaching Him
> the brahma-sUtra-bhaashhya before sannyaasa.
> *Response:* Why is sannyasa ashrama a precondition to learn
> brahma sutra?
> Most vedic rishis were grahasthas. Veda Vyas, author of
> brahma sutras,
> himself was born to a fisher woman and parashara muni. Like
> his son Vidura,
> Krishna Dwaipanya Vyasa was also a Sudra considering his
> mother's lineage.
> He even fathered children of his step brother's (mother's
> second husband's
> son) widows Amibka and Ambalika. His sons Dhrtarashtra and
> Pandu were
> accepted as Kshatriyas though Krishna Dvaipanya Vyasa was
> not.Krishna
> Dvaipanya also married Varitka, the daughter of sage Jabali
> giving birth to
> Sukadev Gosvami. When instructing Sukadev, a jnani from
> brith, he was still
> a grahastha.
> Sankara accepts Janaka (a kshatriya) and Vidura (a sudra)
> as a jnani and
> therefore wont see the impossibility of self-realization
> for non-brahmins
> and non-dvijas. So the question is did Adi Sankara, in
> practice, teach
> advaitam to non-brahmins?
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