[Advaita-l] RE: Advaita-l Digest, Vol 45, Issue 23

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 31 23:47:22 CST 2007

BrahmaSri VidyASankar gAriki namassulu!

>There is a variety of opinion in the dharmaSAstra texts, ranging from the 
>arch conservative, restricting access only to brAhmaNa males who have 
>undergone the various saMskAra-s (rites of passage, such as upanayana), to 
>the very open, explicitly saying there are no restrictions. It is a myth 
>that orthodoxy demands sannyAsa to be restricted to brAhmaNa men

When it was first mentioned in the list a few days ago that sannyAsa is only for Brahmin men, and that in the second chapter of Gita, Krishna points out that Arjuna is not eligible for sannyAsa, I first reread the second and third chapters of Gita, but could not find the reference alluded to. Then I browsed Manu, Apastamba, Gautama, BaudhAyana, and Vaasishtha dharmaSAstras but found that while they usually included a chapter or a collection of sUtras on sannyAsa indicating the eligibility of Brahmin men, the topic of sannyAsa was not touched upon in the chapters on kshatriyas and others (where available). Commentators like Haradatta have indeed intrepreted silences as well, but I guess the force of an explicit statement, such as the one stating that while all three dvijAs ought to learn the vedas only the brAhmaNas have the right to teach vedas, is different from the intrepretation of silence.

Could you please give the reference to the opinion restricting sannyAsa only to brAhmaNa males? I seek to know so that one understands the source of the tradition regarding sannyAsa better.


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