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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Oct 5 12:00:53 EDT 2021

Dear Raghav ji,

I was just seeing a commentary, Ratnaprabha, on a certain Bhashya passage:

ऊर्ध्वरेतःसु च शब्दे हि ॥ १७ ॥  3.4.17
ऊर्ध्वरेतःसु च आश्रमेषु विद्या श्रूयते ; न च तत्र कर्माङ्गत्वं विद्याया
उपपद्यते, कर्माभावात् ; न हि अग्निहोत्रादीनि वैदिकानि कर्माणि तेषां सन्ति ।
स्यादेतत् , ऊर्ध्वरेतस आश्रमा न श्रूयन्ते वेद इति — तदपि नास्ति ; तेऽपि हि
वैदिकेषु शब्देष्ववगम्यन्ते — ‘त्रयो धर्मस्कन्धाः’ (छा. उ. २ । २३ । १)
 ‘ये चेमेऽरण्ये श्रद्धा तप इत्युपासते’ (छा. उ. ५ । १० । १)
 ‘तपःश्रद्धे ये ह्युपवसन्त्यरण्ये’ (मु. उ. १ । २ । ११)
 ‘एतमेव प्रव्राजिनो लोकमिच्छन्तः प्रव्रजन्ति’ (बृ. उ. ४ । ४ । २२)
 ‘ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेत्’ (जा. उ. ४)
 इत्येवमादिषु । प्रतिपन्नाप्रतिपन्नगार्हस्थ्यानाम् अपाकृतानपाकृतर्णत्रयाणां
च ऊर्ध्वरेतस्त्वं श्रुतिस्मृतिप्रसिद्धम् । तस्मादपि स्वातन्त्र्यं विद्यायाः ॥
१७ ॥


किञ्च कर्मतत्त्वज्ञाने नाङ्गाङ्गिभूते
भिन्नाधिकारिस्थत्वाद्राजसूयबृहस्पतिसववदित्याह -

ऊर्ध्वेति ।

त्रयो धर्मस्कन्धाः कर्मप्रधाना आश्रमाश्चतुर्थो ब्रह्मसंस्थ इत्यर्थः ।

'ब्रह्मचर्येण ऋषिभ्यो यज्ञेन देवेभ्यः प्रजया पितृभ्य एव वा अनृणः' इति
श्रुतेः । 'ऋणानि त्रीण्यपाकृत्य मनो मोक्षे निवेशयेत् । अनपाकृत्य मोक्षं तु
सेवमानो व्रजत्यधः' इति स्मृतेश्च प्राप्तगार्हस्थ्यस्यैव निरस्तर्णत्रयस्य
पारिव्राज्यमित्यपि शङ्का न कार्या । ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेदिति
द्वितीयमाश्रममिच्छेत्तमावसेदिति च विधिश्रुतिस्मृतिविरोधेन
अर्थवादश्रुतिस्मृत्योरविरक्तविषयत्वागमादित्याह -

प्रतिपन्नेति ।

तस्मादि ति संन्यासनिष्ठत्वादित्यर्थः ॥१७॥

Who is fit for sannyasa?  There are shruti/smriti passages that prescribe
the 'fulfillment of the three debts' as the qualification.  The Ratnaprabha
clarifies that these are for those who have not the required vairagya.
Thus, the criterion for sannyasa is: the one who has genuine vairagya.

This could be seen as as the guiding factor in matters such as the ones we
are discussing now.  In fact the earlier Jagadguru of the Sringeri peetham
has said that women who want to remain single (for spiritual reasons) can
choose to do so provided the conditions such as safety, etc. are in place.

The Sringeri Mutt has put the entire Bhashya corpus along with commentaries
and glosses and a whole lot of other related works on the Advaitasharada
site which anyone can access.  The Mutt has been published and blessing
several books in various languages, many of which are directly or otherwise
connected with the upanishads/bhashyas.


On Tue, Oct 5, 2021 at 8:46 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 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.)
> Om
> 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>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Archives: https://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> > http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> >
> > To unsubscribe or change your options:
> > https://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> >
> > For assistance, contact:
> > listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: https://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> https://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list