[Advaita-l] adhikAra - veda - vedAnta, a query

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 5 08:50:03 EDT 2021

Namaste Subbuji
That's an excellent point. Your verse cited cannot be faulted on the
technicality that the word 'bhixukI' is mentioned rather than sannyAsI. The
point remains valid that outer renunciation I e., nivRtti mArga for women
was not an innovation.

I remember reading somewhere in the manu smriti that a vaidika should never
dwell for long in any kingdom ruled by mlecchas/veda-bAhyas or he will
loose all his brAhmaNatvaM in 12 years of such residence. If take this at
face value, most of India was ruled by mlecchas for a thousand years which
is eighty times twelve. So the "niShedha" has anyway been hopelessly
violated eighty times over. In which case we have to honestly accept that
there are not many Brahmanas left anywhere - many who claim to be brahmaNas
have willy nilly violated smriti niShedhas in this respect. (Or their
pUrvajas have) - if we choose to be so literalist in blindly applying
smRtis written for pre-Islamic India, to today's World.

 Such is the danger of a stratified interpretation of smRti by living in a
la la land of pre-Islamic India of the 'golden age' of the Guptas of c.400
CE.  What many hyper-orthodox modern interpreters of these ( pre-Islamic )
smritis seem to be blissfully unaware of is that the smritis were
*composed* by shiShTas of specific pre-Islamic times. Smritis are not
apauruSheya.  They do not factor in such catastrophically disruptive social
events like the Islamic invasions and British conquest (bhAratavarsha was
under mleccha rule for 1000 years) and therefore it's valid to not take
ideas such as loss of dvijatvaM for all those who have migrated to the west
etc., literally. Same goes for wholesale rejection of recent Ramakrishna
Mission, Arsha Vidya traditions, Chinmaya mission sannyAsa as outright
deviations from smRti.

Another point is that, labelling the teaching ( by Acharyas of RK Mission,
Arsha Vidya or even members of this forum for example) of vedAnta using
upaniShad verses (and prakaraNa granthas like Vivekachudamani) on an open
forum like you tube etc., is wrong because it's a deviation from smRti,
because non-dvijas and women can access the resources, is quite silly, for
the same reason  (literalism).

It may be difficult to draw the line clearly. And the word "reform" is not
necessary. If shiShTas of today adopt a certain stance or interpretation in
matters of smRiti, that can be accepted as valid.

 Thus it is quite a nuanced and noteworthy stance adopted by Sringeri etc.,
of felicitating (I e., honoring) these recent Acharyas who have taught
Vedanta on open fora. This  indicates the understated but clear shiShTa
position on such matters such as sharing Shruti based vedAnta teachings on
open fora (for example.)


On Tue, 5 Oct, 2021, 1:06 pm V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l, <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> In the Jivan Mukti Viveka (First chapter), Swami Vidyaranya has said that
> sannyasa for women is permitted. The 'praisha' mantra they have to utter is
> to be in their native language.  The Mahabharata talks of a sannyasini by
> name Sulabha whom Shankara has cited in the Brahmasutra bhashya:
> अथ धर्मयुगे तस्मिन् यॊगधर्ममनुष्ठिता महीमनुचचारैका सुलभा नाम भिक्षुकी 8
> https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs12308.htm
> regards
> subbu
> > <listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org>
> >
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