[Advaita-l] A Pentad on the Path to Plenitude

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 07:10:36 CDT 2011

dear anselmo

the varNAshrama dharma no longer exists even in india today. Western
civilization has wiped out all the traditional cultures in India, China and
other ancient nations. Over 99% of those who would have been eligible to
study the Veda in a Vedapathashala etc., are into regular modern
professions. The situation today is unprecedented and calls for a creative
response born of a fresh look (but respectful look) at all such past
restrictions on the study of Veda and Vedanta, which were meaningful in an
earlier social/spiritual order, but are no longer valid today.

 so the answer to your question would be the same as the answer to the more
general question -
"how does one pursue a lifestyle of sadhana as per Adi Shankara's teachings,
in the modern world today ?"
Those who are devoted to the Veda would opine that, even the study of
Upanishads and Shankara Bhashya is perfectly fine if done by anyone, indian
or otherwise, who is sincere and pure-minded. Only some of the mantras used
in the karma-kanda of Veda should be recited with correct pronunciation and
intonation (svara), since there can apparently be contrary results
sometimes. So there are some restrictions/precautions only for Vedic
karmas/mantras, for everyone even for those who were born in india in the 3

The last word is that, as Vidyashankarji's explained, that a competent Guru
makes exceptions to every rule, that is quite correct.
Swami Vivekananda, Swami chinmayananda, Sant Nischala Das (of Vicharasagara
fame) were outstanding scholars and sannyasis and did study the Shankara
Bhashya and Vedanta though technically they would be called shudras (in
their purvashrama), had the varNAshrama dharma been prevalent today.

So to conclude, "how would a software engineer (say) working in a corporate
job in india but belonging to one of the 3 varnas,try to lead a life in
keeping with the teachings of Adi shankara?" - the answer to this
question would hold good for you too, Anselmo.


On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 2:49 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Anselmo,
> There is a general answer and a person-specific answer to this. The general
> position is that all are eligible to read and gain knowledge from the gItA,
> the
> purANa-s etc. In the past, lack of knowledge of the Sanskrit language would
> have been an obstacle, but nowadays, so many translations are available
> that
> a sincere student can use fruitfully. In fact, today, the vast majority of
> those
> who supposedly have inherited an adhikAra for studying the veda-s by virtue
> of their birth do not fulful their responsibility towards learning.
> The person-specific answer is that if the right adhikAra is there, a
> competent
> guru will make an exception. This exception will not necessarily be with
> respect
> to traditional learning of vedic recitation, but it can come in a variety
> of ways -
> from imparting a mantra for meditation to giving full-fledged sannyAsa
> initiation.
> There are many well documented instances of these exceptions.
> Your dedication and sincerity are very important. So don't worry much about
> the lack of adhikAra in this birth to study the veda in a traditional
> setting.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
> > Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 11:25:51 -0700
> > From: elmo_terbutilo at yahoo.com.mx
> > To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> > Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] A Pentad on the Path to Plenitude
> >
> > Namaste ยก
> >
> > Hello everybody,
> >
> > Please allow me to pose a question,
> >
> > What should a foreign-outside-varnaashrama person do in order to follow
> Shankara's prescriptions ?
> >
> > I have read in Brahma Sutras Bhasya that Shudras are not allowed to study
> the Veda,
> >
> > and also the women and the mlecchas... in spite that there are examples
> of people like
> >
> > Maitreyi or Ekalavya.
> >
> > Before hand, thanks for your response.
> >
> >
> >
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