Are there any instances of Lord Vishnu or any of his avatars speaking in favour of either conduct-based or birth-based varna?

  • I hope you don't mind me changing the term "guna" as "conduct". Because supporters of birth based varna say guna is involved in deriding one's varna too. – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jan 20 at 14:52
  • @Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury all right – Ajay Varma Jan 20 at 14:56
  • @Surya Kanta Bose Deriding? Did you mean deciding or degrading? According to birth-based varna supporters if a person is of good guna does he attain a higher varna in his/her current birth? – Ajay Varma Jan 20 at 16:33
  • No, in their next birth. – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jan 20 at 17:40

Lord Vishnu in the form of Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita:

मां हि पार्थ ब्यापाश्रित्य येऽपि स्युः पापयोनयः।स्त्रियो वैश्यास्तथा शूद्रासतेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम्॥

English Translation: For finding refuge in Me, O Arjuna, even those who maybe of sinful birth, women, Vaishyas and similarly Shudras, even they reach the Supreme goal. (Bhagavad-Gita 9.32).

I think the very word paapyoni makes it clear that He accepts the birth-based varna system. Also, He did not protest at all when Arjuna spoke ill words about the Varnasankaras.


Yes, according to the Vishnu Smriti:

Viṣṇu (16.1).—‘On women equal in caste to their husbands, sons are begotten who are equal in caste to their fathers.’

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    Are you sure Vishnu-smriti was composed by Lord Vishnu? I think it was written by some sage named Vishnu. – Partha Jan 20 at 17:00
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    Okay, but in that case would it have been as respected as the Gita? – Partha Jan 20 at 17:03
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    "the Vishnu Smriti is the work of a single Brahmin expert in the Dharmaśāstra tradition and also a devotee of Vishnu. Olivelle shows that the text was very likely composed between 700 and 1000 CE". So this doesn't qualify as an answer. – sv. Jan 20 at 17:27
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    @sv. Of course Patrick Olivelle and all other Indologists will say that everything, including the Vedas and Gita, were fabricated by Brahmins. That's just not what Hindus believe. – Ikshvaku Jan 20 at 21:13
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    @sv. No I don't need to do that, because it's well know the Vishnu Smriti is a dialogue of Vishnu. – Ikshvaku Jan 20 at 22:54

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