What does dharma shastras say about Black Money and Corruption

In India giving Bribery is a common act one has to go through it one day or the other. If one has given Bribe is he doing Adharma, if yes then how can we repent for the sins accumulated by Bribery and Black money generated in The parallel Economy .

Does paying of Interest account for Bribery, is it Adharma to pay Interest.

  • The 10% charity rule is for your dharmically acquired income. Not crooked income.
    – user1195
    Nov 8, 2016 at 1:33
  • @moonstar2001 Why do we need to give away 10% of dharmic income?When its perfectly legal.
    – Yogi
    Nov 8, 2016 at 3:43
  • 2
    @Yogi--God is giving wealth. We earn by our hard work and dharmically acquire the money. In turn to the paramathma we thank and give for his daily puja materials or annadhan etc. Nov 8, 2016 at 5:26
  • 4
    Why make this a question on Indian politics and your ishta-devata? You should probably revert your update. Nov 8, 2016 at 20:57
  • 2
    Update The day after I posted this question there is miraculous Change in India's goo.gl/sLiGUR policy.I thank Venkateshwara, Shriman Narayana for this divine Interference/Miracle.
    – Yogi
    Nov 9, 2016 at 18:13

3 Answers 3


Regarding taking bribes the Manu Smriti says this:

9.256. Let the king who sees (everything) through his spies, discover the two sorts of thieves who deprive others of their property, both those who (show themselves) openly and those who (lie) concealed...

9.258. Those who take bribes, cheats and rogues, gamblers, those who live by teaching (the performance of) auspicious ceremonies, sanctimonious hypocrites, and fortune-tellers,....

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The King should reveal those who take bribes by employing methods such as spies and then have to punish them accordingly :

9.262. Then having caused the crimes, which they committed by their several actions, to be proclaimed in accordance with the facts, the king shall duly punish them according to their strength and their crimes.

I have not found any penances prescribed for such offenders yet.If found will update the answer with them.

Anyways,taking bribes is illegal as per Dharma Shastras and the king should act and punish the offenders accordingly.This is the directive of the Shastras.

Update regarding penances:

There are no penances prescribed specifically for bribery in Manu and the Parashara Smritis.There is nothing in the Yajnavalkya Smriti either(however i only have an abridged version of it).

The Manu Smriti however itself says that there can be many offences for which no penances have been prescribed in it.And,in those particular cases the offender can decide(the mode of atonement) on his own :

Manu Smriti 11.209. For the expiation of offences for which no atonement has been prescribed, let him fix a penance after considering (the offender’s) strength and the (nature of the) offence.

In general,the Manu Smriti prescribes:

Manu Smriti 11.227. By confession, by repentance, by austerity, and by reciting (the Veda) a sinner is freed from guilt, and in case no other course is possible, by liberality

So,charity can be a good enough atonement in my opinion.

Update #2 regarding paying interest:

Paying interest, lending money on interest are not sins.But ,usury, the act of lending money with unreasonably high interest rates is a minor sin(an upapataka).

Manu Smriti 8.140. A money-lender may stipulate as an increase of his capital, for the interest, allowed by Vasishtha, and take monthly the eightieth part of a hundred.

Manu Smriti 8.142. Just two in the hundred, three, four, and five (and not more), he may take as monthly interest according to the order of the castes (varna).


1.61. Manu Smriti:Defiling a damsel, usury, breaking a vow, selling a tank, a garden, one’s wife, or child, are(minor) sins.

Similarly,from the Yajnavalkya Smriti:

There are many Upapātakas (minor sins and turpitude). They are:— stealing a brahmin's personal effects, non payment of debts.....learning from a servant, teaching a superior, adultery, usury, sale of salt, contemptuous livelihood, misappropriation of a deposit,.....all these are Upapātakas.

  • Waiting for the penances part.
    – Yogi
    Nov 8, 2016 at 10:04
  • @Yogi updated...
    – Rickross
    Nov 8, 2016 at 12:53
  • Question Updated
    – Yogi
    Nov 8, 2016 at 19:54

Bypass black or white money. Go directly to the source of money, which is: prana, and take responsibility for the motion which money provides us.

We can't merely belabor the trite waywardness of our fellow inhabitants of Earth without also suggesting an alternative or else risk being lazy whiny prognosticators. One solution can erase a thousand errors and set an example for others to follow suit.

Yet, if you call, and no one answers, then go ahead, anyway, without anyone to follow you. The rest will catch up with you, eventually.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism. Looks like you have linked to our own work. If that is a yes, please follow the following guidelines for promotion Guidelines for self promotion. Also visit How to Answer and take a tour. Visiting those links will help you understand how our site is different from discussion forums on Hinduism. Thanks. Aug 28, 2019 at 8:58

It is not Adharma to charge or pay interest.

Manusmriti 8.140 to 8.142 says the following

8.140 The money-lender shall stipulate an interest sanctioned by Vasiṣṭha, for increasing the capital. He shall take monthly the eightieth part of a hundred.—(140)

8.141 Or, remembering the duty of the righteous, he may take two in the hundred; by taking two per cent. he does not incur the sin of extortion.—(141)

8.142 8.142. Just two in the hundred, three, four, and five (and not more), he may take as monthly interest according to the order of the castes (varna).

Vasishta Dharmashastra corroborates the above

  1. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'Two in the hundred, three and four and five, as has teen declared in the Smṛti, he may take as interest by the month according to the order of the castes.'[26]

  2. 'But the king's death shall stop the interest on money (lent);'[27]

  3. 'And after the coronation of (a new) king the capital grows again.'

The above it is to be noted is for loans for which security is not given. When security is given, Vasishta Dharmashastra says

'Hear the interest for a money-lender declared by the words of Vasiṣṭha, five mash's for twenty (kārṣāpaṇas may be taken every month); thus the law is not violated.'[28]

i.e. rate is 1¼ per cent for the month, or 15 per annum

Following are the lawful sources of income as per Manusmriti

10.115 There are seven lawful sources of income: inheritance, acquisition, purchase, conquest, investment, industry and receiving of proper gifts.—(115)

But, Brahmans and Kshatriyas are not to engage in money lending activity as per Manusmriti

10.117 The Brāhmaṇa or the Kṣatriya must not lend money on interest; but he may advance a little to unrighteous men for sacred purposes.—(117)

Vasishta goes on to elaborate

  1. A Brāhmaṇa and a Kṣatriya shall not lend (anything at interest acting like) usurers.[22]

  2. Now they quote also (the following verses): 'He who acquiring property cheap, gives it for a high price, is called a usurer and blamed among those who recite the Veda.'

  3. '(Brahman) weighed in the scales the crime of killing a learned Brāhmaṇa against (the crime of) usury; the slayer of the Brāhmaṇa remained at the top, the usurer sank downwards.'

  4. Or, at pleasure, they may lend to a person who entirely neglects his sacred duties, and is exceedingly wicked,[23]

  5. Gold (taking) double (its value on repayment, and) grain trebling (the original price).[24]

In other words, lending at high interest rate is worse than slaying a Brahmin. However Kshatriyas and Brahmins may lend gold, at pleasure, to a person who entirely neglects his sacred duties and is exceedingly wicked,taking double its value on repayment,and grain, trebling the original price.

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