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

S L Shivashankar slshivashankar at gmail.com
Wed Jun 27 04:55:26 CDT 2012

Dear Kathirasan and others,

A traditionalist is a sampradayavit or a shrotriya in my opinion and he can
> be either an evolutionary or a conservative, at times even a hybrid based
> on the value he has on different matters.
 This a valid definition, I think.

I have now received many replies to my posting of yesterday (which in turn
was a reply to Sriram´s posting). I am familiar with the arguments
regarding non-Indian aspirants, caste issues etc prevalent on this list for
many years, so I have not encountered anything previosly unknown to me.
Moreover, I have a very vast collection of traditional hindu litterature in
my home, so I am also quite familiar with the quotations and views
discussed in this thread.

However, I have also noticed on many occassions that exceptions have been
made by learned pandits and acharyas - also pandits and acharyas highly
respected by the "conservative" members of this list, like it or not. The
ways of dealing with things in traditional mathas doesn´t always follow the
patterns suggested by members of this list. I have noticed several times
over the years that things related to foreginers (who´s a foreginer by the
way? Many people born in hindu families are today born and raised in other
parts of the world than India) are discussed here without paying attention
to specific cases when foreginers have been embraced and initiated into the
hindu fold. Such cases seems to be unknown to most people, and hence the
discussions goes on endlessly by delivering seemingly contradictory quotes
from shastras.The actual examples are left behind, most probably because
they are unknown to most people. I have noticed the same pattern when there
have been discussons on, for example, whether a brahmana or sannyasi is
permitted by the shastras to cross the ocean or not. The discussions have
been going on and on, quotes from shastras have been piled against each
other, without paying much attention to recent actual cases of pandits or
sannyasis travelling overseas by the blessings of jagadgurus. It was in
this context my yesterday posting regarding my upanayanam was made. I
pointed to myself as an example that vedantins and pandits also from very
traditional folds do actually - sometimes at least - judge the "mleccha"
issue different from what some people may think. Many people on this list
apparently are unfamiliar with the fact that quite a few Westerners over
the years have been initiated and given upanayanam or mantropadesha also by
strict sampradayavits.

For example, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati of Vrindavan - a very traditional
vedantin and brilliant scholar - gave sannyasa to at least two Westerners,
and they where staying at his ashram. One of them is a dear friend of mine,
so I know quite a lot of details regarding this. Prior to sannyasa, my
friend was wearing his upavitam, he performed sandhyavandanam, puja etc.

I know of westerners who has got mantropadesha from HH the Sringeri
Jagadguru Bharati Tirtha Swamigal. Also, a fairly well-know example is
Swami Yogananda Saraswati, a frenchman by birth who is living sannayasa
life in a small cottage on the french countryside. His way of life and
activities have the full blessings by HH Bharati Tirtha Swamigal, and he is
also the European representative of Sringeri Peetham. If I´m not remember
wrong he is also a boardmember of the Tattvaloka magazine (a Sringeri

Dr Michael Comans (Sri Vasudevacharya) who I referred to in an earlier
posting, is a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, but he has also
studied for Sri R. Krishnamurthi Sastrigal in Chennai. To my knowledge,
this strictly traditional and most respected vedantin didn´t have any
objections to the fact that Michael Comans is a westerner wearing an

I shall not bother you by presenting further examples. I just wanted to
point out that things are not always just black or white. There are nuances
in between.

Warmest regards

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