[Advaita-l] Shankara, smarta and shanmata

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 28 04:47:15 CDT 2009

In Assam and Bengal, to my knowledge, some families traditionally follow the Smarta procedure for the rituals and other families follow the Vedic procedure ( I think it is called as Prachinna there). However in some rituals the Smarta procedure is shorter than the Prachinna procedure and one has the liberty to choose the Smarta procedure even if the traditonal procedure is the other one. In some other cases the Pracchinna procedure may be shorter and that may be preferred over the Smarta procedure. Thus there is this flexibility.


Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Sun, 9/27/09, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan
 <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Shankara, smarta and shanmata
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009, 9:11 PM


The word smArta for a group of people merely means "conforming to smRti". Although most discourse in this regard tends to be Brahmana-centric, in reality, the word smArta should include people of all castes who conform to the smRti traditions, particularly in the observances of rites of passage.


In reality, a particular smArta person or family could be allied to any one of the philosophical traditions of nyAya, sAMkhya, mImAMsA or vedAnta. I am not including vaiSeshika and yoga in the list because of various reasons, which I will leave unspecified at this time. The central place given to advaita vedAnta in the smArta world view is a consequence of the respect that advaita vedAntins (particularly
 sannyAsins of the major maThas) command. Even among those who count themselves close followers of this or that maTha, the number of people who actually know what advaita vedAnta is all about is very small.




> Please could you tell me more about Shankara, smarta and shanmata ?
> Did Adi Shankara encourage the six aspects of worship simply by writing
> hymns etc to each deity, or are there recorded statements by him about
> smarta and shanmata ?
> The references to this I have found so far lack chapter and verse !
> And I suspect that this is important in relation to certain writings being
> 'written off' as not Advaita Vedanta !
> Michael
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