A Republic is a country where the ruler is democratically elected by the people of the country. Democracy is the opposite of dictatorship or monarchy.

Today's India is such a democratic republic.

But in ancient past Indian kings were not always selected by people. Mostly a king's son will become the king and then his son and so on.

Now this webpage claims the Vedas , the most ancient among Hindu scriptures, support the idea of democracy. It quotes a Rig Veda mantra in support of the claim which is given below. But i fail to understand how the mantra explicitly supports the idea of democracy.

Today India is the largest democratic nation in terms of population. But history and ancient literature suggest that demcoracy and republic ideas were implemented ever since the ‘Age of Vedas‘ and even before. The present westminister style of democracy in India was inherited from the British but the principle of democracy in Vedas existed as a core value in Ancient India.


Ramayana has the first instance where a king tells his people to disagree with him if needed and was open to suggestions in administration.


Evidence of a Democratic system of government in India is originally found in Rig Veda, which mentions a thriving republican form of Government in India. These are the slokas from Rig Veda which were to be sung in unison at the beginning of the republican assembly

sáM sam íd yuvase vRSann ágne víshvAny aryá Á
iLás padé sám idhyase sá no vásUny Á bhara ||
sáM gachadhvaM sáM vadadhvaM sáM vo mánAMsi jAnatAm
devÁ bhAgáM yáthA pÚrve saMjAnAnÁ upÁsate ||
samAnó mántraH sámitiH samAnÍ samAnám mánaH sahá cittám eSAm
samAnám mántram abhí mantraye vaH samAnéna vo havíSA juhomi ||
samAnÍ va ÁkUtiH samAnÁ hRdayAni vaH
samAnám astu vo máno yáthA vaH súsahÁsati || [Rig Veda 10.191.1-4]

Translation :THOU, mighty Agni, gatherest up all that is precious for thy friend. Bring us all treasures as thou art enkindled in libation’s place. Assemble, speak together: let your minds be all of one accord, As ancient Gods unanimous sit down to their appointed share. The place is common, common the assembly, common the mind, so be their thought united. A common purpose do I lay before you, and worship with your general oblation. One and the same be your resolve, and be your minds of one accord. United be the thoughts of all that all may happily agree.

Do the Vedas support democracy? If yes, please quote the relevant mantras from the Veda Samhitas.

  • I think this question is same as Democracy in Hinduism
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 16, 2017 at 8:20
  • @TheDestroyer Yes similar but not exactly the same. I want this question to be answered only from the Vedas. That other question can be answered from any Scriptures.
    – Rickross
    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:16
  • Have an interesting thought from Ramayana to share - When Rama was exiled by Dasharatha, people begged him to come back giving 2 main reasons - he was the rightful heir because he was the king's firstborn son, he was also the choice for king based on people's wishes. Based on both monarchy and democracy, Rama could have been king. But Rama felt that neither should dictate who is king, only Dharma should.
    – mar
    Apr 20, 2017 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Yes the Veda does support the idea of democracy. It clearly talks of people or their representatives choosing the king.

TwAm Vishor VrinatAm (1)

TvAmimAh Pradishah Pancha Devi (2)

Vashmarn RAshtrashya Kakudi Srayasya (3)

Tator Na Ugro Vi BhajA Vasuthi (4)


Let the people choose you for the king (1)

you have the knowledge of the five divine realms (or directions) (2)

Let the royal words flow from the peaks (3)

Firmly share your riches with all (4).

Atharva Veda Samhita 3.4.1.

Here the word "Visha" denotes the people or their representatives.

The Rig Veda 10.124.8 mantra also indicate the visha or people chose the king.

Similarly, Atharva Veda 3.3.6 clearly says:

We have elected you, let your enemies challenge you.

  • 2
    you are reading too much into the rig veda. It has nothing to do with democracy. choosing a king is not democracy. people in ancient times did not think the same way as we do today. You are reading an English translation of the most ancient Sanskrit. The English 'elect' in ancient Sanskrit is not the modern connotation that you are giving it. Apr 16, 2017 at 9:50
  • 1
    @ChinmaySarupria That is most common misconception that most people have about the Vedas. When someone says Vedas are 3 they simply mention the 3 types of Veda Mantras viz Rik, Yajus and Samans. . The Atharva Veda is mostly comprised of Riks. But this space is too short to prove it to u.
    – Rickross
    Apr 16, 2017 at 11:12
  • 1
    For Veda mantras u can check mahbhasya of patanjali on RV 4.58.3 which begins with chatvari shrnga (i.e which has 4 horns and 3 feet). The Mahabharatha and Vishnu Purana both says Vedas are 4. Also check Brihadaranyaka 2.4.10 and Mundaka Upanishads 1.1.5. AV 11.6.14 itself states ricah samani beshaja yajumshi . Here AV identifies itself with bhesaja or healing. AV 15.6.8 quotes the same mantra with only bhesaja replaced with brahma . In other parts of Av same mantra is found with bhesaja replaced with Atharva Angira the seers to whom these mantras are revealed.@ChinmaySarupria
    – Rickross
    Apr 16, 2017 at 14:44
  • 1
    Also of the 10 major upanishads 3, namely Mandukya, Mundaka and Prashna are associated with AV. @ChinmaySarupria
    – Rickross
    Apr 16, 2017 at 14:46
  • 1
    @Chinmaya Sarupriya Atharvaveda is surely a Veda... actually it is mystic Veda... when compared with letter Om. A denotes Rig Veda, U Yajur, M Sama and silence Atharva.... also Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad mention Atharvaveda many times.... for eg. Here is passage from Chandogya Upanishad: "III-iv-1: And its northern rays are its northern honey cells. The Mantras of the Atharva-Veda are the bees. The Itihasa and the Purana are the flower; and those waters are the nectar." .. and son on many other verses....
    – Tezz
    Apr 16, 2017 at 15:44

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