[Advaita-l] yagnOpaveeta & women
sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 19 00:58:27 CDT 2009
In all such contentious issues we have to see what the Dhramashastra says. Manu says that the before marriage a girl has to be protected by the father. Under these conditions can a girl be sent to Gurukula unless the gurukula is in the girl's own home, ie. the father himself conducts the Vedic studies? Manu says that the Dharma shastra is based on the Veda. It is another thing that to maintain the superiority it is said that in case of conflict the opinion of the Veda is supreme, though any such conflict has never been reported, To my knowledge while the girl has to be always under the father's protection the boy is alloweed to be under the protection of his guru. This itself shows that this is the primary criterion why girls are not sent to acquire Vedic education. But there have been instances where the girls did study the Vedas from their own fathers.
Now that the girl has to be in home where her father (in his absence of father where her brother or her next caretaker) is she is given other appropriate tranings (depending on what the father can provide) to equip her for playing the required roles in life.. She may not be given access to the Veda and the upanayanam may not be requred, if her father is not an acharya himself.
Secondly we have to keep in mind that there is verse (whch I do not recall at this moment but many of the mebers may know), which says that no smriti can violate the spirit of the Manu smriti. Keeping this in mind there has been liberalisation in the subsequent Yugas. Thus for the different yugas there are different smritis. Parashara smriti, which is for the Kali yuga has even allowed a woman to walk out of marriage and remarry, but in that too there are some criteria to be met. If we keep this in mind then we really do not see any real conflict among the smritis also.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
--- On Fri, 9/18/09, Anbu sivam2 <anbesivam2 at gmail.com> wrote:
From: Anbu sivam2 <anbesivam2 at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] yagnOpaveeta & women
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009, 11:31 AM
The idea of upanayanam is to initiate Gayathri Manthra in the Vatu who is
getting into adolescence. Gayathri Manthra is a prayer for inciting the
intellect so it knows the real from the unreal.
This world is unreal and is held to be real by the mind. The unreal is
negated only by the intellect. So the the mind and the intellect are
In our concept the mind is a feminine personification. The karma kaanda of
the Veda is dedicated to the Mind and the Gnana Kaanda is dedicated to the
intellect. A girl getting into adolescence is given bhooshanam for the role
that she has to play from then on and the boy on the contrary gets a
Hope people understand why unanayanam is not done for the girls.
*(See my second Musing based on this concept).*
On Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 1:26 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I am responding to this topic more than a month after it was posted. Only
> because it is something worth responding to.
> The one ventral thing to keep in mind about all our samskAra-s is that
> there are many schools of thought about them, championed by very respected
> and respectable people, but not all such views have the sanction of custom
> and tradition.
> For example, in the dharmasUtra-s, there are varying opinions about
> remarriage of widows or of a woman whose husband has abandoned her. Contrary
> to popular opinion, it is not always simply prohibited. However, different
> AcAya-s express different opinions on when it can be allowed. You cannot
> simply say that Apastambha says one thing and vasishTha says another,
> therefore there is no consistency in the Hindu thinking about it. Rather, in
> any particular case, the custom to be followed will have to be influenced by
> whether the family follows the Apasatambha sUtra or the vasishTha sUtra. In
> this case, there is no one siddhAnta that is common to all people, but there
> are multiple choices dictated by usage and family tradition.
> Similarly, in the mImAMsA sUtras, there is a discussion about who is
> entitled to perform yajnas for which the upanayana is a prerequisite. In
> this case, too, many respected names are cited as holding different
> opinions, but the final siddhAnta is unmistakably one.
> Regarding commonly seen domestic rituals, again, not everything is covered
> in the dharmaSAstra. Even for such a central life-defining ritual as
> marriage, there is nothing in the dharmaSAstra texts about the woman wearing
> a cord around her neck as a Mangalsutra. Yet, centuries old traditions for
> all communities feature some version or the other of a Mangalsutra. One
> simple way of looking at these cases is to see whether the concerned
> dharmaSAstra prohibits a particular commonly observed ritual.
> Human beings do things in a million different ways, which cannot all be
> anticipated and set down in iron-clad do-s and dont-s. The strength of the
> dharmaSAstra-s is that they do not attempt to do so. Rather, family
> traditions, commonly observed customs, the advice of elders in the community
> and the practices followed by the learned (SishTAcAra) are all given some
> In any situation, dharma does not stand up and announce itself, "here I
> am". The dhArmic way to do things has to be learned and cultivated.
> > I was reading a Kannada book ' saMskAragaLu mattu mAnaveeya moulyagaLu'
> > written by Sri Srikanta Kumara Swamy. In this book, it is said that women
> > is entitled to undergo 'upanayanaM' and can do saNdhya vandanaM
> > Author, justifies his claim by quoting some incidents in rAmAyaNa &
> > other texts. Besides this, author also makes some interesting
> > observations on rAkshOghna hOma (a sort of ritual which we observe before
> > house warming), kooshmAnda bali (here in South India, we cut pumpkin into
> > pieces apply some kumkum & turmeric powder to symbolize the animal
> > sacrifice to dikpAlaka-s, kshetrapAla & vAstu purusha etc. in house
> > warming ceremony). He says these rituals are meaningless & donot have any
> > base in dharma shAstra.
> > I'd like to get more insights into this issue i.e. threading ceremony to
> > women & saNdhyA vandana by women from the prabhuji-s.
> > Kindly ignore if it is out of the scope of advaita.
> > Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> > bhaskar
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