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Thread: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

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    Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    I came across this on the manasa-taramgini blog.

    http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com...a-vaishnavism/

    Most interestingly the sanatkumAra saMhitA gives two forms of upanayanaM, the vedic form for dvijas and tantric agnimukhaM version for women and shUdras. On recieving that they may perform several rites, but the pA~ncharatric brahmin is still supposed to perform vaidika rites to various deities in addition to the internal pA~ncharatric sacrifices to vedic deities given in the rudra rAtra.
    Does anyone have more information on this?
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Not sure about Pancharatra but I saw similar views in other places:


    Women were classified as Brahmavadini and Sadyovadhini as per Parashara Smriti. Brahmavadini was a woman who studied the vedas after the Yajnopavitam sanskara (sacred thread ceremony) and got married later or stayed a bachelor in further pursuit of the vedic knowledge.



    "yopanayanam krutwa pashcad vivaham karoti sa brahmavadini |
    tathaiva ya prathamata upanayanam krutwa sadya eva vivaham vidhaya tato vedamadhite sa sadyovadhuh"

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Thanks. I will look this up in the parashara smriti.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    I've been told by ISKCON devotees that their initiation system is pancharatric in origin. However, as they've never given me any specific quotes from pancharAtra, I did not know what to think about that. The varAha purANa does mention a system of initiations for shUdra-s and, I believe also women, but it does not say that these included upanayanam and adhikAra for study of veda. I assumed it was a non-vedic initiation.

    I've been told that sItA-devI wore sacred thread and recited gAyatrI mantra. However, I found no such references in the rAmAyaNa of vALmIki to her wearing yagnopavItam nor to reciting gAyatrI. I did find one reference to her doing sandhya prayers... obviously that could be interpreted as meaning she recited gAyatrI, but it's a little less explicit than I would like.

    I'm told (again by a friend in ISKCON) that parAshra-smRiti declares the codes of manu to be not ideal for kali-yuga, presumably because it gives alternate regluations on some points. However, I don't have parAshra-smRiti and cannot verify these claims. However, I do know that Parimal Publications (www.parimalpublications.com) does publish a modern translation of PS, and also of the sAtvata-saMhitA (which I assume is different from sanat-kumAra-saMhitA).

    That's about all I can say on the subject. Please let us know what your findings are. If parAshara does authenticate study of veda-s and initiation into sacred thread for women and shUdra-s, I would be might confused at this point, considering all the other contradictory evidence.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    I came across this on the manasa-taramgini blog.

    http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com...a-vaishnavism/

    Does anyone have more information on this?
    Not long ago in "Misunderstandings - VAD Threads" I have quoted from Mahabharata, Book 13, Chapter 131 in a conversation between Uma and Mahesvara, verse 45 and forward (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs13131.htm) :

    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.
    ...
    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."

    regards

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Namaste
    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    I've been told that sItA-devI wore sacred thread and recited gAyatrI mantra. However, I found no such references in the rAmAyaNa of vALmIki to her wearing yagnopavItam nor to reciting gAyatrI. I did find one reference to her doing sandhya prayers... obviously that could be interpreted as meaning she recited gAyatrI, but it's a little less explicit than I would like.
    If BAla Mukunda initiates His Beloved into gAyatri in this age of Kali Yuga (which means there need not be kali yuga internally), should there be any doubt that SitA who is Shri, who is Bramhan, wore sacred thread and recited gAyatri trikAla sandhyA?

    _/\_
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post

    I'm told (again by a friend in ISKCON) that parAshra-smRiti declares the codes of manu to be not ideal for kali-yuga, presumably because it gives alternate regluations on some points.
    I found a translation of parashara smriti here- http://archive.org/stream/ParasharaS...hiPdf_djvu.txt
    Yes, it does say so.
    22. " In conformity to the character of the age, the rules of law (suitable) for men differ from age to age. The rules for the Krita differ from the Treta rules ; the Dvapara laws are not identical with the Kali rules.

    23. " Self-mortification is the rule in the Krita age ; knowledge is said (to be the same) in the Treta ; in the Dvapara, (they) say sacrifice (to the gods to be) the sole (rule) ; and charity alone in the Kali age.

    24. " For the Krita are suited the laws of Manu ; for the Treta, those by Gautama (are) prescribed ; for the Dvapara those by Shank and Likhita ; for the Kali, those by Parasara are prescribed.

    On a cursory skim through i could find nothing about upanayanam for women. I will have to go verse by verse.

    Sanathan, do you have the verse numbers? It would simplify matters.


    I googled a bit and found this-
    http://www.hitxp.com/articles/veda/v...-women-school/

    Panini on Female Vedic Scholars
    Panini in his Ashtadhyayi refers to Kathi as female students of the Katha Shaakha of the Vedic school. He also refers to Bahvrichi as female students who are well versed in many hymns of the Rigveda.
    Panini also mentions about the female students admitted to the study of Meemamsa and about chhatri (girl students) and Upadhyayi (women teachers).
    Reference: V.S.Agrawala; India as known to Panini, Lucknow, 1953, page 287
    This clearly shows that even during the times of Panini, Vedic education was imparted to both men and women.
    I am still trying to verify this.
    Also this-
    The Harita Dharmasutra (of the Maitrayaniya school of Yayurveda) declares that there are two kind of women: Sadhyavadhu who marry, and the Brahmavaadini who are inclined to religion, they can wear the sacred thread, perform rituals like the agnihotra and read the Vedas.
    Frankly, I'm confused.

    Last edited by Omkara; 25 September 2013 at 09:40 AM.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    I browsed some ISKCON related sites, and it seems that their initiation process is indeed taken from Sanatkumara Samhita. The sites did not offer much further detail though.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Something I found interesting, though it is only tangentially related to the topic at hand-
    http://www.advaita-vedanta.org/archi...ly/001317.html
    Regarding Manusmrti, I must mention that it is a composite, disorganized text, replete with text, replete with interpolations and dislocations of verses and in fact, some verses in the interpolations and dislocations of verses and in fact, some verses in the original text have evidently been dropped. I cite the following example (Manusmrti 2.66-67)"All the purificatory ceremonies (Samskaras) of women should be performed in"All the purificatory ceremonies (Samskaras) of women should be performed in due order and in due time without the application of Vedic Mantras. For women, the marriage ceremony marriage ceremony is the only Vedic ritual permissible, serving her husband is staying and studying under a Guru, and performance of household chores alone is her Agnihotra (a Vedic ritual)." i.e. a woman is not eligible for Yajnopavita, performance of Agnithotra and other Vedic rights or to Vedic Samskaras (except the marraige ceremony, where her husband is also present). Now, Kulluka Bhatta, a medieval commentator of Manusmriti records that some manuscripts available in his time had an additional verse following these two verses: Agnihotrasya shushrusha sayamudvasameva cha | Karya patnya pratidinamiti karma cha vaidikam || "Attending to the Agnihotra daily and assisting her husband in his duties at dawn and in the evening everyday in the performance of ceremonies are the Vaidika Karma of women." Now, I am sure this was the original verse and the former two (which contradict this one) are interpolations, because the Ramayana clearly record that Kaushalya Rani, Devi Sita etc. used to attend to the performance of Agnihotra everyday, and the Atharvaveda too prescribes that the primary responsibility of performance of daily household rituals lies with the wife (I do not remember the exact location right now but could look it up for you). There is no reason why somebody should have interpolated this 3rd verse, but it is highly probable that the first two verses were added to Manusmrti at a very early date, since they occur in all the manuscripts. Strictly speaking, the first verse even violates the context. The Atharvaveda clearly refers to the practice of Brahmacharya by women ("Brahmacharryena kanyaa yuvanam vindate patim" Kanda X)
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


    A Shaivite library
    http://www.scribd.com/HinduismLibrary

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    Re: Pancharatra Agamas allow Upanayanam for women and Shudras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    I browsed some ISKCON related sites, and it seems that their initiation process is indeed taken from Sanatkumara Samhita. The sites did not offer much further detail though.
    In ISKCON the initiation process is carried out as described by Sanatana Goswami in his book Hari bhakti vilasa. If you read this book you will see which verses and scriptures he quoted there to explain how in Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition initiation should be carried out.
    Sanatana Goswami was one of the leading disciples of Sri Caitanya who had the task of explaining such things in his Hari bhakti vilasa.

    Note: Some sources say that the author of that book is Gopal Bhatta Goswami. There is controversy over the question of who is really the author of that book. I heard an opinion that is most likely that they together wrote that book.
    regards

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