[Advaita-l] Is this really in the 'Manu-smRti'?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Jul 16 19:04:44 CDT 2012

On Wed, 11 Jul 2012, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ wrote:

> The brahmin will tell the sudra that the proper conduct for him is to serve
> the three varnas above him. Is that right?

Amongst other things. Much more has been written on the subject than you 
seem to be aware of.  And if you do not wish to read, look around you. 
All the jatis have a good notion of what their achara is.  Only the 
modernized Brahmana wants to make this more complicated than it really is.

> When are we going to wake up from our pipe dreams and realize that the
> the days for the revival of sikhas and tretagnis are over centuries back.
> (संध्यावन्दन भद्रमस्तु--- लीलाशुक) .We should not dream of them any more.

My son Nilagriva is seven years old.  He is a second-generation American. 
(I was born outside India too.)  For the past several months he has been 
asking if he can grow a shikha.  I've been telling him to wait till he has 
his janoi next year but now I guess I can tell him the panditmanyas on the 
Internet say it is a dream so he should forget it.  Why would a seven year 
old boy want this?  It is not because he is well-versed in shastras (yet.) 
It certainly isn't because I have given the kind of "Our Glorious 
Heritage" lectures I was subjected to as a child.  For him keeping a 
Shikha is a natural thing for a Brahmana male.  Doing puja is natural. 
Reading sanskrit is natural.  (He is making slow but steady progress in 
learning Gujarati and Devanagari characters.)  Dreams have nothing to do 
with it.

And how did you get from shikha to tretagni?  If you would review the 
facts you would see that even in the "good old days" only a small 
minority kept the shrauta fires.  Grhya on the other hand was more 
prevalent and is certainly an achievable goal today.  But this is par for 
the course.  The ones who complain the most loudly that it is impossible 
to follow the shastras are the ones who have the least idea of what they 
are actually asking you to follow.

> If some people want to live in their make believe worlds nobody can 
> prevent them. But ultimately they have to be ready for the 
> disillusionment and disappointment.

You wanted some Vedanta?  Here it is.

What else is new?  Look at the people who are suffering now as the western 
economies go into recession.  They thought their computer science degrees 
and MBAs would make them rich but many are disillusioned and disappointed. 
The tamasika mind will always find excuses for inaction and 
rationalizations for disillusion and disappointment.  To them Bhagavan 
says to act knowing you only have rights to the action not the phala.

On Thu, 12 Jul 2012, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ wrote:

>> Even gAyatri doesn't have praNava in rg veda.  Then why do we chant 
>> with praNava. Moreover, what is meant by *non-vedic origin*.  Is not 
>> this mantra present in shatarudriya.

Someone who thinks Omkara is non-vedic in origin shouldn't be complaining
about other peoples grasp on reality.

> Do you know that these portions are reffered to as Taamasic srutis by 
> Vaishnavas?

I didn't but why would a Smarta care?  All this shows to me is
those Vaishnavas are unreliable as authorities on Shruti.

> Yes. I do not have much respect for sastras  whose expiry date
> is over. I think I am sensible. Absolutely no regrets.

Your view is the dead end.  Your view will be consigned to the dustbin of 
history.  I can say this not out of arrogance but because knowing history, 
I know following the fads and fashions of the day never lasts.  In a 
hundred years there will still be debates of whether the "expired" 
shastras are being interpreted too rigidly or too loosely.  But it is a 
debate my descendents will take part in.  Will yours?

> There is no dharma which is time proof. Dharma depends desa ,kala
> and deha dharma. Dharma in India has changed innumerable times ( Manu to
> Parasara).

Why stop there?  Consider why you are D.V.N Sharma not D.V.N Sharif or
D.V.N. Smith.  Because your ancestors "rigidly" refused to flap along with
the prevailing winds.

On Mon, 16 Jul 2012, D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ wrote:

> Some claim themselves to be brahmins like sthapatis, goldsmiths, 
> carpenters and so on.

No they don't.  Atleast in Gujarat some of the artisanal jatis wear 
yajnopavita (with a very perfunctory upanayana at the time of marriage.) 
but that is because they claim to be created by Brahma.  They do not claim 
to be Brahmanas and society does not treat them as such.

> To determine the position of these casts in to the fourfold varna frame 
> is impossible. If you try to attempt any such thing there will be grave 
> and even violent repercussions.

I happen to agree with the first part of your claim but the second is 
puzzling.  Do you mean to tell me that India is so backward that speaking 
the truth or even investigating it will cause bloodshed?  And 
you're response to this thuggery as a patriotic citizen is to try and 
change the subject instead of confronting and stopping the terrorists?

> Majority of the brahmins (99%) are not following any smritis. They are 
> unlikely do so in future. Why do not we confine our selves to our main 
> concern Advaita?

You think people too lazy to get a different haircut are going to be any 
less lazy in studying upanishads?

But ok then.  Take the initiative and tell us something interesting about 
Advaita Vedanta.  Don't wait for anyone.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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