Manu Smriti 10.129

"No collection of wealth must be made by a Sudra, even though he be able (to do it); for a Sudra who has acquired wealth, gives pain to Brahmanas."

  • Brahmanas created most of the rules in early hindu society, so they made most of them in favour of the creamy cast(I don't believe in such cast system).Brahmanas other wise little more white coloured human beings at that time misused their knowledge and prevented acquiring knowledge and wealth by others especially the dark skin coloured people. May 19, 2017 at 16:01
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    Most of the religious scriptures that gives importance to Brahmanas are written by them no doubt about that, now we can see the time has changed a lot now the playing field is equal. May 19, 2017 at 16:07
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    Shudras are ones who endowed with ignorance & low intellect . Ignorant mind with low intellect, unable to discriminate between right & wrong, when given power is more dangerous to itself than to the others. Because under power, it is driven with ego, hatred, enviousness, lust, dishonesty which falls it down to the lower births of insects & animals. Such restriction was made not out of polishing ego of upper castes but to save them to commit sin. Hindu social structure was based on ensuring to uplift souls both in this life as well as in the next life. May 19, 2017 at 16:13
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    This statement in fact is a care for Shudras otherwise who cares what they attain after death? Shudras materially improving themselves but not spiritually, surely won't bring a good birth after death. May 19, 2017 at 16:17
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    To know about good and bad one should be educated, in early days Brahmanas prevented education to lower caste. May 21, 2017 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


Here's the explanation given by Medhatithi in his commentary on the Manu Smriti:

‘Even though he is able’—by means of agriculture and such acts,—wealth shall not be amassed by the Śūdra. In support of this the Author adds an argument in the form of a declamatory statement—‘Having acquired wealth the Śūdra harasses the Brāhmaṇas.’ “What is the harassment caused to Brāhmaṇas?” Becoming very rich, they would make the Brāhmaṇas accept gifts from themselves, and the accepting of gifts from the Śūdra has been forbidden for them; hence becoming a party to their doing what is forbidden, he would incur sin. The danger of incurring such sin however could not apply to the case of one who goes on fulfilling all that is prescribed for him. Hence the ‘harassment’ of the Brāhmaṇa that is meant is only this that he would no longer serve them.

So the problem is that by acquiring wealth he may be tempted to stop performing his duty of serving Brahmanas and other members of the first three castes. And so he's forbidden from acquiring wealth in order to prevent this temptation.

However, if a low-caste person violates this and acquires wealth anyway, he should use this wealth to support members of the first three castes, as described in this chapter of the Gautama Dharma Sutras:

And a man of higher caste (who is his master and has fallen into distress must be maintained) by him. His hoard shall serve this purpose.

  • The common goal of a Hindu in life as follows: 1-Dharma, 2-Artha(wealth or money), 3-Kama 4-Moksha. So, as per this,Shudras can have wealth.
    – user9810
    May 19, 2017 at 16:43
  • Another verse in Manusmriti says Brahmins won't stay where the king are from Shudra caste. How can a Shudra become king without wealth?
    – user9810
    May 19, 2017 at 16:45
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    @VenkatachalamSeetha, it says Brahmins SHOULDN'T stay where shudras are kings.. but today, 99% 'kings' (or PMs or Presidents) are shudras, so no choice.
    – ram
    May 19, 2017 at 17:30
  • @VenkatachalamSeetha Manu Smriti verse 4.61 isn't saying that they're allowed to be kings. They're not allowed to be kings, so the Manu Smriti is saying that if there is an evil country where they are kings, then Brahmanas should avoid such a place. May 20, 2017 at 0:35
  • @ram Vedanta Desikan says in one of his works that Prapannas should live in a place where the four castes are well-established, and so he tells Prapannas to live in South India rather than North India. I often joke that if Vedanta Desikan was living today, he would tell Prapannas go to Mars :-) May 20, 2017 at 0:40

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