[Advaita-l] the qualification to be an advaita guru
Venkata sriram P
venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Aug 10 04:53:05 CDT 2011
Here are my responses
Do the definitions Shrotriyah and Brahman nishta refer to Braahmanas by
birth that have attained spiritual accomplishments?
There are 2 aspects here. One is “shrotriyaH” and the other is “brahmaniShTa”.
shrOtriyaH means “chandO adhItE” ie., one who has studied Vedas and the adhikAri
is a trai-varNika. Whereas, for “brahmaniShTatva” all the chAturvarNAs are eligible.
Vedantic study which include upanishads require veda-adhikara and hence
Dvija birth AND samskara.
Veda adhyayana is different; veda abhyAsa is different.
Non-dvijas are eligible for veda abhyAsa through study of prakaraNa granthAs,
purANAs, Bhagavat Gita etc.
In Advaita tradition, there are non-Dvija Gurus such as Swami Chinmayananda,
Yes. They are brahmaniShTAs even though they are ShUdrAs.
shUdra sanyAsis were called “shramaNAs” .
In Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya, saints such as alwars are from all varnas but acharyas
who give deeksha for Samashrayam and their Jeeyar sanyasis are from Braahmana varna.
The main concept in Srivaishnava siddhanta is prapatti & kainkarya.
So, whoever practices these and dedicate to Vishnu and undergo the
Shankha & chakra mudrAs is a srivaiShNava irrespective of varNa.
So, in that way all the Alwars were great bhAgavatOttamAs.
So in conclusion, Can a Guru only be one from Braahmana varna ? If not, should a
Braahmana only take spiritual initiation/etc from a Braahmana Guru?
Need not be.
As far as shruti is concerned, yes, the shravaNa & manana should be
done from brahmaNa grihatha / yati. However, if a brahmaNa
is undergoing shravaNa from lesser varNa ie., kShatriya / vaiShya,
the Acharyas of kShatriya / vaiShya varNa should not receive the
guru vandana & namaskAra from a brahmaNa sishya.
Even to some extent, this is followed in Srividya.
However, if the tantrika guru is
is a mahApUrNabhiShikta and belongs to
kShatriya / vaiShya / ShUdra, he is considered
to be an eligible guru who can pass on the
“sudhA pAtra” or “aLi pAtra” to his disciple
who can be a brAhmaNa.
Now, as far as yOga sAstra is concerned,
there are no caste-barriers and
a brAhmaNa can learn yogic secrets from
a shUdra guru also.
Shri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati learnt secrets of
Khechari mudra & vajrOli kriya from a shUdra yOgi.
There are several shUdra yOgis / yOginIs who were brahmaniShTAs
who were capable of giving drik & shakti pAta dIkShAs.
My guruji’s paramaguru Brahmasri Gollapinni Mallikarjuna Sastry
received yogic instructions from a shUdra yOgini who belonged
to the caste of “mAla” (an untouchable chandala caste in AP).
Her name was Mahayogini Tikka Lakshmamma Avva of
Adoni Village, Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh.
Brahmasri Jandhyala Subramanya Sastry of Machilipatnam, AP
was a great scholar and upAsaka in Andhra Pradesh.
He used to visit a great shudra yogini called "penumatsa mahayogini".
This mahayogini once taught the inner secrets
of chatushpAda gayatri mantra which is also called turiya gayatri.
Being a shudra stri, it is astounding to hear such great achievements.
That is why i said, whatever comes from the holy lips of
brahmaniShTAs itself becomes a sastra.
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