[Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas for kshatriyas and vaishyas?

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 14 08:24:31 CST 2005

On Jan 13, Jaldhar Vyas wrote:

>No doubt your friend has the best of intentions and thinks she is becoming
>more dharmic by taking up this novel practice.

Thanks Jaldhar for your well intentioned post. Despite my differences I 
respect your stand. I have listed out my differences below:

>On the contrary she is going 180 degrees in the wrong direction and 
>becoming _less_ dharmic by
>abandoning her svadharma.

She is a research scholar and she would not be doing justice to her 
"research dharma" if she did not refer the roots. Even otherwise nowadays 
more and more traditional swamis are accepting women students-- esp. for the 
jnana kanda. Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam has given sannyasa 
diksha to some women. The most traditionalist of them --Kailash Ashram of 
Rishikesh-- has also started accepting  female students-- many of them 
non-hindu foreigners. Their star scholar, Late Sw. Tarananda Giri also had 
female students untill his demise this October.

The point is these saints are rishis of our age and many of them as 
qualified as Gautam, Manu or Angiras to start a new Smriti. They are much 
more knowledgeable about dharmashastras than me. If they are initiating such 
changes, they must be having good reasons for that.

 > (I would not refer to such people as vidvans.)

I would desist from passing this judgment. Unless I undergo those economic 
hardships I cannot say what my conduct would be in those circumstances.

>What should be noted however, is how many don't compromise their
>principles regardless of their financial privations.

I would like to make a simple point. Manusmriti 2.21-24 lays down rules for 
the place of stay of dwijas and makes exception only for Sudras distressed 
for subsistence. Many of us dwijas who are now living in US and other places 
had much less on stake, still we chose to ignore those injunctions. Is 
dharma only what is convenient to me? The poor vedic scholars which I 
referred have made compromises for their physical survival, not to support a 
better lifestyle or to pursue their american dreams. Who are we to pass 
judgment on them?

Sanjay Srivastava

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