Vivekananda &c.

jayabarathi barathi at PC.JARING.MY
Sat Mar 21 23:15:50 UTC 1998

At 12:49 PM 3/21/98 PST, you wrote:
>Palaniappa <Palaniappa at AOL.COM> wrote:
>>Zydenbos had said, "(2) To compare V. to ;Sa:nkara looks rather absurd
>>(something like comparing Jerry Falwell to John Calvin)." For most of
>>Tamil population, V as well as Zankara are equally irrelevant.
>>As for Adi
>>zankara's intellectual genius, there is a segment of non-brahmin
>>(here many atheistic as well as theistic people are included) who find
>>views on zUdras abhorrent and abominable.
>Include Vivekananda among those who find Sankara's comments about SUdras
>If you read Sankara's brahmasUtrabhAshya carefully however, you will see
>that right after he quotes the smRtis denying study of the Veda to
>SUdras, Sankara admits that some, like vidura and dharmavyAdha, gain
>self-knowledge through other means. In other words, he is clear that
>tradition prohibits scriptural learning to SUdras, but allows both that
>scriptural knowledge is not necessarily spiritual knowledge and that
>spiritual knowledge is available through non-Sruti sources. And Sankara
>also ultimately devalues scriptural knowledge in relation to spiritual
>(self-)knowledge, something that is unthinkable for most others.
>In upadeSasAhasrI, Sankara emphasizes not that the teacher should be a
>brAhmaNa by caste, but that the teacher should be one who knows brahman.
>The two need not be the same thing. One could say that only he who knows
>brahman is a true brAhmaNa, but this does not really address the issue.
>However, Sankara presumes that the student is a brAhmaNa, but the actual
>qualifications he seeks in a student are quite different. Sankara also
>makes varNa irrelevant (and even non-existent) for him who knows
>brahman. There is a seed of revolutionary thought in it, which has
>indeed been developed by people like Narayana Guru of Kerala, but there
>is no point in finding fault with Sankara himself for not having been a
>social revolutionary. His way of affirming universality is through
>renouncing society, not by reforming it nor by a political statement
>that all men are equal.

        Dear Sir,

                In this context also, it would be appropriate
        if you could throw some light from your perspective,
        about the "ManIsha Pancakam" and the episode concerning
                Thank you.




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