Shukla Yajurveda 26.2 states:

May I speak the sacred word to the masses of the people (janebhya) (1) to the Brahmana, Kshatriya, to the Shudra and the Arya (2) and to our own men and the strangers (3).

The above verse indicates Vedic mantras can be heard by Shudras.

Now, as some of you know Vedanta Sutras are considered the summary of the teachings of the Mukhya Upanishads which are considered Shruti. So, I expect itself to be a Shruti as well (please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

However, the Vedanta Sutras 1.3.38 forbids the Shudras to listen to the Vedas:

And on account of the prohibition, in Smriti, of (the Sûdras') hearing and studying (the Veda) and (knowing and performing) (Vedic) matters.

Adi-Shankaracharya, on this verse, comments:

This is another reason why the Sudra has no right: By the Smriti he is debarred from hearing, studying, and acquiring the meaning of the Vedas. The Smriti mentions that a Sudra has no right to hear the Vedas, no right to study the Vedas, and no right to acquire the meaning of the Vedas (and perform the rites). As for prohibition of hearing, we have the text, "Then should he happen to hear the Vedas, the expiation consists in his ears being filled with lead and lac", and "He who is a Sudra is a walking crematorium. Hence one should not read in the neighbourhood of a Sudra". From this follows the prohibition about study. How can one study the Vedas when they are not to be recited within his hearing? Then there is the chopping off his tongue if he should utter the Vedas and the cutting of his body to pieces if he should commit it to memory. From this it follows by implication that the acquisition of meaning and acting on it are also prohibited, as is stated in, "Vedic knowledge is not to be imparted to a Sudra", and "Study, sacrifice, and distribution of gifts are for the twice born". But from those to whom knowledge dawns as a result of (good) tendencies acquired in the past lives, as for instance to Vidura, Dharmavyadha, and others, the reaping of the result of knowledge cannot be withheld, for the result of knowledge is inevitable. This position is confirmed by the Smriti text, "One should read out to the four castes (keeping the Brahmana in front)", which declares the competence for all the four castes for the acquisition of the anecdotes and mythologies. But the conclusion stands that a Sudra has no right to knowledge through the Vedas.

Why is the Vedanta Sutras contradicting the Vedas?


All right, I found another verse from the Shukla Yajurveda which possibly hints that Shudras can acquire jnana:

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. (Shukla Yajurveda 18.48)

  • 3
    Very close (possible duplicate) Why can't sudras read vedas according to smritis? the same verse is discussed.
    – Pandya
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 3:25
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 4:36
  • 3
    Translation of yajur Veda 26.2 is wrong
    – user9554
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 5:13
  • 1
    Can you post the original sanskrit verse ? I generally don't trust translations in some newfound language and neither should you. you are assuming some meaning and posing it as truth..
    – ram
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 3:48
  • @ram Sorry, don't have the original translation.
    – user9969
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


That is what i always intended to say the back answer of yours say women must stay away from rituals and same for shudra but vedic richas are even created by women that's why i always intend to find answers from vedas inspite of smritis and purans the voilence prevails there. when the knowledge is also for a stranger then why not for people of us.

Read from my question here:—In what ways vedas give equal respect to women?

According to me all these rules were created after vedic time and uplifted the upper castes which was the real reason of degradation of hinduism filling melted tin in ears of both women and shudra is not the teaching of vedas even the simplest translation whould not allow men voilence killing and if we see the main rules were for shudra and women why brahmans for eating meat were killed there were laws for them even right? Smritis are according to me uppercaste and men welfare in its siplest form rejecting the teaching of vedas.

My question here:— What do Vedas say about non-sacrificial killing of animals?

mahabharata says:—

Wine, fish, honey, meat, alcohol, and preparations of rice and sesame seeds, have been introduced by knaves. The use of these (in sacrifices) is not laid down in the Vedas. The hankering after these arises from pride, error of judgment, and cupidity. They that are true Brahmanas realise the presence of Vishnu in every sacrifice. His worship, it has been laid down, should be made with agreeable Payasa. (The leaves and flowers of) such trees as have been indicated in the Vedas,

— The Mahabharata: Santi Parva: SECTION CCLXV

but smritis allow animal sacrifices.

yudhisthira rejects indra's opinion of dharma of not taking a dog to heaven and accppted to stay on earth with dog (as dog was devoted to yudhishira) and was promoted by god dharma :— http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m17/m17003.htm

As conclusion smritis not always match with the vedas as rigveda did nor mention any caste inspite purush sukta whch was regarded as a later addition of verse.

  • I don't believe Purusha suktam mentions anything about barring from Vedas only the division of varnas.
    – Haridasa
    Commented Jun 6 at 22:55

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