[Advaita-l] Shankara, smarta and shanmata

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 27 23:11:28 CDT 2009


The word smArta for a group of people merely means "conforming to smRti". Although most discourse in this regard tends to be Brahmana-centric, in reality, the word smArta should include people of all castes who conform to the smRti traditions, particularly in the observances of rites of passage.


In reality, a particular smArta person or family could be allied to any one of the philosophical traditions of nyAya, sAMkhya, mImAMsA or vedAnta. I am not including vaiSeshika and yoga in the list because of various reasons, which I will leave unspecified at this time. The central place given to advaita vedAnta in the smArta world view is a consequence of the respect that advaita vedAntins (particularly sannyAsins of the major maThas) command. Even among those who count themselves close followers of this or that maTha, the number of people who actually know what advaita vedAnta is all about is very small.




> Please could you tell me more about Shankara, smarta and shanmata ?
> Did Adi Shankara encourage the six aspects of worship simply by writing
> hymns etc to each deity, or are there recorded statements by him about
> smarta and shanmata ?
> The references to this I have found so far lack chapter and verse !
> And I suspect that this is important in relation to certain writings being
> 'written off' as not Advaita Vedanta !
> Michael
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