Vivekananda &c.

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon Mar 9 09:58:59 UTC 1998

John Richards wrote:

>wonder if there is not a confusion here. I do not have access to the >texts quoted below, but it seems to me, in quotation, that the >reference here may well be to SCHOLARLY ERUDITION rather than what we >would call "spiritual knowledge". Obviously, Shudras could hardly >become knowledgeable about the scriptures if they were precluded from >reading/hearing them. At the same time, I see that Shankara makes no

If it is of any help, I can state that the interpretation of John is the
interpretation given to the sUtra bhAshhya by the orthodox sha.nkara
maTha-s like Sringeri. Namely, shUdra-s are not qualified to
recite/study veda-s, but are open to receiving moxa. According to this
view, eligibility of karma depends on caste while moxa does not depend
on caste, since moxa arises from knowledge not karma. I can give
references (from Sringeri publications) if anyone is interested. Also
refer to Yoshitsugu Sawai's paper "Samkara's theory of Samyasa", in JIP,
Vol 14, 1986, pp. 371-387 on how sureshvara explicitly disagrees with
sha.nkara on the caste issue (though he also excludes shudra-s) in the
bR^ihadAraNyaka vArttika (also mentioned by Vidyasankar).


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