[Advaita-l] Srimad ParamahaMsa ParivrAjakAchAryavaryavarya

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Jul 18 02:44:26 EDT 2022

yOn Sun, 17 Jul 2022, KAMESWARARAO MULA wrote:

> All paramahamsas are (or ought to be) parivrajakas but not all  parivrajakas
> are paramahamsas;
> Sir, I would like to know the details  why the Vice versa is not true. Any
> insight/explanation could be more usefull.

As I indicated, Vaishnava sampradayas have parivrajaka monks too.  They 
also use the title paramahamsa but what they mean by that is different 
from the Advaitin definition of paramahamsa.

I had also said that Bauddhas and Jains also had the concept of 
parivrajaka.  They do indeed have the concept of monks who do not stay in 
one place but it seems after a little research they do not refer to them 
as parivrajakas.  In fact this term is exclusively used for Brahmana 
sannyasis of various types.

For instance there is an upanga of the Shvetambara Jain Agamas called in 
Ardhamagadhi uvavAiyasutta (Sanskrit: aupapAtika sUtra) which explains the 
rebirths of various types of people.  Like the other Jain Agamas, it is 
as I said written in Ardhamagadhi Prakrit.  However the Jainas long ago 
switched to Sanskrit for scholarly writing.  The text of the sutra I 
looked at has a running Sanskrit anuvada and it is this that I used for 
the translation below. Jains say their agamas were written down (after a 
period of oral transmission) during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. 
Historians they date between that time to the 1st century AD.

It is a discourse between Mahavira and his follower Indrabhuti Gautama and 
it has this to say about the parivvayagA (parivrajaka)

"And then the Parivrajakas who live in dwellings of their own[1] such as 
the SAmkhyas, Yogis, Kapilas[2], Bhargavas[3], and many others living in 
mountain caves, ashramas, temples, and visiting the villages [only] for 
begging alms, the haMsas, paramahaMsas, the bahudakas, Kuticharas[4] and 
the kR^iShNa ParivrAjakas[5] including eight types of Brahmanas such as: 
kR^iShNa, karakANDa, amvADa, pArAshara, kR^iShNa, dvIpAyana, and nArada[6] 
and eight types of kShatrIya parivrAjakas such as silai, sashihara, 
naggai, bhaggai, videha, rAyArAya, rAyArAma and bala[7] who are versed in 
the four vedas, R^ik, yaju, sAma, and atharva, the itihasa, and the 
fifth[8]; of which they know the rahasya[9]; of which they have reached 
the end[10] and of which they are upholders; and who are experts in the 
six-fold a~ngas, shikShA, kalpa, vyAkaraNa, chanda, nirukta and jyotiSha; 
in the shaShTitantra[11] and in gANita."

[1] I.e. not in the village

[2] "follower of Kapila" the founder of saMkhya is usually a synonmym for 
sAmkhya.  It is not clear why they are being ennumerated separately.

[3] "followers of BhR^igu R^iShi."  who are these supposed to be?

[4] These are the same four mentioned in astika dharmashastras with the 
slight variation kuTichara instead of kuTichaka.

[5] There is a comment here that says these were a particular type pf 
parivrAjaka who worshipped shrI nArAyaNa with bhakti.  So proto-Vaishnavas 

[6] I don't know what these are supposed to be.  Particular sampradayas or 
acharyas?  Some names are recognizable kR^iShNa, pArAshara, nArada etc. 
kR^iShnA is listed twice to make up eight but obviously kR^iShNa dvipAyana 
should be one name (i.e. veda vyAsa.)

[7] These are even more obscure.  In fact I'm not sure these have even 
been translated from prakrit.  videha the kingdom of wise king Janaka is 
the only recognizable name.

But the bottom line is that there were certain Parivrajakas who were 
theists and whose number was drawn from Kshatriyas as well as Brahmanas.

[8] i.e. the Puranas which are considered as the fifth Veda.

[9] The inner meaning or essence.

[10] While samkhya, yoga and vaishnavism have been mentioned, where is 
Vedanta? I believe the references to the rahasya and the end of the Vedas 
refer to it.

[11] The shaShTitantra by R^Shi kapila is the (now lost) foundational text 
of saMkhya.  the saMkhyakArikAs which are now studied are a summary of 
this shAShTitantra.

There is more but as this post has already gotten quite long I shall split 
it up into further parts.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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