Talk:Smarta tradition

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I have merged Smartha and Talk:Smartha with this article. ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸ 7 July 2005 00:15 (UTC)

Some Notes[edit]

A few well known points on Ramanujacharya 1.He was born to Kesava Perumal Somayaji Deekshitar.There is nothing in this name which indicates a non smartha origin.A deekshitar is one who makes offerings in certain sacrifices.All existing families which remember their ancestor as a deekshit are smarthas/closely related to smarthas. 2.Ramanujacharya has been in close contact with alwars throughout his life.But yet he comes from a family which supposedly fell under advaitic influence.It must be told that many alwars do not in any way talk about advaita or any other vedanta philosophy.And smarthas also worship a few alwars like andal. 3.His mother is Kanthimathi?I do not see it as an exclusive vaishnava godess or is it?Can any one enlighten me on that? 4.He attended a non dual school run by YadavaPrakasa.

More sources and quotes for Smarta as a tradition of Hinduism[edit]

Murray Milner Jr. Professor of Sociology, Quote: Next, four subtraditions within Hinduism will be considered; three of these broad categories of religious tradition: Pantanjali's Yoga, the Smarta tradition, and sectarian bhakti. Each of these tends to emphasize one of the three paths identified in the Bhagavad Gita. A fourth case, Sri Vaisnavism, is then examined; it is a smaller, historically more specific sectarian tradition. The first three represent major traditions with Hinduism.[1]


Your book says "The Smarta tradition has, however, always been dominated not by renouncers, but by Brahman householders." pg. 195.VictoriaGraysonTalk 00:01, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
@Vic: Don't cherrypick sentences out of their context. Keep reading through the end of that paragraph, better through page 202. Our goal is not to pick sides, or state as you have been implying with your version of the lead, "Smartas refers to (just) Brahmins". That is not what the sources are saying. Our goal is to summarize all the sides per WP:NPOV. For this article it means, acknowledging that Smarta term has contextual meanings, both as a general historic tradition and as a historic identifier of certain Brahmins. See the sections above. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:26, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
MSW, your own book clearly says the Smarta tradition is dominated by Brahmin householders.VictoriaGraysonTalk 00:29, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
For consensus, would you accept the following compromise: we acknowledge in the lead that Brahmin householders dominated the Smarta tradition, etc, for NPOV? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:37, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
But actual indologists, not merely sociologists, like Flood define Smarta as being a Brahmin tradition.VictoriaGraysonTalk 00:40, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Vic: On the contrary, Indologists state different views, ranging from Smarta tradition was [1] mostly Brahmins, [2] mostly upper varnas, [3] all Advaita Vedantin Hindus. See Gerald James Larson's book India's Agony Over Religion published by State University of New York Press, for example. Meditate on this a bit @Vic. Or let @Joshua Jonathan review and revise per WP:3O. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:49, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I think that the two of you should open an RfC, and invite other editors to give their opinions & sources. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:22, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Lochfeld, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z, p.656: "...a particular group of Brahmins"
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: "Smarta sect, orthodox Hindu sect composed of members of the “twice-born,” or initiated upper classes (Brahman, Kshatriya, and Vaishya), whose primarily Brahman followers"
On the other hand:
  • Ninian Smart, Ninian Smart on World Religions: Traditions and the challenges of modernity ..., p.186: "The modern Hindu ideology, as I have called it, is largely a smarta account."
  • Lola Williamson, Transcendent in America: Hindu-inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion, p.89: "What is called Vedic in the smarta tradition, and in much of Hinduism, is essentially Tantric in its range of deities and liturgical forms."
So, yes, Brahmanical, but with a much wider popular appeal, integrating Tantric elements into Hindu "orthodoxy." Which fits in with Vivekananda: presenting a modern synthesis of Tantric, yogic, bedhabedha and western esoteric elements as "Advaita Vedanta." What's new? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:34, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
@Joshua Jonathan:: Indeed, the summary of the sources, as you point out is, "yes Brahmanical, but with much wider popular appeal". @VictoriaGrayson is not accurately summarizing the sources with the POV "Smarta is only a Brahmin tradition". My concerns are [1] the main article barely discusses the "Smarta Brahmin" aspect, which it should, [2] the main article has the same websites that @VictoriaGrayson complained about in the Hinduism article, plus this article has unsourced content and WP:OR-Synthesis from sources that do not mention Smarta. If it is okay with you, I suggest we revise the main article with a better discussion on Smarta tradition as well as Smarta Brahmins from WP:RS. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 13:44, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
  • MSW, please quote Flood 1996 that says Smarta is a non-Brahmin tradition. You say I misinterpret that particular source, yet you never provide a quotation.
  • JJ, Smarta is tantric influenced. This is basic knowledge. But that has nothing to do with whether Smarta is a Brahmin tradition or not. For example, Adisaivas (Shiva temple priests) are Brahmins who specialize in tantra (Saiva Siddhanta). VictoriaGraysonTalk 16:34, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It seems to me (for what it's worth) that Smarta was mainly a Brahmin movement, yet that it has been very influential in Hindu modernism, shaping the thoughts of many non-Brahmins. Both should be mentioned. And I believe rightaway that Smartism was influenced by Tantra. Look at Vivekananda; selling Ramakrishna as an Advaita Vedantin! But this syncretism seems to be what it really is all about. Maybe that's also a nice nuance to Hacker: he was looking for a dialogue with 'authentic Hinduism', to enrich or reground hos own faith, but found out that religion is shaped by humans, and changes. If this is so for Advaita Vedanta and Hinduism, why not also Christianity? With other words: the 'authentic Christianity' he was looking for didn't (and doesn't) exist either. What exists, is living, evolving religion; in the case of the Smarta tradition and exponts lie Vivekananda, a religion that incorporates several Indian traditions. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:27, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

@Vic: On Flood 1996, look at page 134, the paragraph that starts with "These sampradayas...". It is not specific to Brahmins, and goes on to state that Vaishnava sampradayas located themselves within the context of Smarta worship, particularly the Sri Vaishnava and Gaudiya Vaishnava traditions. Both of these traditions have from their earliest times included all social classes. Even within Shaivism, Flood 1996 notes the diversity of religious forms, from Smarta to others, on page 173. On page 159, he writes of Saiva, Vaisnava and Smarta religions (not Smarta Brahmins). On page 182, Flood writes, "Puranic, Smarta ideology dominated the early medieval period and became pan-Indian". And so on. @JJ already provided you with a quote from Encyclopedia Britannica, which includes three social classes. In other words, you are mistaken in insisting "Smarta is/has been only a Brahmin tradition", or at least your impression is not the only scholarly view out there. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:49, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
@JJ: Indeed, this is true of Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. There aren't authentic or inauthentic lines. There have been, as Flood 1996 and others discuss, Shaiva-Smartas, Shakti-Smartas, Vaishnava-Smartas, Tantric-Smartas, etc. Yes, Smarta Brahmins and Shrauta Brahmins were a historic reality, and in some contexts Brahmins dominated the Smarta movement, but over many centuries it has been much more. Ganesha, which Smarta championed, is found all over Hinduism, for example. The guru of Kabir and his colleagues were Smartas, for example. Back to this article. How do you propose we improve the main section of this article? What sections would you suggest given what you have read and reviewed so far? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:49, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
@Vic/@Joshua Jonathan: See this. It speaks of Vaishya Smartas on page 74, fishermen/sailors/cultivation/agriculturists who were "Smartas by religion" on page 76, etc. Yes, it also mentions Smarta Brahmins on pages 58-59, chapter 2. The chapter 3, titled Konkani non-Brahmin Hindus, starts at page 70. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 03:14, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
JJ, instead of this unreliable book from 1904, see HERE.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:20, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
There's a list of Smarta communities in the article; most of them seem to be Brahmins. But any way: either open a RfC, as I suggested before; or expand this community-section, in which an overview of the relevant literature is given. Which means that both views will be represented there: Smarta as a Brahmin-tradition, and Smarta as a wider tardition. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:28, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

I find this discussion all very amusing. I live in S India and know many smartas. Don't mind my saying this but all these academics you are quoting really don't know what they are talking about. They just footnote each other and thick accretions of nonsense develop. Anyway, this is another section of Wikipedia that is about a queer as a $3 bill. I wonder why you don't get material from authentic Indian sources? Have you tried approaching a "smarta samaja?" Or is it that Indian people don't know anything about themselves and they need Westerners to tell them what they are actually about. What a colonial mindset. (talk) 03:08, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

RfC: New Lead[edit]

I am proposing to instate this lead. Note I have also provided supporting academic quotes.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:32, 29 March 2016 (UTC)



I'm not sure whether it is better or not, but the article title needs to be addressed - perhaps after changing the lead. At the very least, "tradition" should not be capitalized. Huw Powell (talk) 16:02, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Unsourced content[edit]

@ Please don't edit war. See WP:RS. Do you have a reliable source? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 16:21, 24 May 2016 (UTC)