[Advaita-l] Knowledge, renunciation and varNASrama rules

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 19 23:05:07 CDT 2010

On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 12:36 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan
<svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> The performance of ritual karmA-s, although aiding in citta Suddhi and
> preparing the mind for the rise of brahmajnAna, are still only external factors.
> strI-s and SUdra-s (as much as brAhmaNa males) who have Sama, dama,
> uparati, titikshA and samAdhAna as mental qualities along with vairAgya
> already have the citta Suddhi necessary for brahmajnAna, so the question
> of yajnAdi karmA in this life does not even arise.

Where is Sastra reference telling they get Citta Suddhi in this way?

> Read 3.4.38 in conjunction with 3.4.36 and 3.4.37. In 3.4.38, he only says
> "vidhurAdInAM" [***] which might lead you to believe that the discussion
> is restricted to brAhmaNa males who are, for some reason or the other,
> outside a proper ASrama category, e.g. a widower. If you read 3.4.36,
> you will notice, he says, "vidhurAdInAM dravyAdi-saMpad-rahitAnAM ca
> anyatama-ASrama-pratipatti-hInAnAm antarAla-vartinAM". You may still
> think that all these also refer only to brAhmaNa males who are widowers,
> or poor and unable to offer the proper sacrifices of materials, or bereft of
> one of the four ASramas or in between ASramas. You may still think that
> this description excludes strI-s and SUdra-s. You would be wrong, because
> the last sentence in 3.4.36 says, "raikva-vAcaknavI-prabhRtInAM". The
> specific inclusion of a woman's name means that as per Sankara
> bhagavatpAda's way of thinking, strI-s are not automatically excluded for
> adhikAra for brahmavidyA.
> Let me also get one important clarification about your thinking, so that I can
> see what your perspective is in this discussion. Does the concept of ASrama
> apply to strI-s and SUdra-s? A brAhmaNa man marries a woman in order to
> become a gRhastha. What is the ASrama of his wife? The SUdra man who
> marries - is he a gRhastha too or not? Put another way, do you think that all
> men belong to one of the four varNa-s, but only dvija-s (and in particular,
> brAhmaNa men) can belong to one of the four ASrama-s? What is the varNa
> and ASrama of any woman and what is the ASrama of a SUdra man who
> supports his family?
> If your answer is that the four ASrama-s do not apply to any strI or to any
> SUdra man, then do they not fall under what Sankara bhagavatpAda describes
> as "anyatama-ASrama-pratipatti-hIna" in 3.4.36? Under what category do you
> think he quotes the name of vAcaknavI here?

My answer is there is no Asrama for Sudras and Stris.  3.4.36 is
telling only about other Brahmins not in Asramas for some reason.
Vacaknavi is explained in this way. The name is in Br Upanishad .  In
some other Kalpa women had right to Upanayana and other Vedic karmas
not now. No Upanayana for Stri now.

> If your answer is that a married SUdra can be called a gRhastha, then isn't
> such a gRhastha taking the necessary steps to citta-Suddhi by materially
> supporting his family and leading a productive life? Same goes for the
> married strI. If the married woman can be called a gRhasthA, isn't she
> gaining citta Suddhi merely by fulfilling her roles and duties in life?
> Moreover, under the scenario of your allowing gRhastha status for women
> and married SUdra men, what objection would you have to classifying the
> unmarried woman and unmarried SUdra man again as "anyatama-ASrama-
> pratipatti-hIna"?

This does not arise.

> Getting back to 3.4.37 and 3.4.38, Sankara bhagavatpAda says "anapekshita
> ASrama-karmaNAm api" and "asaMbhavAd ASrama-karmaNo'pi". These
> terms apply not only to brAhmaNa males, but to anybody for whom there is
> no expectation of ASrama-specific karmA (anapekshA) or for whom ASrama-
> specific karmA is impossible (asaMbhava). He then goes on to say, "janma-
> antara-anushThitair api ca ASrama-karmabhis saMbhavaty eva vidyAyA
> anugrahaH. ... ... janmAntara-saMcitAn api saMskAra-viSeshAn", which is
> exactly the same as what he says about vidura and dharmavyAdha attaining
> to jnAna due to saMskAra-s of previous action (pUrva-kRta saMskAra vaSAt).

In all this he is saying other Brahmins only not Sudras and Stris.
They cannot be in same group.

How do you explain this ? What Vidya is Sudra not fit to get?

Moreover in 1 3.34 he says Sudro Yajne Anavakliptaha the Sudra is not
fit to do Yajnas. In same sentence he says Vidyayam Api
Anavakliptatvam Dyotayati. Sudra is not fit for Vidya also. Nyayasya
Sadharanatvat.  Because the same logic to not allow Sudra to do Yajna
and not allow him to get Vidya. He does not have sacred thread.

>> These are referenced again in Jabala Sruti 'Atha Punareva Vratee Va
>> Avratee Va Snatako Va Asnatako Va Utsannagnir Anagniko Va' in 3 4.20
>> about Anadhikrutas. What do you say for this Sruti sentence?
> I already discussed the wider implication of the word anadhikRta in my previous
> posts on this topic.

Sorry I did not understand properly.



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