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Thread: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

  1. #291
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    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post


    Now, the institution of sannyAsa, which implies formal acceptance of the above principle, is restricted to males by convention, and possibly also to just brahmin males. Why is this? I am not entirely sure, but it is. It's not a question of some people pulling rank over others.

    <related content but slipped>

    I cannot fathom why charitra would extol the greatness of some Swamis who gave women sannyAsa. It is a well known fact that men in the renounced order of life should not be associating so intimately with women, and intimate association is exactly what happens when so-called progressive spiritual leaders start initiating "sannyAsini-s." I, for one, will not sing the glories of any "progressive" swami who impregnates his female disciple and covers it up to protect his reputation as a "sannyAsi."
    I fully agree. Even if there is no physical relation, still one can develop intimacy for each other.

    Even I am not sure why sanyas to only males and preferable brahmins.

    We may think men has advantage, but it is not so. After upanayana, boy surrenders to Guru and / or Father, while for girl surrenders to husband. So actually husband does not have free hand. He is supposed to follow instructions of his Guru.

    I found something interesting maybe someone can correlate with shudra, vaishya, kshtriya and Brahmin.

    Brahmacharya, Grihastha, VAnaprastha, Sanyas
    Samhita, BrAhmana, AraNakya, Vedanta (upanishad)

    A Brahmin acquires more of qualities as he passes through these phases. Finally he becomes Brahmin by guNa too. Actually he already was a Brahmin, but guNa were in dormant conditions. After passing through these phases, guNa-s develop further and further.

    Aum
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  2. #292
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    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Namaste

    Further scriptural examples showing mlecchas by birth and/or shudras by birth becoming brahmanas (or even higher than brahmanas):

    Another verse from the Gaudiya vaishnava sources.

    In the Mahābhārata, it is stated:

    śūdre tu yad bhavel lakṣma dvije tac ca na vidyate
    na vai śūdro bhavec chūdro brāhmaṇo na ca brāhmaṇaḥ

    “If someone born a śūdra possesses the characteristics of a brāhmaṇa and someone born a brāhmaṇa does not, that śūdra should not be known as a śūdra, and that brāhmaṇa should not be known as a brāhmaṇa.”

    It seems that this is a verse from Mahabharata 3.177.20. See here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs03177.htm

    śūdre caitad bhavel lakṣyaṃ dvije tac ca na vidyate
    na vai śūdro bhavec chūdro brāhmaṇo na ca brāhmaṇaḥ

    See also Mahabharata 12.182.8 (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs12182.htm) :

    śūdre caitad bhavel lakṣyaṃ dvije caitan na vidyate
    na vai śūdro bhavec chūdro brāhmaṇo na ca brāhmaṇaḥ

    So what we have here in this verse from Mahabharata?
    This verse is in line with verses I have already quoted in my previous posts in this thread such as Bhāgavatam 7.11.35 (http://vedabase.net/sb/7/11/35/), Garuda Purana and Lord Mahesvara's words from Mahabharata where he says that birth is "not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior."

    Then how for God's sake one is still a shudra even if he possesses the characteristics of a brahmana? No, he is not a shudra anymore. Someone may be one or the other, he can not be both a shudra and a brahmana at the same time. Obviously, it makes no sense to say "he is a shudra brahmana"
    "my dear mleccha (barbarian) guru" or "he is a great mleccha (barbarian) vaishnava (devotee) of The Lord".

    Terms such as
    a) mleccha (barbarian, non-Aryan, man of an outcast race) and shudra

    and terms such as

    b) guru, vaishnava, bhagavata, muni, vipra, brahmana

    are mutually opposed and exclusive. They do not go with each other.

    When a person becomes a genuine vaishnava or bhagavata (*) devotee of The Lord, his status as the member of some varna is no longer of actual significance. This is because shudra, brahmana, mleccha, etc are just the material designations of the spiritual soul. When one is cleansed from material consciousness, he is situated at the level of pure spirit that has nothing to do with the material designations such as shudra, brahmana, mleccha, etc.
    Accordingly, we can even say that a genuine Vaishnava is even higher than a brahmana.
    Padma Purāṇa says:

    arcye viṣṇau śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhir
    viṣṇor vā vaiṣṇavānāṁ kali-mala-mathane pāda-tīrthe 'mbu-buddhiḥ
    śrī-viṣṇor nāmni mantre sakala-kaluṣa-he śabda-sāmānya-buddhir
    viṣṇau sarveśvareśe tad-itara-sama-dhīr yasya vā nārakī saḥ

    One who thinks that the worshipable Deity in the temple is made of wood or stone, one who sees a Vaiṣṇava guru as an ordinary human being, or one who materially conceives of a Vaiṣṇava as belonging to a particular caste is nārakī, a resident of hell.

    The position of a Vaishnava is above all varnas. Obviously one who thinks that such a devotee of the Lord is a mleccha or a shudra has a hellish mentality (nārakī).

    -- (*) in another thread (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...ed=1#post98267) we have already seen that this term "bhagavata " is a synonym for a Vaishnava or a Shaiva devotee of The Lord who does not distinguish between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva (Sadāśiva)


    Bhāgavatam 3.33.6 (http://vedabase.net/sb/3/33/6/) says:

    "To say nothing of the spiritual advancement of persons who see the Supreme Person face to face, even a person born in a family of dog-eaters immediately becomes eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him."

    Acaryas who have commented on this verse stressed the significance of expression "immediately" because one can immediately become eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices! Not a single shudra or mleccha would have been qualified to do that. This is clear evidence that people of low birth abundant with qualities (character, nature) superior to the qualities of shudra, who have the aspiration (strong desire, longing) towards the spiritual life can take to the devotional service of The Lord and although shudras or mlecchas by birth they immediately become eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices because they are at the position that is higher than the brahmanas!
    They do not have to wait for the next life to be born in the families of brahmanas to become qualified and eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices!
    This is also confirmed in the passage from Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 131 in a conversation between Uma and Mahesvara, verse 45 and forward (I have quoted in my previous posts in this thread):

    śūdro 'py āgamasaṃpanno dvijo bhavati saṃskṛtaḥ

    “by becoming an adherent of the agama scriptures, (or in other words, by taking initiation through the pancaratrika system), then a low-born sudra also becomes a brahmana."

    Some of our members have made ​​an objection that this passage refers to the next life, ie sudra becomes a brahmana only in his next life. My reply to this objection is that this is not true for the following reasons:

    1) the passage does not explicitly mention an expression "in the next life"
    2) it makes no sense to interpret as referring to the next life because in the following words Lord Mahesvara makes it clear that birth is "not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior":

    "In my opinion, if pious activities and good character are found in a sudra, it should be understood that he is better than a brahmana.
    Birth, purificatory processes, study of the Vedas, and good birth are not the criterion for being a brahmana. The only criterion is one's behavior.
    A person is born as a brahmana in this world simply as a result of his nature."

    3) here in Bhāgavatam 3.33.6 it says "immediately", ie they do not have to wait for the next life to be born in the families of brahmanas to become qualified.

    regards

  3. #293
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    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality Amrut View Post
    Even I am not sure why sanyas to only males and preferable brahmins.
    The convention would make sense to me. The shAstrAs always lay out rules for a woman to be well protected by a father, husband and a joint family. Since a sanyAs has no relative, who will take care of her in the ashram? Definetely the responsibility of her care can't be upto a stranger no matter how lofty and that too by male sanyasis who are forbidden totally to interact with the other sex themselves! I have heard through tradition that sanyAsis can't even interact with old ladies for that matter. A sanyasi is not supposed to worry about his protection and we can only imagine as to what happens to a lady that roams around with that attitude. Its not many days over since the Delhi incident...

    A sanyAsi should practise severe physical and mental disciplines that a male body is more suited for. As regard to mental disciplines and steadiness women are more subject to emotional swings, especially during certain periods and we still have to deal with ashouchyam(impurity) here. And we should keep the discussion only general instead of special cases as shAstras only make a generalized rule

    As we saw in phil's excellent post on "VAD Part 4: A Wrong Notion", a Brahmana is actually subject to most rigorous disciplines and rules. I think that a life of a sanyAsi is supposed to be even more rigorous. So, it is quite understandable as to how Brahmins are the most eligible to become a sanyasi. Though, I am not sure if there is a rule out there linking the eligibility of sanyasa specifically to Brahmins only.

    The confusion arises because there are way too many sanyasis (and that too "enlightened"!) roaming around for a kali yuga and some even justify their deviations such as indulging in luxurious life or even smoking. As we all know even Arjuna was discouraged by the Lord from sanyAsa.

    And above all, its totally unnecessary as well. Nowadays sanyasa is being viewed as a route to escape from the worries of family life and so the question arises as to why only males have the luxury, as if taking up sanyasa guarantees moksha. If one understands that a sanyasi is supposed to taken up 100 times more burden than any grihasta, then no one will be offended.

  4. #294
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    Re: Misunderstandings - VAD Threads

    Thank you JignyAsu,

    I am aware of this facts as you may have noted from post #289.

    I have been reading the book Hindu Dharma regularly and just read about one of vedanga-s - sikshA, which deals with phonetics. The more I read about our veda-s, I am more and more convinced that it is Brahmins are naturally preferred for sanyas, which you have pointed out in a very logical way.

    What I have understood is that, I should read more about veda-s, it's vedanga-s, up-anga-s totaling 14 adobes of knowledge, not in detail, but atleast in brief to know their importance. As I read more and more, I am inclined as why Brahmins are preferred choices. While sanyas is not traditionally given to women (as a general rule), I have heard that sanyas is given to women following tantra. I have also heard that Navanath sampradAya do not believe in varNa system. This is the reason why I said I am not sure about why only male Brahmins are preferred to give sanyas. We both have come to similar conclusion, but my study is not extensive, hence my doubt. To under this I will have to come out of my sampradaya i.e. Advaita Vedanta and be free from any frame of reference to gain a broader vision.

    I know that in Spirituality bhAva is important, but if it is *the* criteria, then it would mean that the 6 anga-s of veda (vedanga-s), namely
    1. siksha (phonetics, pronunciation) - nose i.e. breath of veda purausha
    2. vyakaraNa (grammar) - Mouth of veda purusha
    3. Niruka (lexicon, etymology) - ear
    4. Chandas (prosody) - Foot
    5. Jyotish (astrology) - eye
    6. kalpa (manual of rituals)- hand
    will fade away with time.

    If bhAva is the *only* important thing in spirituality and overall well-being then entire karma-kand will collapse, as we will not give importance to vedanga-s and we will have confined ourselves to the limited mantra-s that we use in our daily puja. I understand that not all can study all 14 adobes of knowledge, but acharya-s and others who have devoted their entire life has to bare this burden to carry on the tradition alive. We can however try to learn as much as we can. *Bhagavan Veda Vyasa taught 1 veda-s each to 4 disciples. In kalyuga, it is only expected to learn one shAkhA of one veda.

    It should be noted that upanishads are the last part that is to be studied. Joining it with ashrama dharma, means that after passing through samhita-s in brahmacharya, brAhmana in grihastha, araNakya as the name suggests in vAnaprastha one should study upanishads when entering sanyas ashram. Such long time was needed as entire tradition was oral and hence it took time to memorize. On the other hand, producing sound in a particular manner produces vibrations that open nadi-s and hence bring peace and inner purity to all those who come in it's range. So each person chanting mantra-s contributes to universal well-being.

    It is only in araNyaka that inner meaning is given importance, not in samhitA-s or brAhmaNa-s. Later in sanyas only the inner meaning is retained and karma-kand is entirely renounced. It is here that we are told that bhAva is important. Hence in Gita, which echoes Upanishads, same thing is said by Bhagavan. So in sanyas ashram or practicing vedanta, bhAva is given importance and not karma. But does this mean that rest 3 - samhitA-s, brAhmaNa-s and araNyaka-s are useless. One is fit to study or becomes inwardly pure so as to qualify to grasp subtle meaning of vedanta only after passing through samhitA-s and brAhmaNa-s. One renounces the very karma that helped him to get inner purity, as it cannot lift one beyond certain level. But what would happen if one without acquiring inner purity directly jumps to sanyas ashram and learns vedanta? in the name of bhAva, he/she will loose interest in studying veda-s and it's parts, at the same time, he/she would fail in this attempt as inner purity absent. This is the reason why upanishads and Gita a per-requisite of renunciation and inner purity. Very few people have inner purity by birth, due to their meritious karma-s in past life / lives.

    itihAsa-PuraNa-s which are elevated to the status of veda-s and are teaching the same knowledge as that taught by upanishads, but in simpler manner. Hence they also give importance to bhAva than phonetics, grammar, etc. Great saints out of compassion has given us purANa-s so that we can easily gain inner purity. But this does not mean that veda-s (samhitA-s and brAhmaNa-s) are to be renounced altogether. To keep them alive, one also has to learn 6 vedanga-s and 4 up-anga-s.

    Bhagavan in Gita says that very few are attracted to tatva-Jnana. This itself implies that people for whom only bhAva should be the criteria to impart brahma-vidya are very few, hence they fall under minority. Not all want moksha. Else it will be like hanging in between. - you cannot live spiritual life, and you have quit karma-kand because your mind now gives more importance to bhAva. Your life will be hell. You will forget to smile. All sampradAyas- of vedanta consider veda-s as supreme and try to corelate or find roots of their philosohy within upanishads and veda-s (samhitA-s and brAhmaNa-s).

    One should not forget that for masses, upanishads are taught after one passes through karma-kand and in process acquires inner purity. Till then karma-kand should not be entirely dropped.

    Hari OM
    Last edited by Amrut; 06 September 2013 at 11:53 AM. Reason: added line aftr *
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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