In Mackenzie Brown's paper titled Purāṇa as Scripture, we see a reference wherein it says that,

Mahabharata, as well as the ancient Smriti writer Vṛddha Gautama(of the Dharmaśāstra) proclaims, "Veda-sellers and those who dishonor the Vedas and also those who write down the Vedas shall go to hell."

My questions are as follows:

1) Which verses of the Mahabharata expressly prohibit the writing down of Vedas?
2) Was the concept of 'Writing' elucidated or mentioned in the Śruti?
  • 1
    Agree with Keshav. There is no mention in Sruti. May 25, 2017 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


It's from this chapter of the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata:

They who sell the Vedas, they who find fault with the Vedas, and they who reduce the Vedas into writing, have all to sink in hell. 

And as far as I know, the Vedas never discuss writing. A quick Google search of the English translations of the Vedas given at http://sacred-texts.com confirms my understanding.

  • 2
    What keywords did you search for in the Vedas? May 25, 2017 at 2:44

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