[Advaita-l] mleccha-s not eligible to take Hinduism??

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Jun 27 02:16:37 CDT 2012

On Tue, 26 Jun 2012, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> The guru can give the adhikara in the deserving cases. Satyakama is an 
> example.

No he cannot and Satyakama is not an example.  See the bhashya on 
Brahmasutra 1.3.37 where the passage from Chhandogyopanishad 4.4.5 is 
discussed.  Shankaracharya observes that Gautama Haridrumat says "None but 
a Brahmana could thus speak out."  In the chhandogyabhashya Shankaracharya 
glosses this phrase as "Such a straightforward assertion none but a 
Brahmana could make; because it is Brahmanas and not others that are 
naturally straightforward.  Since you have not flinched from the truth, 
the charactaristic of your caste; hence, inasmuch as you are a Brahmana I 
shall initiate you."

The reformist view has it backwards.  It is not "speaking the truth makes 
you a Brahmana" but "Brahmanas are people who speak the truth even when it 
is embarrassing."

On Tue, 26 Jun 2012, Gopal wrote:

> Here goes our sanathana dharma protectors talking about sastras-sampradayas
> in saying who has adhikara or who is not.

Well yes.  Does this surprise you?  Then go back and look up the purpose 
of this list again.

> I know of   dozens in my family - adult /
> not-yet-adult males, hundreds among the so called friends/acquaintances,
> thousands who call themselves brahmanas by their accent, look, stiff-lipped
> ness, madi and acharas etc. only but cannot even say one of the pancha
> suktas properly.

Perhaps if more in your family and friends circle talked about shastra and 
sampradaya you wouldn't have this problem?   However I fail to see why 
this bears any relationship to the subject at hand.

In essence your argument is this.  "It is wrong to judge the morality of 
anothers action when we ourselves are not acting with moral perfection." 
But this is nonsense.  I am naturally left-handed. Some time ago I was 
talking to my wife at dinner and absent-mindedly began eating with my left 
hand.  My son who is 7 years old noticed this and pointed it out.  Should 
he have waited until he became a chaturveda ghanapathi to tell me?  Should 
I have been offended that an impertinent child dared to criticise me who 
knows magnitudes more about dharma than him?  No I apologized, corrected 
my fault, and praised him for understanding the rules.  This is how you 
raise generations who will care about pronouncing suktas correctly.

> If the answer is a 'no', then it is  time to seriously
> learn to be ashamed of ourselves...

What if the answer is yes?  Then do we have your permission to point out 
the obvious?

On Wed, 27 Jun 2012, Krunal Makwana wrote:

> Please accept my apologies for this out burst but I had to vent it out.
> Can't the members stop having a 'pop' at one and rather constructively
> dialogue whilst respecting each others points of view regardless if it does
> not fit into your belief framework?

Thanks for taking the time to remind us of something we should all try to 
practice.  But please understand that the issue here is that we who are 
criticizing him think Stig/Shivashankara is wrong.   We don't respect his 
point of view.  Now it may turn out there is more to this and we may be 
barking up the wrong tree.  Then I hope we are mature enough to apologize 
and revise our opinions.  But respect has to be earned because the point 
of view in question, prima facie, is wrong.

> With all due respect Sri lalitAlAlitaH, who are you to question his Guru
> and how much he knows about shastra?

Because his Guru is apparently teaching nastikata.  Now as I mentioned 
before, I could be wrong.  There may be some brilliant proof that will 
turn my worldview on its ear.  I wouldn't bet on it but the possibility 
exists.  Consider this analogy.  You attend a lecture by a prize-winning 
mathematician who says 2 + 2 = 5.  You might but wonder "Hmm there must be 
some reason why a mathematician of his calibre is saying this."  But then 
you would ask him "Excuse me sir, why are you saying 5 when it is 4"  What 
you would not do is say "Well he is a famous mathematician so who am I to 
judge?"  And should you ask and the response is "Shut up, I am a famous 
mathematician.  Don't question me." the answer would still be 4.

> Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi knew squat about shastra

Actually he knew quite a bit.  He didn't talk about shastra which is 
something else and not really relevant to the topic at hand.

> but wasn't he realised didn't he not know the science of
> advaita? Does the authenticity of being pure have to be stamped by your
> pure self before we accept them as authoritive.

But we are not talking about the science of Advaita but upanayana which is 
part of karmakanda.  This is what makes the whole situation so bizarre. 
It is totally unnecessary.  There are plenty of people who never had janoi 
who are considered jnanis even by the most orthodox so one wonders what 
kind of guru thinks it is required.

> Shankara entered into a women's body to experience the science of love, he
> performed the final rites of his mother. Will you class these actioned
> tainted with kAma?

Yes.  The ulterior motive was victory in a crucial debate but the action 
was what it was.

> If so your fundamental belief system in advaita is
> rocked to the core as the very person you rest on is flawed.

No that particular body was flawed.  Advaita fundamentally teaches me that 
the person is not the body!  Upanayana and other duties of varna and 
ashrama are actions related to a body.  This is why sannyasis in the 
Advaita tradition break their janois and cut off their shikhas.  They give 
up all the rites like sandhya even if they have meticulously followed them 
from childhood.

So again I ask, what is the point of this exercise?

> Even Adi Shankara wasn't stupid to follow the scriptures and law 
> blindly. He used his intelligence and heart to make decisions, though he 
> venerated and followed the vedic texts diligently he was not afraid to 
> divert where he thought necessary and we should learn from that too.

Shankaracharya himself denies this stating repeatedly that only 
sampradayavids should be followed on dharmic matters.  The other example 
you gave does not show any deviation either.  He did not willy-nilly 
decide to perform his mothers shraddha.  It was to uphold a promise made 
to her _before_ he took sannyasa.

> I apologise again in advance, but where does this madness end? You are now
> questioning the actions of an AcArya, what qualifications do you hold to
> question and disrespect the actions of a present AcArya who himself is the
> embodiment of Adi saMkara, who I mentioned earlier violated rules in his
> time.

Weren't you a rather trenchant critic of Satya Sai Baba?  He was the 
spiritual guide of many thousands, including, God help them, people who 
thought he was an authority on Advaita Vedanta.  Despite this you found 
his particular violations of rules worthy of note without stopping to 
consider your qualification did you not?  (I for one think you were right 
to do so.)

> Though I agree Vedic dharma fundamentally has to be intact including that
> of the advaitic position, we have to move with the times, even we have to
> admit the Vedic dharmic practices we follow now is not what was practiced
> during the time saMkara let alone bhagavAna kR^iSNa!

The issue at hand is upanayana and the rules are well known and 
practically applicable in our times.

On Wed, 27 Jun 2012, Kathirasan K wrote:

> While I do not disagree with your distinction between traditionalists and
> the reformists, I beg to differ in the choice of words used based on the
> characteristics you have mentioned for each of them. I would say that 
> traditionalists you are talking are more the 'conservatives' while the
> reformists are 'evolutionaries'.

Those are rather tendentious definitions.  For instance I prefer to use 
the power of computers and the Internet for the propogation of Dharma 
rather than palm leaf manuscripts.  doesn't that make me a conservative 
evolutionary?  Rather I would say a traditionalist avoids change when he 
can but if must change insists that it is in a way that doesn't do 
violence to the ways of the past.  A reformist is one who wants to make 
dharma into something else (however "something else" is defined.)

> I personally resonate with the evolutionaries who are endowed with the
> 'sukshma buddhi' to bring about a change in the social fabric of the
> vaidikas or Hindus. I would illustrate the evolution of Hinduism from
> allowing a polygamous marriage to a monogamous one as also part of the
> evolution I am talking about.

This is a case in point.  The drive against polygamy was the obsession of 
Victorian prudes who wanted to look good for their colonial masters not 
some internal sea change in Hindu dharma.  The current laws have driven 
the practice underground but there are many Hindu polygamists out there, 
the same types who were polygamists centuries ago.  In fact I know of a 
Gujarati Rajput man in America who has two wives.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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