[Advaita-l] Knowledge, renunciation and varNASrama rules

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 12 21:20:15 CDT 2010

Dear friends,
Vairagya can come to anybody, particularly to those, who are ardent devotees of the Lord. So to see a non-dvija sanyashi may not be surprising.  But one may not be initiated into Sanyasha in a formal way, where Gayatri Japa for a prescribed number has to be performed before initiation and other ceremonies such as Atmashraddha are to be performed for the initiation. 
Sanyasha initiatiation is to be received from a Sanyashi only and this being so it appears that dvijas have to take sanyasha initiation from a dvija-sanyashi and a non-dvija have to take initiation from a non-dvija sanyashi. 
Learned members of the group may opine if this logic is valid.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Wed, 8/11/10, ravi chandrasekhara <vadhula at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: ravi chandrasekhara <vadhula at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Knowledge, renunciation and varNASrama rules
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Cc: vadhula at gmail.com
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2010, 8:42 PM

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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