[Advaita-l] Re: [advaitin] Chinmaya Mission offers an E-Vedanta Course

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Nov 13 23:11:46 CST 2003

On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com wrote:

> I am bit confused about this course & media of teaching & need learned
> members clarification.  Is it not mandatory that aspirant should undergo
> upanayanam (sacred thread ceremony) before formally taking vedAdhyayana ??
> Apart from this all dvijas should fulfill all customary obligations like
> nitya & naimittika karma (sandhyavandanam & nitya devatArchana etc.) before
> taking veda pAtha in a traditional manner according to dharma shAstras.

This course is not about vedadhyayana.  while some have suggested only the
Shrotriya Brahmanas are capable of getting moksha in this lifetime, the
mainstream view in Advaita Vedanta is that liberation is possible for
anyone who has the viveka (sense of discrimination) to tell apart the the
real from the unreal and understands the identity of atma and Brahman.
No God, Guru, or shastra can "give" mukti because it was always there.
Only the blindness of avidya kept you from seeing it.

So why study Vedas?  The only reason is that for Dvijas it is their
svadharma.  No more, no less.  It is the adherence to svadharma which
cultivates the qualities that make one able to achieve jnana.  The
corollary to this is that even those who don't have studying Vedas in
their svadharma can nevertheless by diligent practice also cultivate the
right qualities and achieve jnana.  There are many examples in our
shastras of learned scholars who were unable to grasp brahmajnana and
apparently simple people who could.  (E.g. in the Bhagavata it says the
Brahmanas of Gokul were unable to recognize the true nature of Krishna
Bhagavan while the wives of the Gopas did.)

It is out of compassion for those who don't have access to Vedas that our
sages developed Mahabharata, Puranas, Tirukural, Ramacharitamanas etc.
Their study also increases vairagya, mumukshatva etc. Even
pada-vakya-pramana can be learned through these shastras.  The jnana that
results is in no way second class.

It should be noted that Swami Chandreshekhar Bharati in his own life did
encourage i.e. women who wanted to take sannyasa, foreigners and other
non-dvija seekers.  The difference between him and modern money-grubbers
is that he nevertheless insisted they maintain high standards.

> How CM check the eligibility of desired candidates in this e-media course??

I was going to write something sarcastic here but Vidyashankar is right,
all that can be usefully said on this topic has been said.  Those who
still don't understand the issues never will.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list