[Advaita-l] Fw: Re: waking, dreaming, sleeping, as mutually supportive

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 11:23:19 CDT 2009

Dear Shrisha,

It depends on where you draw the boundaries around "tradition".
Perhaps you do not include people such as Swami Vivekananda (a Bengali
Kayastha) or Swami Chinmayananda (a Nair) as traditionalists ? On the
Visishtadvaita side, what would you have to say about the Ramanandi
tradition in the Gangetic plain or the Swaminarayan sect in Gujarat?
Since the Visishtadvaitins emphasize the performance of karma even
after sannyasa, the Patels and others who take up sannyasa under the
Swaminarayan group actually don the yajnopavita while taking

In southern India, for various reasons, a distinct presence of
Kshatriya and Vaishya varna-s has been somewhat muted, though not
absent. However, in the rest of India, things have been different.
There have been several instances of people from various varna-s, as
well as foreigners, receiving sannyasa diksha from traditional
dashanami akhada-s in North India. This is not even something new - it
has been well attested since medieval times at the very least.

In southern India, I am given to understand that there have been
historical cases of sannyasa diksha in the royal families of Kerala
(Keraliya Kshatriyas), though I don't have any evidence on hand.

I am not sure what you would have to say about people like Agehananda
Bharati, an Austrian who took dashanami sannyasa at Kashi in 1951.

I believe tradition gives a far longer rope to sannyasa than it does
to vaidika karma. After all, sannyasa is not exactly a matter of
adhikara to a given karma. It is a matter of a person's vairagya and
mumukshatva, the arising of which does not have any meaningful
correlation with varna or jati.

2009/10/25 Shrisha Rao <shrao at nyx.net>:
> I'm afraid I personally completely agree with your interlocutors on
> the other side of this debate -- I am not aware either of any
> acceptance by any classical scholar in any of the traditions of your
> position, or of any historical instance of a non-ब्राह्मण being
> ordained/accepted as a सन्न्यासी by tradition.

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