In Hinduism the Samskaras or the purificatory rituals (like Garbhadana,Upanyana etc) play pivotal role.

The complete list of such Samskaras are as given below :

Garbhaadaana Pumsavana Seemontonnayana Jaata karma naama karana annapraashanaashchoulopa nayanam chatvaari Veda Vrataani snaatakam sahadharma chaarini samyogah, panchaanaam yagjnaanaamanushthaanam Deva pitru Manushya Bhuta braahmanaa meteshaam cha Ashtakaa paarvanah Shraddham Shraavanyaagrahaayani Chaitraashvayujeeti sapta paaka yajna samsthaa agnaadheyamagnihotram Dharma purna maasaagrayanam chaaturmaasyaani nirudha pashu bandhasoutraanameeti saptahaviryagjna samsthaa/ Agnishtomotyagnishtoma ukthyasshodashi vaajapeyaati raatro aapnoyami iti sapta soma samsthaa ityete chatvaarimshat samskaaraah athashtaavaatma gunaah dayaasarvabhuteshukshaantiranashyaashouchamanaayaasomangala kaarpanyaheti

There are forty Samskaaras viz. Garbha daana, Pumsavana, Seemontonnayana, Jaata Karma,Naama karana, Anna praashana, Choula, Upanayana, Four Veda Vrataas, Snaataka, Saha dharma charini samyoga; Pancha yajnaanushthaana viz. of Deva-Pitru-Manushya-Bhuta- Braahma; Ashtakaa paarvana, Shraaddha, Shravani, Agrahaayani, Chaitri and Ashviyuji being Seven Paaka Yajnas; Seven Haviryajnas viz. Agnyaadheya, Agni hotra, Darsha purna momths, Agraayana,Chaturmaasya, nirudha, pashubandha and Soatramani; and Seven Somas viz. Agnishtoma, Atyagnishtoma, Ukthya, Shodashi,Vaajapeya, Atiraatra and Aapteya: all these totalling forty!

After marriage the Garbhadana samskara is done on the couple before they unite for the first time.This is the first among all the samskaras.

Now,suppose a Brahmin couple begets a son without performing the samskara .And that son grows up and in due time receives initiation into Vedas (Upanayana) too.

Now,did this boy attain Dvijatva at all or he failed to do so because the Garbhadana was not performed before his birth?

If yes is the answer,then what is the need of performing Garbhadana at all?

The question arose in my mind upon seeing how this site is trying to prove that everyone is a Sudra in Kali Yuga .They use various kinds of argument to prove their point and one among them is that since Garbhadana is not performed in this age everyone is perpetually Sudras :

It is said in the scriptures, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In the age of Kali everyone will be like śūdras.

In the age of Kali the population all over the world is of śūdra

quality or lower for want of this purificatory process

There is a need for a good and intelligent class of brāhmaṇas who are expert in performing the purificatory processes prescribed in the system of varṇāśrama-dharma. Unless such purificatory processes are performed, there is no possibility of good population, and in the age of Kali the population all over the world is of śūdra quality or lower for want of this purificatory process. It is not possible, however, to revive the Vedic process of purification in this age, for want of proper facilities and good brāhmaṇas, but there is the Pāñcarātrika system also recommended for this age. The Pāñcarātrika system acts on the śūdra class of men, supposedly the population of the Kali-yuga

It is also stated that in this age of Kali, everyone is śūdra due to

the absence of the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra

The word śaukra janma means "taking birth by seminal discharge." Animals can take their birth in this way too. However, a human being can be reformed from the śaukra janma, as recommended in the Vedic civilization. Before the birth takes place, or before father and mother unite, there is a ceremony called garbhādhāna-saṁskāra, which must be adopted. This garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is especially recommended for higher castes, especially the brāhmaṇa caste. It is said in the śāstras that if the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not practiced among the higher castes, the entire family becomes śūdra. It is also stated that in this age of Kali, everyone is śūdra due to the absence of the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra.

An auxiliary question-Is the Garbhadana Samskara performed at all among at least the priestly classes of India these days ?

NOTE-Please answer my questions marked in bold only by citing from Scriptures.

  • Are you sure that Paka and Havir yajnas are separate samskaras? Mar 28, 2017 at 8:56
  • @RakeshJoshi No i am not ..but that is irrelevant to my question too
    – Rickross
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


This issue arises only when we relate Garbhadhana with "varna". We must understand that all the samskaras are not related to varna.

I have given references of "varna" in my answers here and here to show that varna is not fixed but it can even change after birth and samskaras.

The word is derived from "garbha" (womb) and "AdhAna) means "to keep , to place". Here husband and wife approach each other with a desire of procreating and ask the gods to bless them with a good progeny.

brAhmaNaH kShatriyo vaishyaH trayo varNAH dvijAdayaH saMskRtAshcAnyathA shUdrAH evaM vedavido viduH tasmAdayaM suto me.adyaH shUdravat vartate shishuH upanItaH kriyArhaH syAt iti vedeShu nirNayaH rAjJAmekAdashe varShe sadopanayanaM smRtaM aShTame brAhmaNAnAM ca vaishyAnAM dvAdashe kila (devI bhAgavata 7-7)

“The three varNa-s of brAhmaNa, kShatriya and vaishya are dvija (twice born) only if they undergo the upanayana saMskAra otherwise they are indeed considered to be shUdra in the absence of saMskAra

Janmana jayate shudrah
One is a Shudra by birth

Samskarad dvija ucyate
By observing Sanskara one becomes a Dvija

Vedapathi bhaved viprah
By studying the Vedas one becomes a Vipra

Brahma janati brahmanah
One who knows Brahman is a Brahmana

Hence by performing samskara and giving mantra upadesha he gains dwijahood.

विष्णुर्योनिं कल्पयतु त्वष्टा रूपाणि पिंशतु । आ सिञ्चतु प्रजापतिर्धाता गर्भं दधातु ते ॥१॥

गर्भं धेहि सिनीवालि गर्भं धेहि सरस्वति । गर्भं ते अश्विनौ देवावा धत्तां पुष्करस्रजा ॥२॥

हिरण्ययी अरणी यं निर्मन्थतो अश्विना । तं ते गर्भं हवामहे दशमे मासि सूतवे ॥३॥

May Vishnu construct the womb, may Twashtri fabricate the member, may Prajapati sprinkle the seed, may Dhatri cherish thy embryo; Sustain the embryo Sinivali, sustain the embryo Saraswati, may the divine Aswins, garlanded with lotuses, sustain thy embryo; We invoke thy embryo which the Aswins have churned with the golden pieces of Arani (firewood), that thou mayest bring it forth in the tenth month.

— Rig Veda 10.184.1 - 10.184.3,

It should be noted that this has nothing to do with "Dvijahood". If the garbhadhana would decide the dvijahood then "upanayana" samskara would be of no use !

A bachelor usually performs "samidhA-AdhAna" which is the daily fire ritual which is the preparatory for the future "agni-hotra". Here the brahmachari "places" the agni and prepares for the future agni upasana with the wife. Similarly garbha-adhana is the preparatory rite for conception.

Any person born to any varna can attain dvijahood with prescribed samskara and regular upasana. Further, there is also a provision of doing the leftover samskaras before the upanayaya. Hence not having done garbhadhana does not have direct impact on the varna.

Even a child born to the brahmin couple after garbhadhana samskara is not except from the upanayana which shows that only the "upanayana" decides the varna and NOT birth alone.

Coming to the verses of SB, it should be noted that this cannot be taken as authority for Vedic samskaras. We have the related grhya and shrauta sutras to look into the matter.

If one accept these verses of SB then it would mean that all the Vedic worship going on is a waste. If all are shudras without an exception then where is the question of performing "samskaras" like upanayana etc?

It would also mean that if all the population is shudras then all the Vedic rituals must stopped. These verses boil down to the point that every Vedic ritual is useless and only bhakti to Lord Vishnu is correct. Similar idea is also conveyed in Kali-Santarana upanishad.

We must not forget that these vedanga sutras are STILL VALID FOR KALI YUGA. We have Apastamba, Paraskara, Gobhila etc. which gives guidelines about various samskaras.

These verses would also mean that NO BODY IN KALI YUGA is performing garbhadhana which is again not very logical. If all are shudras in kaliyuga then all the Vedic rites and ceremonies should be stopped. I feel that these verses are spurious in nature and are indirectly trying to divert people away from Vedas.

Shukla Yajurveda 18.48: Ruchannu dhehi brahmanesu ruchaha rajasu naskrudhi | Ruchanwisyeshu Sudreshu mayi dheyi rucha rucham ||

O Lord! Provide enlightenment to our Brahmanas, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras. Provide me also with the same enlightenment so that I can see the truth.

  • 3
    "Any person born to any varna can attain dvijahood" - makes it sound easy.. what is the praaman in scriptures for this ? Even Raja Rishi Koushika (a Kshatriya) had to perform tapas for thousands of years to raise his status to a Brahmana (Brahmana).. what to ask of people in kali yuga where most are shudras ?! When people say birth does not determine varna, what is meant is - birth ALONE does not determine varna. Both birth AND upasana is needed for brahmanatvam.
    – ram
    Mar 28, 2017 at 18:01
  • 3
    I totally agree that garbhadana is required. But that ALONE is not enough - upanayanam and other samskaras, and regular practice of those rituals is also required. What I do not agree is that anyone (shudras) can chant vedic mantras required for garbhadana or upanayana, because Vedas are restricted only to those who are already brahmin/kshatriya/vaishya, so their parents must be one of these 3 varnas to chant garbhadana mantra. Even Adi Shankarar, who sees only Brahman in everything, said 'pour hot lead into ear of shudra who studies vedas'.
    – ram
    Mar 29, 2017 at 12:38
  • 3
    Changing varnas is all good to hear in theory, but it is much easier to fall down a ladder than to climb it. A Brahmana can be easily become a shudra by neglecting sandhya, eating/drinking in restaurants etc. But it is very hard for a Shudra to become a Brahmana. They can become 'enlightened' because knowledge/moksha is not restricted to Brahmanas, but to become eligible to chant vedas and perform rituals, the amount of tapas they have to do is herculean. Also, why do they need to transform into dvija at all ? They can reach same goal that dvijas reach by simply serving others
    – ram
    Mar 29, 2017 at 12:44
  • 2
    @ram why are you so jealous of them? you are hell bent on making this task close to impossible. when brahmins can become chandala due to bad deeds , same way shudras can become dvija due to their dharma jijnasa. kindly go through my other answers . Mar 29, 2017 at 12:48
  • 2
    Let's keep the discussion civil or move to chat. What am i jealous of ? Nobody can deny that it is harder for shudra to become a brahmana than other way round. it may take a few janmas to get rid of lower vasanas and rise to higher truths. just look at the lifestyle shudras and ideal-brahmanas lead nowadays, and you can see the vast difference. By reading forums on internet that Shudras are allowed to chant Vedas etc. they are only being mislead. Sri Krishna says - swadharme nidhanam shreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah.
    – ram
    Mar 29, 2017 at 12:57

I asked this question to a vaidika brahmanar.
He said, since most grooms nowadays do not know garbhadana samskara mantra (which must be said in private at night when husband and wife are together), and since it is not practical/comfortable to invite a priest to the home on a specific night, the garbhadana mantra is told (by the priest and repeated by the groom) during the marriage ceremony itself.

  • But only God knows if that shortcut is working or not..BTW you have answered only my optional question..Can u answer the main questions as well?
    – Rickross
    Mar 28, 2017 at 13:13
  • When samskara can be done in advance (during marriage) then it can be done later also na (before upanayanam). Mar 29, 2017 at 6:06
  • 2
    @RakeshJoshi After the jeeva is born and grown? Then you purify? Illogical at best. You seem to operate from an anti-brahmin ideological stance. Your arguments are biased and unreasonble.
    – user1195
    Mar 30, 2017 at 1:27
  • 1
    @RakeshJoshi You kept saying the same things over and over again in chat. I gave you enough references to counter. I am not interested in arguing with people with an agenda.
    – user1195
    Mar 30, 2017 at 6:30
  • 3
    @RakeshJoshi That's not for you to decide.
    – user1195
    Mar 30, 2017 at 9:44

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