[Advaita-l] Fw: Gayatri question - How do you answer this question.?

Divya Meedin divyameedin at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 07:57:53 EST 2019

Blessed to read the truths tabled by Sri Chandramouli-ji and Sri Jaldhar
Vyas-ji. Stringent adherence to the instructions of the traditional Guru
Parampara and to that of regulations of our Dharma have ensured the
sustenance of the Vedic religion since ancient times. None of the
traditional Mathadhipathis have ever endorsed or sanctioned any such
dilution or whimsical interpretation. The scriptures say that Karma Yoga
can grant Chitta Shuddhi and put one firmly on the path to enlightenment,
one needn't look any further. Bhagavan-naama Japa is efficacious beyond
description, and being a woman, I would like to add that this campaign to
make sacred Vedic practices available to all, as if it were an exhibition
that people can pay some fees to view, is egregious to say the least.


On Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 2:34 PM Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Mar 2019, Nithin Sridhar via Advaita-l wrote:
> > There is a Smriti Pramana about women being two kinds: Sadhyovadhu &
> > Brahmavadini. The latter has Upanayana & hence Vedaadhyana.
> Shri Kathirasan mentioned the same thing.  It is not applicable.
> The text in question, alleged to be from Harita Smrti says:
> dvividhAH striyaH | brahmavAdinyaH sadyovadhyashcha | tatra
> brahmavadinInAmupanayanamabhIndhanaM vedAdhyayanaM svagR^ihe cha
> bhikShAcharyA |
> "There are two kinds of women. The Brahmavadini and Sadyovadhu.  Of these
> the Brahmavadini undergoes upanayana and attends the fire and studies Veda
> in her own home living on bhiksha."
> We do not derive pramanas by quoting random sentences from random books
> rather we have to look at the way the astikas actually behave, how they
> have interpreted dharma through the centuries and who they have considered
> authoritative.
> The existence of this text was first brought to light in 1943 by P.V. Kane
> in his History of Dharmashastra Vol. 1.  It does not occur in the printed
> editions of Harita Smrti available from various places.  (As far as I know
> the sole basis is one mutilated manuscript at B.O.R.I.)  It or similar
> texts do not occur in any of the other well-known smrtis such as Manu,
> Yajnavakya, Parashara etc.
> Neither does it occur in any of the well-known dharmashastra nibandhas
> such as chaturvargachintamani, nirnayasindhu, parasharamadhaviyam etc.
> even though the haritasmrti itself is used extensively in those works. It
> is not to be found even in places where it would be appropriate to quote.
> For instance Krtyakalpataru of Lakshmidharacharya quotes Harita almost 50
> times in his section on upanayana but not this part.  According to Kane it
> is quoted in the less-known Smrtichandrika of Devanna Bhatta and the
> obscure chaturvimshatimatasangraha but I was not able to inspect the
> editions he referenced. It definitely does not occur in the Mysore edition
> of the Smrtichandrika.  The popular Nirnayasindhu does mention it but goes
> on to say tadyugAntaraviShayam "It is a practice peculiar to another age."
> It goes on to quote a shloka from Yama smrti:
> purAkalpeShu nArINAM mau~njibandhamiShyate |
> adhyAyanaM cha vedAnAM sAvitrIvAchanaM tathA ||
> "In a previous aeon women undertook maunjibandham (i.e. upanayanam) veda
> adhyayanam and recitation of Savitri (i.e. Gayatri.)
> As you can see the author clearly considers this to be inoperative in
> current times.
> Furthermore where is the prayoga?  There are 100s of volumes on how to
> perform upanayana for a boy.  How does one initiate a brahmavadini?  Where
> are the historical (i.e. non-mythical) examples of brahmavadinis?
> On Mon, 11 Feb 2019, K Kathirasan via Advaita-l wrote:
> > The role of women in vedic studies and vedantic studies have evolved
> > over time. We see a strong correlation between urbanisation and the role
> > of women in the shastras.
> We do?  I'd like to see the evidence.
> > In the Vedic times, women were deemed to be
> > eligible for vedic study through the classification brahmavadini while
> > the Sadyovadhu focused on domestic duties. As we moved into the common
> > era, women’s duties were primary domesticated.
> The trouble with that interpretation is that Kane dates Haritasmrti to c.
> 400-700AD.  Well into the common era and well after the period of
> urbanization.  The idea of some liberal golden age in the past is just the
> pipe-dream of some reformers and doesn't bear rational scrutiny.
> > With education, the role
> > of women have changed yet again making them entitled to vedic study
> > these days. So the role of women (and men) is part of vishesha dharma
> > and hence will continue to evolve
> The modern Indian is fiercely proud of his (or her) illiteracy so I don't
> think education has anything to do with it but you may be on to something
> about the "times." Just as today madam must have a Gucci handbag because
> the cloth bag her grandmother carried won't do, she must have the Gayatri
> mantra because the bhajans her grandmother used to sing as pleasing they
> may have been to Bhagavan will not make her look good in polite society.
> > Some acaryas are ready to negotiate with it while some are not ready.
> >
> Any Tom, Dick or Harry can call themselves an acharya today but the title
> belongs to one who teaches the right thing to do not the fashionable
> thing.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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