[Advaita-l] saMnyAsa and brAhmaNas (was RE: Fw: Re: waking, dreaming, sleeping as mutually supportive)
anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 26 23:34:17 CDT 2009
The dharma shAstra texts attempt to reconcile the two positions - saMnyAsa is meant for
brAhmaNas alone and saMnyAsa can be taken up by kShatriyas and vaishyas also.
First there is a jAbAlashruti statement, "brAhmaNAH pravrajanti".
Next, Manu smR^iti says, "Atmani-agnInsamAropya brAhmaNaH pravrajed-gR^ihAd".
VijnAneshvara and other authors too agree with this.
VR^iddhayAjnavalkya says, "chatvAro brAhmaNasyoktA AshramAH shrutichoditAH
kShatriyasya trayaH proktA dvAveko vaishyashUdrayoH", meaning four ashramas are
prescribed by the shruti for brAhmaNas, three for KShatriyas, two for vaishyas, and one
However, mAdhava quotes the kUrma purANa statement, "brAhmaNaH kShatriyo vA atha
vaishyo vA pravrajed-gR^ihAd", whereby those from the three varNas are eligible to take
The nirNaya sindhu of kamalAkara bhaTTa reconciles these statements as follows.
The earlier statements that speak of only brAhmaNas are meant to prohibit the wearing
of signs of saMnyAsa such as the kAShAya vastra (ochre robe) and daNDa by
kShatriyas and vaishyas.
In support of this, the nirNaya sindhu quotes a BaudhAyana statement, "mukhajAnAmayaM
dharmo yadviShNorliN^ga-dhAraNam.h rAjanya-vaishyayorneti dattAtreyamunervachaH".
The dharma of wearing of signs of ViShNu belongs to brAhmaNas, not to kShatriyas and
vaishyas. Thus says dattAtreya muni.
The nirNaya-sindhu concludes by saying, "tattvaM tu kuTichakAdiparametat.h", meaning
kSahtriyas and vaishyas are not to take up kuTichaka, bahudaka, haMsa, and parama-
haMsa forms of saMnyAsa.
The author of dharma sindhu, kAshInAtha upAdhyAya, closely following the nirNayasindhu
concludes, "daNDagrahANAdirUpe vividiShAkhye viprasyaivAdhikAraH, vidvatsaMnyAse tu
kShatriyavaishyayorapi", meaning the eligibility for vividiShA saMnyasa involving the
acceptance of such signs as the staff (as in stick, not support staff !), is for
the brAhmaNa alone. KShatriyas and vaishyas are eligible for vidvatsaMnyAsa.
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