Severe Hindi austerities in Kali Yuga?

Robert Goldman rpg at CALMAIL.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Dec 15 19:10:55 UTC 2010

The idea that different religious duties are appropriate in the  
different yugas is widely stated. Compare Manusmṛti 1. 85-86 where  
aceticism (tapas)  is prescribed for the Kṛta Age, knowledge  
(jñāna) for the Tretā, sacrifice (yajña) for the Dvāpara and  
charity (dāna) for the Kṛta.

Alf is right to note that Nārada delivers a discourse in the  
Uttarakāṇḍa (sarga 65 of the critical edition) on asceticism and  
the yugas. But the ṛṣi's point is rather different. He focuses on  
which of the four varṇas are authorized to perform tapas in which  
yugas. His ultimate point is that śūdras are not so authorized until  
the Kṛta. (As, starting with the brahmans, one class is added to the  
list each yuga). Thus, as the scene is set in the Tretā, the śūdra  
Śambūka, is violating dharma and thus merits punishment.
Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Professor of Sanskrit
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies
MC # 2540
The University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
Tel: 510-642-4089
Fax: 510-642-2409

On Dec 15, 2010, at 6:22 AM, Alfred Hiltebeitel wrote:

> I believe it is Narada who, for one, makes this point to Rama in  
> justification for the killing of Shambuka in the Valmiki Ramayana  
> Uttarakanda.
> Alf Hiltebeitel
> Professor of Religion and Human Sciences
> Department of Religion
> 2106 G Street, NW
> George Washington University
> Washington DC 20052
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at YAHOO.COM>
> Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 8:40 am
> Subject: [INDOLOGY] Severe Hindi austerities in Kali Yuga?
>> We were discussing the Hindu legends about severe austerities
>> performed by Dhruva, Parvati, etc. and it came up that some Hindu
>> scriptures say that they are not appropriate for Kali Yugi, i.e. the
>> age that we are said to be in now.
>> But no one could remember the source of that comment about their
>> obsolescence. Does anyone have sources for this?
>> Best,
>> Dean AndersonEast West Cultural Institute

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