The Sanskrit word ''mleccha'' is used to describe foreigners. In various Puranas we find verses anti-mleccha verses. One such example is from the Kalki Purana where Lord Kalki is predicted to kill ''mlecchas'':

adhuna kahkula ndsavatdro bauddha pdsanda mlecchadindnca vedadharma setu panpdlandya krtavatarah kalh mpendsman stntva nirayddudhrta vanasi tavdnukampam kimiha kathaydmah (Kalki Purana Chapter 10 Text 30)
Meaning: Recently, You appeared as Lord Kalki in order to eliminate the dynasty of Kali by destroying the Buddhists, atheists, and mlecchas,thereby protecting the true path of religion What more can we say about Your causeless mercy.

Now the is the word ''mleccha'' used to describe foreigners. Is Lord Kalki going to eliminate mlecchas? Or is the word in this context used to describe a different set of people as Sanskrit words can have multiple meanings.

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    Sanatana Dharma is against those who do not follow Sanatana Dharma. Mlecchas generally do not. Some in Bharata bhumi also do not. It denotes people's characteristic, not where they live. However, only Bharata varsha has punya nadis and divya kshetras and sadhus, and it is known as karma bhumi, visiting which at least once a few years, our sins are cleansed. Hence those who live outside Bharata, with no access to these rivers,lands or saints are called mlechhas.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 0:29
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    @Rishabh, yes.. in olden days foreigners were called mlecchas because they were uncultured and didn't follow vedic dharma. It is not dependent on whether they have access to holy rivers, but their character. So, if people living in India don't follow the dharma and live like those people, they can also be called mlechhas.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 18:34
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    @RakeshJoshi, i think my point was not understood clearly. Is the Indian Penal code against robbers ? Both Yes and No. It works for the betterment of robbers by punishing them. Sanatana dharma is kind to everyone who follows it, and punishes those who don't (Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshitaha) - that is what i meant by 'against'. Ultimately, its goal is 'sarve janaha sukhino bhavantu'. Also, just because Lokayata is discussed, doesn't mean it has approval. Even Rishis (charvaka) bring up Materialism, but Vyasa calmly refutes those in Brahma Sutra.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 18:38
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    @ram You made your great explanation. OP need to understand Maletccha are not foreigners only, that's why I asked so that his doubt got clear.
    – Vishvam
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 4:16
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How should Hindus treat people of other religions? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 16:47

4 Answers 4


Is Sanatana Dharma anti-foreigners?

No, most certainly not.

For example, the following mantra from Shukla Yajur Veda clearly states that the holy mantras should be spoken among all men including strangers. Here, the word stranger denotes people who are alien to our Vedic culture. So, the Vedic knowledge should be spread among them too. No question of discrimination or hostility towards those who are unfamiliar with our culture.

YathA imAm vAcham kalyAnim AvadAni janebhyah (1) BrahmarAjanyAbhyAm sudrAya cha AryAya cha (2) SwAya cha aranAya cha (3)


May i speak the sacred word to the masses of the people (janebhya) (1) to the brahmana, kshatriya, to the sudra and the Arya (2) and to our own men and the strangers (3).

Shukla Yajur Veda 26.2

Similarly, the following mantra from Atharva Veda acknowledges the fact that on earth there will be people who will be having a variety of religions and who will speak a variety of languages. The mantra then asks from Mother Earth to be benign to and resourceful for every such people and community irrespective of where they live.

Janam vibhrati vahudA vichasam (1) NAnAdharmAn prithvi (2) YathA okasham (3) Sahasram dhArA dravinasya me duhAm (4) Dhruveva dhenuh anapasphuranti (5)


Earth has people who speak various tongues (1) and those who have various religions (2), according to their places of abode (3), [May she] pour for me treasures in a thousand streams (4), like a constant cow that never fails (5).

Atharva Veda 12.1.45.

Concord among nations is also something being spoken of in the Vedas. One such mantra is the following.

SamjyAnam nah svebhih (1) SamjyAnamaranebhih (2) SamjyAnamashivanA yuvamihAsmAsu ni yacchatam (3)


Let us have concord with our own people (1), and concord with people who are strangers to us (2); Asvins, create between us and the strangers a unity of hearts (3).

Atharva Veda 7.52.1

Finally, whenever we pray through Vedas, we pray for not only us but we pray for everyone. That's why mantras have the plural (nah) in them as opposed to the singular I (aham).

Sham no Mitrah sham Varunah sham Vishnuh sham PrjApatih (1), Sham na Indro Brihaspatih sham no BhavatvaryamA (2)


May Mitra, Varuna, Vishnu, PrajApati (1), Indra, Brihaspati and Aryama bestow bliss (sham) on us (2).

Atharva Veda 19.9.6

On us here means on everyone of us.

Similarly, the following mantra clearly asks for all round peace for every possible creatures that exist in the three worlds. Foreigners and everyone else are obviously included in that huge list.

ShantA dhauh shantA prithvi shAntamidamurva antariksham (1), shAntA udanvatirapah shAntA nah santvoshadhi (2)


May the powers of peace enevelop the earth, heaven, midregion (1), waters and herbs or the growths of earth (oshadhi) (2).

Atharva Veda 19.9.1

And, the word Mleccha, loosely speaking, can mean a barbaric person, who consumes forbidden meat, who consumes non sacrificial meat, who does not follow the ethics of SanAtana Dharma and etc. It may not indicate just a foreigner.

And it can also mean someone that you have never thought of.

The Atri Smriti, for example, presents a classification of Brahmins , according to their nature and deeds, into ten groups. And one of them is called the Mleccha.

He, who daily studies the Vedanta, gives up companionship, and discusses the SAnkhya-Yoga, is called a Dwija. (367)

That Vipra, who, in the very beginning of a battle and before all, strikes all holders of bow with weapons and defeats [them], is called a Kshtra. (368)

That Vipra, who is given to agriculture, who tends kine, and who drives a trade, is called a Vaisya. (369)

That Vipra, who sells shell-lac, salt, saffron, milk, clarified butter, honey, or meat, is called a Sudra. (370)

A Vipra, who is a thief or a robber, or who is ever prone to give bad advice or give vent to harsh words, and who is always fond of fish and flesh, is called a Nishada. (371)

A Vipra who does not know the true nature and being of Brahman but is always proud of his sacrificial thread, is for that sin called a Pasu (beast). (372)

A Vipra, who unhesitatingly obstructs [the use of] tanks, wells, watery expanses, pleasure-grounds and lakes, is called a Mlechchha. (373)

A Vipra, who is devoid of all religious rites, is ignorant, innocent of all forms of religions and is cruel to all creatures, is called a Chandala. (374)

Atri Smriti

  • 1
    You are well-versed in smritis. Can I get explaination for Naradha smriti 12.94?
    – user9554
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 6:41
  • I am not well versed in anything. I am just learning. Regarding that verse, what's in it? I don't have this Smriti with me. @Ajay
    – Rickross
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 6:44
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    This smriti verse says let a husband not show love towards a wife who produce only girl children.
    – user9554
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 6:48
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    Beautiful answer ! Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 6:25
  • 1
    @SethuSrivatsaKoduru thanks!
    – Rickross
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 6:26

Is Hinduism anti-foreigner?

  1. Yes – if you believe in the literal interpretation of certain Hindu scriptures like the following.

    2. He must not visit a country, inhabited by barbarians (excepting on a pilgrimage).

    3. By (constantly) drinking water from (or bathing in) a pool situated in a foreign (barbarous) country, he becomes equal to its inhabitants.

    4. Those countries are called barbarous (mlekkha) where the system of the four castes does not exist; the others are denoted Āryāvarta (the abode of the Āryans).

    [Viṣṇu Smṛti LXXXIV]


    And when those terrible times will be over, the creation will begin anew. And men will again be created and distributed into the four orders beginning with Brahmanas. And about that time, in order that men may increase, Providence, according to its pleasure, will once more become propitious. And then when the Sun, the Moon, and Vrihaspati will, with the constellation Pushya, enter the same sign, the Krita age will begin again. And the clouds will commence to shower seasonably, and the stars and stellar conjunctions will become auspicious. And the planets, duly revolving in their orbits, will become exceedingly propitious. And all around, there will be prosperity and abundance and health and peace. And commissioned by Time, a Brahmana of the name of Kalki will take his birth. And he will glorify Vishnu and possess great energy, great intelligence, and great prowess. And he will take his birth in a town of the name of Sambhala in an auspicious Brahmana family. And vehicles and weapons, and warriors and arms, and coats of mail will be at his disposal as soon as he will think of them. And he will be the king of kings, and ever victorious with the strength of virtue. And he will restore order and peace in this world crowded with creatures and contradictory in its course. And that blazing Brahmana of mighty intellect, having appeared, will destroy all things. And he will be the Destroyer of all, and will inaugurate a new Yuga. And surrounded by the Brahmanas, that Brahmana will exterminate all the mlecchas wherever those low and despicable persons may take refuge.

    [The Mahābhārata - Vana Parva]

  1. No – if you are an open-minded and progressive Hindu like Swami Vivekananda who thought the smṛtis were written by people with limited intellect. This is what he said regarding directives like the above in Hindu scripture:

    Such a God I have seen in my life, and his commands I live to follow. The Smritis and the Puranas are productions of men of limited intelligence and are full of fallacies, errors, the feelings of class and malice. Only parts of them breathing broadness of spirit and love are acceptable, the rest are to be rejected.

    [Complete-Works / Volume 6 / Epistles – Second Series / CXXIV]


    We must mix with other nations and take from them whatever good they have to give us. It is our exclusiveness, our unwillingness to learn from foreign nations which is mainly responsible for our present degradation. We considered ourselves to be the elect of heaven, and superior to the nations of the earth in all respects. We regarded them as barbarians, their touch as pollution, their knowledge as worse than ignorance. We lived in a world of our own creation. We would teach the foreigner nothing — we would learn nothing from the foreigner. At last the disillusion came. The foreigner became our master — the arbiter of our destinies. We eagerly took to his learning. We found that there was much in it that was novel, much that was highly useful. We found that so far as the material comforts of life were concerned the foreigner vastly out-distanced us — that his control over the powers of nature was far greater than any we had dreamt of. He had annihilated time and space, and had subordinated the powers of nature to the convenience of man. He had many wonderful things to teach us. We learnt them eagerly. But still we don't visit his country. If we do, we lose caste. We are under a foreign Government. We eagerly study a foreign language and literature and admire all that is good and beautiful in it. We use foreign articles for dress and consumption. But still we dare not visit the country of our rulers, for fear of excommunication. Against this unmeaning prejudice, the great Swami, who is a Hindoo of Hindoos, indignantly raises his voice of protest. The objectors, in his expressive language, are like the dog in the manger. They will not travel to foreign countries, — they will not allow others to travel. Yet the fact remains, says the Swami, that these travelled Hindoos do more benefit to their country than hundreds of those bundles of superstition and selfishness, whose one aim in life is to be like the dog in the manger. (Vide Complete Works, IV: 366)

    [Complete-Works / Volume 9 / Newspaper Reports / Indian Newspaper Reports / The Bengalee, May 18, 1895]

    The song Maithreem Bhajata composed by Swami Chandrasekharendra Saraswati and sung at the 1966 UN General Assembly by M. S. Subbulakshmi also evokes similar feelings of inclusion:

    maitrīṃ bhajata akhilahṛjjetrīm
    ātmavadeva parānapi paśyata
    yuddhaṃ tyajata spardhāṃ tyajata
    tyajata pareṣu akramamākramaṇam

    jananī pṛthivī kāmadughāste
    janako devaḥ sakaladayāluḥ
    dāmyata datta dayadhvaṃ janatāḥ
    śreyo bhūyāt sakalajanānām

    Cultivate friendship, which will conquer all hearts.
    Look upon others as thyself.
    Renounce war, forswear competition.
    Give up aggression on others.

    Earth, our Mother is here, ready to give us all our desires.
    We have the Lord, our Father, compassionate to all.
    Ye peoples of the world! Restrain yourselves, be kind!
    May all people be, happy and prosperous.

  • Again the term Aryans is not what it is stated above in the answer, "Arya" means "Highly Educated & Respected", probably you should do some research on Max Muller on what he wanted to do and why! If we were anti-foreigners that we would have not had Welcomed the cunning Britishers in the 1st place!
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:49
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    How are Max Müller and Britishers connected to statements made in Viṣṇu Smṛti and Mahābhārata 2000 years ago? Why do you think Vivekananda made those statements? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:58
  • "If we were anti-foreigners that we would.." @Just_Do_It Who are we in that comment? You are linking religion Hinduism and country India. Both are different. India is a secular state and not a religious state. It was not Hindus who welcomed British. Mughal kings did. All know their religion. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 4:55
  • Wonderful answer sir ! Such a honest and non biased! Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 6:26
  • What if I want to be neither "open-minded" nor "progressive" but also don't want to follow the smritis when they contradict the Vedas? Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 20:53

SanAtana Dharma "cannot" be anti-foreigners.
It's without a choice.

SanAtana & "Foreign" are contradicting with each other. Let's evaluate each word:

  • SanAtana = eternal; That which always existed irrespective places, humans, planets etc.
  • Dharma - [righteous] tendency; A bird tend to fly, a human tend socialise, a predator tend to kill its prey, a machine tend to work without emotions ...
  • Foreign - unfamilier (or alien); Something which is not part of our own XYZ;

SanAtana Dharma can have believers or non-believers. So it's localised by faith, but not by places.
Just imagine what will happen if we start localising something with respect to places. e.g. In context of world, we may say MahAbhArata belongs to Indian subcontinent, in context of India it belongs to norther belt, in context of north it belongs to Haryana, in context of haryana it belongs to Kurukshetra ...

Current Indian subcontinent is hardly 70 years old in its present borders. In today's time Hinduism has become a synonym of SanAtana Dharma, but in overall time span, it can be considered just the preserver of teachings of this eternal way of life, not an inventor.

If a Muslim or a Christian or an atheist, can follow the Vedic lifestyle, without praying to the popular deities of Hindus, then they are sanAtana dharmi-s.

On a lighter note, the computer/mobile we are using to compose this post, the internet which carries this information, the English we write to conversate with each other and even one of the diamond Moderators of this site -- all are foreigners. Yet we are able to discuss sanAtana Dharma flawlessly, as of it belongs here. :-)

Regarding the passage you referred for Kalki, can be considered interpolated or just a by product of some crazy mind. There are lots of speculation of Kalki. It has a mention in MahAbhArata as well, when Budhhist didn't exit. Refer below post, which states that Kalki will be born during the next Satyuga!
When will the Kalki avatar be born?


Hinduism says -

वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्
The whole world is family.

This is very influential sentence found in Maha Upanishad which asks one to consider whole world as a one family.

The world is a family
One is a relative, the other stranger,
say the small minded.
The entire world is a family,
live the magnanimous.

Be detached,
be magnanimous,
lift up your mind, enjoy the fruit of Brahmanic freedom.

—Maha Upanishad 6.71–75

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