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Thread: Questions on Smartism.

  1. #1

    Questions on Smartism.

    I understand Smartist Hindus don't actually accept converts to Hinduism. This is a bit saddening to me, since I was raised as an Anglican Christian, but now consider myself a Smartist Hindu. As a result I have a few questions-

    1. Would a practicing Smartist Guru accept me as his disciple?

    2. If I were to raise my kids as Smartist, would they be considered Hindus by the Smarta tradition even if I'm not?

    3. Would I be aloud into a Smarta temple?

    Thanks in advance

    -Baobobtree.

  2. #2

    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Namaste Baobobtree,

    Welcome to the forum. Though I have some idea of the answers, I have posted your question to a smarta Guru. If and when he replies to your questions, I shall post them here. I am myself curious of the exact rule in an authentic* smartha lineage for acceptance.

    Regards.

    *
    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan
    narayanam padma-bhavam vashishtham
    shaktim cha tat putra parasharam cha
    vyasam shukam gauda-padam mahantam
    govinda yogindram athasya shishyam
    shri shankara charyam athasya padma
    padam cha hastamalakam cha shishyam
    tam trotakam vartika karam anyan
    asmad gurun santata manatosmi
    shruti smriti pura-na-nam alayam karuna-layam
    namami bhagavat padam shankaram loka shankaram
    shankaram shankaracharyam keshavam badarayanam
    sutra bhashya kritau vande bhagavaktau punah punah
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Namaste Baobobtree,

    I dont know too much about orthodox Smarta Hinduism, but many gurus of the Advaita Vedanta lineages do take disciples. I dont know if there is any formal conversion per Smarta rules. Here in the US, Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam has both monks and lay followers of western origin. This is in addition to the various Vedanta Missions, which are more universalist in nature.

    As for temples, if you live in North America, most of the Hindu temples are actually Smarta temples, unless they say otherwise, and many of the priests are Smartas. And, all temples in the Western Hinduism (unlike in India) are open to all people from all walks of life.

    OM Shanti,
    A.
    In whom the Adityas, Rudras and Vasus are held together; in whom are set firm the worlds; that which was and that which shall be tell me of that Support who may He be? (Atharvaveda Samhita X.7.22)


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    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Baobobtree View Post
    I understand Smartist Hindus don't actually accept converts to Hinduism. This is a bit saddening to me, since I was raised as an Anglican Christian, but now consider myself a Smartist Hindu. As a result I have a few questions-

    1. Would a practicing Smartist Guru accept me as his disciple?

    2. If I were to raise my kids as Smartist, would they be considered Hindus by the Smarta tradition even if I'm not?

    3. Would I be aloud into a Smarta temple?

    Thanks in advance -Baobobtree.
    Namaste Baobobtree,
    Here is a simple post... this does not answer your question, but tought to share it with you.
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1256
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5

    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Here is the reply i received ...

    A smArta is one who follows smrtis and has undergone the samskaras prescribed by the smrti. Now, one may now undergo some of these samskaras but what about those like garbhAdAna etc which are done prior to birth? So technically, the answer would be 'no' as the relation here is not only to belief or practice but to birth and also the place of birth as also the parents. Varnashrama system is the basis of smArta samskriti and thus, only four varnas form its constituents. mleccha, yavana and other varnas would not technically fit into this four varna scheme. But there have been some Gurus who have allowed smArta practices for non-Hindus like in the case of David Frawley.
    As far as temple admittance is concerned there are some temples in India which will not allow non-hindus or even converted hindus in.

    But these are few (Puri Jagannath Temple frequently comes into news for this), many or most allow entrance of non-hindus.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Namaste SM,
    A smArta is one who follows smrtis and has undergone the samskaras prescribed by the smrti. Now, one may now undergo some of these samskaras but what about those like garbhAdAna etc which are done prior to birth? So technically, the answer would be 'no' as the relation here is not only to belief or practice but to birth and also the place of birth as also the parents. Varnashrama system is the basis of smArta samskriti and thus, only four varnas form its constituents. mleccha, yavana and other varnas would not technically fit into this four varna scheme. But there have been some Gurus who have allowed smArta practices for non-Hindus like in the case of David Frawley.
    So this means that a person who is not a Smarta can never become one in this life, is that correct? One can choose to follow Smarta practices in this life, but really to become a smarta, one has to be born within such a family and go through all the samskaras (sacraments) starting with garbhadana.

    As far as temple admittance is concerned there are some temples in India which will not allow non-hindus or even converted hindus in.
    Many times I have wondered about this. What is the real reason behind not allowing non-Hindus into temples and especially converted Hindus who proclaim faith in Hinduism? I wonder if this has something to do with extrapolation of Smarta rules (like above) that say one can never become a Hindu except by birth.

    OM Shanti,
    A.
    In whom the Adityas, Rudras and Vasus are held together; in whom are set firm the worlds; that which was and that which shall be tell me of that Support who may He be? (Atharvaveda Samhita X.7.22)


  7. #7

    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Hi Agnideva,

    Your conclusions are true. Though what constitutes a smarta is a tricky questions. I think these rules now apply only to very small section of the Hindu population, since though varnashrama is still prevalent and thus technically most Hindus are smartas by birth, but hardly by practice .

    The person I asked this question is direct disciple in the lineage of Sringeri Sharada Peetham. Unlike the adwaita vedanta swamis (Shivanada for example), the direct lineage of one the 5 mathas are much more orthodox and I refer to them as smarta. It also follows the guru lineage Yajvan once posted. Thus smarta is more of restricted term for me.

    About Temple Entrance:-

    There can be many reasons ~ I think it must be an dire necessity in the Muslim times. But it is smarta influenced rule no doubt.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    namaste,

    With the utmost respect for tradition, in my humble opinion, this doesn't make any sense. How can we say on the one hand that everyone born in essense is a hindu but chooses different religion due to environment or karma etc. and on the other hand say that he can not convert to this one particular tradition?

    Our current global situation demands that this practice of not allowing outsiders be reviewed and others who are not born to Indian parents be allowed the courtesy of taking up the tradition if they so choose.

    I will probably get hit on the head for saying this but we need to examine who are the real malecchas and yavanas in our society!

    Dr. Fawley has already opened the way into this tradition. Why close it for others? Why not keep it open?

    IMHO, varnasram and caste system are being mixed up in the response that you provided SM. Don't you think?

    Varna ashram system applies to the whole of humanity not just Indians.
    satay

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    Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Namaste All,

    Quote Originally Posted by sm78 View Post
    The person I asked this question is direct disciple in the lineage of Sringeri Sharada Peetham. Unlike the adwaita vedanta swamis (Shivanada for example), the direct lineage of one the 5 mathas are much more orthodox and I refer to them as smarta. It also follows the guru lineage Yajvan once posted. Thus smarta is more of restricted term for me.
    SM, you are right. The term Smarta technically applies to a very small section of the Hindu population per that definition, and not all Advaita Vedanta followers, monks or lay, are Smartas. There may also be other restrictions to definition of Smarta, such as performing daily Panchayatana Puja.

    ...I think it must be an dire necessity in the Muslim times.
    I think in Puri, this is the case, and I believe there are records that indicate when this practice began.

    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    With the utmost respect for tradition, in my humble opinion, this doesn't make any sense. How can we say on the one hand that everyone born in essense is a hindu but chooses different religion due to environment or karma etc. and on the other hand say that he can not convert to this one particular tradition?
    I don't know that this particular tradition says everyone is born a Hindu in essence. In fact, even if one didn't have all the samskaras per the smritis, one in not a Hindu, if I am understanding correctly.

    Dr. Fawley has already opened the way into this tradition. Why close it for others? Why not keep it open?
    Yes! Why stop at David Frawley?

    OM Shanti,
    A.
    In whom the Adityas, Rudras and Vasus are held together; in whom are set firm the worlds; that which was and that which shall be tell me of that Support who may He be? (Atharvaveda Samhita X.7.22)


  10. #10

    Smile Re: Questions on Smartism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baobobtree View Post
    I understand Smartist Hindus don't actually accept converts to Hinduism. This is a bit saddening to me, since I was raised as an Anglican Christian, but now consider myself a Smartist Hindu. As a result I have a few questions-

    1. Would a practicing Smartist Guru accept me as his disciple?

    2. If I were to raise my kids as Smartist, would they be considered Hindus by the Smarta tradition even if I'm not?

    3. Would I be aloud into a Smarta temple?

    Thanks in advance

    -Baobobtree.
    Om Shirdi Sai Ram.
    Namaste.
    In my opinion kindly do not change your religion.
    Saints insist on this point.
    The goal of life is to be a self realised soul.
    Hence follow the holy scriptures which each religion suggests.
    A Rose called by any other name is still a Rose.Its fragrance is the same.
    Similary stick to your own religion,the Fragrance which all religion insists is universal love.
    For this Patience and Perseverance is a must.

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