Are the mantras, rituals etc. from Vedas available only for Brahmins? Does it mean that castes other than Brahmins do not have any prescribed rules of life and rituals?
No the injunctions are not just for the Brahmins. The Grihya Sutras in fact prescribe rules for the first three Varna even though the Parashar Smriti actually mentions the roles and responsibilities of all the four castes.
As mentioned in the ÂPASTAMBA'S YAGÑA-PARIBHÂSHÂ-SÛTRAS:
Again the SANKHAYAN GRIHYA SUTRA Khanda 28 states:
- After one year the Kûdâkarman (i.e. the tonsure of the child's head);
- Or in the third year;
- In the fifth for a Kshatriya;
- In the seventh for a Vaisya.
- Having placed the fire (in the outer hall; see chap. 5, 2)—
Again in the ADHYÂYA II, KHANDA 1.
- In the eighth year after the conception let him initiate a Brâhmana,
- With an antelope-skin,
- Or in the tenth year after the conception.
- In the eleventh year after the conception a Kshatriya with the skin of a spotted deer,
- In the twelfth year after the conception a Vaisya with a cow-hide.
- Until the sixteenth year the time has not passed for a Brâhmana,
- Until the twenty-second for a Kshatriya,
- Until the twenty-fourth for a Vaisya. 9 9. After that (time has passed), they become patitasâvitrîka (men who have lost their right of learning the Sâvitrî).
Further verses also mention such stuff:
- The girdle of a Brâhmana (shall be) made of Muñga grass,
- That of a Kshatriya (shall be) a bowstring,
- That of a Vaisya a woollen thread.
- The staff of a Brâhmana (shall be) made of Palâsa or of Bilva wood,
- That of a Kshatriya of Nyagrodha wood,
- That of a Vaisya of Udumbara wood.
- That of the Brâhmana shall reach the tip of the nose,
- That of the Kshatriya the forehead,
- That of the Vaisya the hair.
- Or all (sorts of staffs are to be used) by (men of) all (castes).
- Whatsoever (the student) wears at his initiation, is at the disposal of the teacher.
Hence we can see that the rituals and advice in these scriptures are meant not just for the Brahmins.