[Advaita-l] Knowledge, renunciation and varNASrama rules

ravi chandrasekhara vadhula at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 11 22:42:03 CDT 2010

Dear Vidya and all,

This topic seems to come up on this list and others and is of importance to those seeking a Guru and knowledge.  If sanyasa is restricted to Dvijas (at least among Smarthas/Advaitins), we see there are those that are of non-Dvija jaathis taking sanyasa, with ? deeksha from Shankaracharyas (directly or indirectly).

Chettiars in Tamil Nadu are merchants, but I have heard they are Shudra by varna. Also Swami Chinmayananda in his purva-ashrama was a Nair, a Shudra/non-Dvija jaathi in Kerala. (I have also read that Nairs were descendants of Naga Kshatriyas who transformed themselves to human non-Dvijas to escape Parashurama's wrath at dawn of Kali Yuga).

Without digressing into history/sociology, etc; can a Braahmana or other dvija have a Sanyasi as a guru from a non-Dvija background and even be formally initiated into sanyasa ashrama by that guru ?  In addition, can a Sanyasi from non-Dvija background formally learn vedanta ? If so, would that violate the nishedha for veda-adhikara for non-Dvijas ?

Ravi Chandrasekhara


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