1 points | Post submitted by suyash95 5 days ago | 2 comments | viewed 21 times

Was Learning of Vedas denied to Shudras?

  • suyash95 5 days ago | +0 points

    Does Advaita tell that Shudras should not hear Vedas, according to Bashya of Brahma Sutras?


    Sudras are majority 85% of society and they were Engineers, Metal Works, Potters, Carpenters, Artisans, Craftsmen, Tradesmen, Peasants, Weavers, Cart-builders and other Service Professions . If they stopped all works to build society and study Vedas how will society run? Study of each Veda takes 12 years with lots of restrictions on food, wealth etc. The special duty of a Brahmacarin is begging for alms, service to the preceptor, study, sacrificial rites, and renunciation.” (Garuda Purana 1.49.5). Does this sound appealing to everyone? Who can't wait to spend their entire childhood living a hand-to-mouth existence, begging for food, carrying out menial tasks just to learn something you can never make money doing? The Bramhin path was never a materially lucrative one. Who wants to live 12+ years as a celibate student, tonsured, begging for food? Our Rishis were always compassionate to give the same knowledge in form of Epics and Puranas. One can happily obtain Jnana from them. Narada Muni, Vidura, DharmaVyadha, Kapinjalada, Matanga obtained Jnana in similar way. Narada Muni was a Sudra, but by serving acharyas and obtaining Brahma Jnana, Narada Muni meditated and got darshan of Lord Vishnu.

    In Gita Mahatyama, Adi Shankaracharya says “Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gita. In the present age, people are so absorbed in mundane activities that it is not possible for them to read all the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gita, will suffice, because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and especially because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All the Upanisads are like a cow, and the milker of the cow is Lord Shri Krishna, the son of Nanda. Arjuna is the calf, the beautiful nectar of the Gita is the milk, and the fortunate devotees of fine theistic intellect are the drinkers and enjoyers of that milk.”

    • All the four orders, therefore, have always the right to the performance of all pious duties and of sacrifices (MB Santi CLXXXVIII )

    • Sufficient liberty of action is left to them in consequence of which all individuals may attain to an equality of condition. (MB Anu CLXIV)

    • Maheshwara says to Umadevi: Brahma himself has said that even though a Shudra, if he has pure inner soul and is Jitendriya, then he should be treated as a Brahmana. (MB Anu Parva 142,Shl 49)

    • If satya, daana, karunya, lajja, daya and tapas are found in a Shudra then he does not remain a Shudra. Similarly if Satya etc qualities are not there in a brahmana then he will not remain a Brahmana.(MB Shanti 198)

    • O ruler of the Videhas, Brahmins learned in the Vedas, monarch, regard a (virtuous) Sudra as equal to a Brahmin himself. I, however, O king, look upon such a Sudra as effulgent Vishnu of the universe, the foremost one in all the worlds.” (MB Shanti 302,Shl 12-18)

    • Lord Krishna says “The person who bestows transcendental knowledge upon the members of all the spiritual orders of society is one’s ultimate spiritual master. Indeed, he is as good as My own self.” (SB 10.80.32)

    • Yajnavalkya says By obtaining brahmajnana from a brahmana or kshatriya or vysya or shudra or even a person of low caste, person with faith should constantly practice the same.(MB Shanti 378,Shl 87)

    • Because people of all varnas are born from Brahma, they are all Brahmanas. All are all the time reciting the name of Brahma. I am telling the correct shastra by the buddhi given by Brahma. Entire universe and this visible world is nothing but Brahma. Therefore whatever be the varna, they should not be considered as being different from Brahma(MB Shanti 378,Shl 90)


  • suyash95 5 days ago | +0 points



    The Vedas have been in print and available for public consumption since the invention of the printing press. In my early days Motilal Banarsi Dass and Chaukumbha and Gita Press were my sources for books. No one ever asked me my caste and were very happy to sell the manuscripts to me. The teachers I was fortunate to meet also were happy to teach anyone who showed a sincere and keen interest in the knowledge they had to teach.


    Vedic chanting classes were started for ALL - by the venerable Tirumalai Krishnamacharya in the early 20th century. Chinmaya mission has been running such classes for over 30 years. Books have been published on the subject and there are now many gurukulas which will teach Vedic chanting indiscriminately.


    With the invention of recording devices many Vedic scholars were delighted to have their voices recorded and publically sold and played. The entire Veda is now available on CD (Nowadays MP3) and in South India one can frequently hear Vedic chanting played over PA systems.


    In the 21st century the great teachers of Veda are Swami Gooogle-ananda and Swami Youtube-ananda. So any one and everyone can learn Veda without let or hindrance. The notion that Sudras are forbidden to the learn or chant the Vedas is pre-modern - Vedic chanting is now being taught in Yoga Schools across the globe.


    The Vedas are now in the Public Domain since the majority of the traditional custodians have given up their exclusive rights to its transmission over 200 years ago! They are available in digital library and on line. Even our enemies are now accessing the Vedas on line and trawling them to find quotes with which to beat us!




    The Veda is not readable, as one might read the bible or other literature.

    They are a collection of ancient poems written in an archaic version of the Sanskrit language and are not meant to be read. They have to be contemplated and the truth in it experienced. Since the compilation now has four volumes and over 20,000 verses, this would be a life long endeavor.

    Those who study the texts take 10–15 years on each volume.

    And what purpose does it serve?

    The idea is to read just enough to get a sense of the divine, and then head out on your own “quest” for that highest reality.

    In fact, the tradition also asserts that these texts should not be read, but only heard from a master!

    The fact is that the entire Vedanta philosophy is found distributed throughout the Puranas and Itihasas - usually in the form of dialogues, lectures and hymns (stotras). So everyone has always had access to the knowledge contained in the Vedas in an easily digestible form. 

    So this trope “Sudras should not hear the Vedas” or “lead must be poured in the ears of a Sudra who hears the Vedas” is Hinduphobic propaganda the purpose of which is to undermine Hinduism and to foster division and dissent. Let us just talk of the FACTS of the past 1000 years since the time of Rāmānuja ācārya. 

    According to the Pañcarātra Āgamas every annual 10 day temple festival must include a procession around the town or village every day. The processional protocol demands that the Vedic Brahmins should follow behind the deity loudly chanting the Sanskrit Vedas for all to hear. In front of the deity walk the choristers chanting the Tamil Vedas. This protocol has been observed right up the the current day.

     And the fact is the MAJORITY of attendees at the temple festivals are by de fault Sūdras and women. So there is incontrovertible evidence that for the past 1000 years Sudras have freely listened to the public chanting of the Vedas. In addition there is the annual adhyayanotsava - a public festival in which daily communal chanting of the Vedas takes place for ALL to hear and enjoy. 

    As far as I am aware the same protocol applies to Shaiva temples.

    The Vedas were never books that could be adulterated and altered and new copies issued - like what Uthman did when he collected and collated all the verses of the Q book and then burned all the other copies - making one official version. The Vedas were kept in the heads of Brahmin families and transmitted orally and learned by heart by their students. Nothing could be added or subtracted unless you gathered all the Brahmins together from the entire sub-continent and made them agree to change or add elements.

     The Puranas and allied literature has been extensively adulterated, added to and corrupted over millennia by Hindu scribes themselves without encouragement from any Muslim ruler. Hence their reliability is always in doubt unless they agree with or expatiate upon something found in the Vedas themselves.

     The Vedas are deeply mystical texts in the form of archaic poetry and are extremely difficult to understand, one cannot do justice to them without the guidance of a guru.

     The majority of Hindu priests on the other hand are simply ritual technicians with little or no formal study and mostly don’t even know Sanskrit or the meaning of the mantras they are reciting.



    The common people are not interested in philosophy (darśana) or a rational analysis of dukha or applying the effort (tapasya) for personal change, self-realisation (ātma-bodha) and attainment of freedom from suffering (moka) — they are interested only in consumer religion — the fulfilment of their hopes, expectations and desires in this world and some guarantee of an eternal holiday in the “sky club-med” — with wine, women (or studs) song and dance.

    The Puranas responded to the drive of Spiritual Materialism and gave ways and methods of devotion to deities for the gratification of the consumer needs of the common people. Along with Bhakti (devotion) and with the ultimate goal of engendering disenchantment with Spiritual Materialism they also prescribed the way of surrender to God and disengagement (vairāgya). So we have the rise of the three Yogas:-

    1. Jñāna Yoga — the path of intellectual development — which is philosophical enquiry and meditation on the Impersonal Absolute — i.e. nirgua — free from conceptual qualities.

    2. Bhakti Yoga — the path of devotion which takes two forms:–

    (a) sa-kāma bhakti — devotion to a form of God (sagua) with the aim of acquiring stuff — its like treating God as an attendant in a 5 star hotel — just ring the bell and call for room service and the attendant appears with your requested items. If service is not prompt you keep raising the tempo of your demands or change your religion to find the best room-service.

    (b) ni-kāma bhakti — which is devotion uncontaminated by material desires but for the sake of the divine only — this includes the path of Surrender (prapatti)

    3. Karma Yoga — and for those who are neither emotionally or intellectually inclined the path of disinterested action is prescribed. Karma Yoga is the primary message of the Gita and included in it are also Jñāna and Bhakti yogas. Karma yoga is working with the trans-personal and altruistic intent of the welfare of all beings (Loka-sangraha).

     In Karma Yoga the purpose is not the “bottom line” but rather the universal or altruistic benefit of the enterprise engaged in. Karma Yoga can be facilitated or enhanced by a belief in “work as service to God” — (Bhagavad kainkarya rūpa) but can be very effectively done with a non-theistic humanistic intent as well.


Please Login or Signup to leave Answer

Welcome to HMW!

This site is for discussion about Hinduism.

You must have an account here to participate.

Register here >>>>

We do NOT offer personalized advice based on astrology.

Check the Guidelines for posting >>>>

Suggested Offline Book

Durga Sapta-Shati