[Advaita-l] A query from book " Hindu dharma " by Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati ( maha periyaval )

Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sat Sep 20 12:06:41 CDT 2014

Let me try to explain to the best of my understanding and ability.

First the context of the original query. Here is the chapter where this particular quote by Swamiji occurs - http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part5/chap21.htm. Two things about the quote are noteworthy. First, Swamiji does not say that it is optional, or followed in some places. He says that during office work etc. the Yaj~nopavIta "must be worn like a garland." Second, he also says that this is not being followed. The class of mandatory practices not being followed is huge - for instance the eligible one must learn the Vedangas and thereafter the Veda; Pancamahayajnas must be performed every day; AgnyAdhAnam must be done; and, so on. So, this can easily reconcile why the practice of wearing the Yaj~nopavIta as a garland is not followed.

Now, the second question is whether the sentence of Swamiji is to be taken as tradition, SishTAcAra, or whether there is a backing in SAstras for it. More specifically, whether the particular Sruti quoted - saMvItaM mAnusham is applicable only during a) PañcamahAyajñas or b) RishitarpaNas and PitRtarpaNas. There is a difference between the two. The five mahAyajñas include manushyajña which is basically feeding a brAhmaNa. If wearing the YajñopavIta as a garland during this act is taken as mandated, then by upalakshaNa, it can be extended to other mAnusha (related to man, as the object of the acts, not as the agent). The latter interpretation is very narrow and restricts the practice to offering waters to Rishis and Pitris; it has the advantage that it reconciles current practices to the interpretation of the sentence. It might be better to refer to SAstras here. The following SAstra extracts relate to this question.

TaittirIyasaMhitA - निवीतं मनुष्याणां प्राचीनावीतं पितृृणामुपवीतं देवानामुप [1] व्ययते देवलक्ष्ममेव . . .
sAyaNabhAshya on above - . . . निवीतमिति। यत्रोभावपि बाहू न्यग्भूतौ सन्तौ ब्रह्मसूत्रेण वस्त्रेण वा धीयेते [2] संवृतावाच्छादितौ क्रिेयेते तन्निवीतम्। तच्च मनुष्याणां कार्येषु प्रशस्तम्। तस्मादृषितर्पणं निवीतयूक्तैः पुरुषैरनुष्ठीयते। . . .
PUrvamImAMsA 3rd adhyAya, following adhikaranas.
PAda 1 (discussing the six hetus Sruti, linga etc.), adhikaraNa 11, sUtra 21 - सन्दिग्धेषु व्यवायाद्वाक्यभेदः स्यात् ॥3.1.21॥
PAda 4, adhikaraNa 1, 9 sUtras (3.4.1 to 3.4.9); of those particularly, the last (siddhAnta sUtra) विधिना चैकवाक्यत्वात् ॥ ३.४.९ ॥ [3]
SAbarabhAshya on 3.4.9 - निवीतं मनुष्याणामिति प्राप्तानुवादः। प्राप्तस्य किमर्थेन पुनर्वचनम्। उपवीतस्तुत्यर्थेन।  कथमुपवीतस्तुतिः। निवीतमयोग्यं देवकर्मणि दर्शपूर्णमासंज्ञके। मनुष्याणां हि तत्। तथा प्राचीनावीतं पितृणाम् [1] न देवकर्मणि। उपवीतं तु तत्र योग्यम्। तस्मादुपव्यातव्यमिति। 
(The MimAMsAnyAyamAlavistara and TantravArtika are useful in understanding the above, but do not add extra references as to how it is known that nivIta is prescribed for activities which are directed towards men)
TaittirIyAraNyakam, 2.1 - संवीतं मानुषम्।
sAyaNabhAshya thereupon - बाह्वोरुभयोरप्यधो लम्बमानयोरंसद्वये यद्वेष्टनं तत् संवीतं तदेतन्मानुषं मनुष्यामृषीणाम्, यज्ञोपवीतं देवानां यथा वा प्राचीनावीतं पितृणां [1] तद्वत् ॥

I will try to summarize the above succinctly. The sutras in mimAMsa refer to the text first quoted which forms a part of the DarSapUrNamAsa sacrifice. There in the seventh and eighth anuvAkas (of the second prapAThaka of the second kANDa of TaittirIyasaMhitA) related to the DarSapUrNamAsa sacrifices, in the ninth anuvAka  nivids are mentioned; in the tenth anuvAka certain verses called sAmidhenI verses are mentioned along with the result one obtains by reciting the sAmidhenI verses. Now the eleventh anuvAka starts off by saying "nivItaM manushANAm". So the question is whether this is a vidhivAkya or arthavAda. If it were a vidhivAkya, then the sacrificer has to wear the YajñopavIta as a garland while reciting the sAmidhenI verses (the narrow interpretation) or during the entire darSapUrNamAsa sacrifice. The answer is simple: the yajamAna wears the YajñopavIta in the upaVita style (hanging over left shoulder) and that nivItaM manushANAm is for the sake
 of praising the practice of upavIta, which is an injunction.

Now for the purpose of our question, the statement that "nivItaM manushANAm" is arthavAda might seem to support the position that it (wearing the YajñopavIta like a garland)  need not be resorted while working in the office etc. However that is not correct; the statement is an arthavAda in that context. The other SAstravAkyas -  तच्च मनुष्याणां कार्येषु प्रशस्तम्। (sAyaNabhAshya on Tai. Sam. 2.5.11); निवीतमयोग्यं देवकर्मणि दर्शपूर्णमासंज्ञके। मनुष्याणां हि तत्। (SAb. bhA. on Mi. sU. 3.4.9); and तदेतन्मानुषं मनुष्यामृषीणाम् (sAy. bhA. on Tai. Ara. 2.1) show that in karmas related to manushyas, nivIta is a practice that is followed.

Therefore, what the Swamiji said has SAstra's backing and stronger than the absence of current practice among many. 

N. Siva Senani

[1] - I am not able to type the mAtrA of the longer form of ऋ, the word pitRINAm may be read correctly.
[2] - The print is not clear and I am not 100% sure that the word is dhIyete.
[3] - This has reference to mImAMsA sUtras, आम्नायस्य क्रियार्थत्वात् आनर्थक्यम् अतदर्थानाम् तस्मात् अनित्यम् उच्यते  1.2.1 and विधिना तु एकवाक्यर्थत्वात् स्तुत्यर्थेन विधीनां स्युः 1.2.7 both of which are vital to the understanding of Sankaracarya's bhAshya on the BrahmasUtra तत्तु समन्वयात् 1.1.4. So checking this references will of use to those who are interested in Saankarabhaashya as well.

On Saturday, 20 September 2014 12:14 PM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

>On Fri, 19 Sep 2014, Animesh via Advaita-l wrote:
>> I was studying " Hindu dharma " by sri Chandrashekharendra saraswati ( 
>> maha periyaval ) and find this passage
>> " When we are not engaged in either of these two rites- that is when we 
>> are doing our office work or something else- the sacred thread must not 
>> rest on either shoulder and must be worn like a garland. (No one seems 
>> to observe this rule in practice now. Except during the rites for the 
>> fathers, most people have their sacred thread resting on their left 
>> shoulder. )  " I tried to ask my elders about what peiyavaal is saying 
>> but they told me it's our custom to wear yagnopavitham on left shoulder 
>> not like garland .
>> Neither I find such of any reference in kaushika grihya sutra .
>> Please clarify .
>There are three positions for wearing yagnopavita
>upavita - hanging from left shoulder is the most common hence yagna + upavita = 
>prachinavita - hanging from right shoulder.  We adopt this position during 
>nivita - hanging around the neck.
>On Fri, 19 Sep 2014, Siva Senani Nori via Advaita-l wrote:
>>> Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamiji's words are
>>> pramaaNa enough (aaptavaakyam). Anyhow, here is तैत्तिरीयारण्यकम् 2.1 -
>>> अजिनं वासो वा दक्षिणत
>> उपवीय दक्षिणं बाहुमुद्धरते अवधत्ते सव्यमिति, यज्ञोपवीतमेतदेव विपरीतम् प्राचीना
>> संवीतं मानुषम््
>>> The last two words - संवीतं मानुषम् - explain that when one is engaged
>>> in maanushakaaryas, the Yajnopavita should be worn like a garland.
>>> (samveetam = neveetam).
>Doesn't this apply to manushya tarpana in pancha mahayajnas only?  I do 
>this during nitya tarpana but Swamiji seems to be saying it should be done 
>during all laukika karmas too.  That does not seem to be the accepted 
>Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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