In hinduism, there is a restriction to cite/ read mantras or vedas to the non-brahmins. It is regarded as sin if the non-brahmins read the contents in vedas or cites mantras. For example, we can cite gayatri mantra(Since we are brahmin). It is regarded as the most powerful mantra. But we are trained not to read/cite the mantra infront of any non-brahmin people.

Why is it like so in hinduism?

  • 1
    This restriction is due to the caste system. It is not relevant today. I have heard Americans reciting the gayatri. Oct 17, 2014 at 15:50
  • 5
    @PradipGangopadhyay Just because they do, does not make it right.
    – user1195
    Feb 11, 2015 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


This restriction, a by-product of the caste system is due to one interpretation of Hindu scripture. There are other interpretations that do not impose any restriction.

For example, in Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCCXIX, Rishi Yajnavalkya is quoted as as saying,

'.. All orders of men are Brahmanas. All are sprung from Brahma. All men utter Brahma. Aided by an understanding that is derived from and directed to Brahma.

I inculcated this science teaching of Prakriti and Purusha. Indeed this whole universe is Brahma. From the mouth of Brahma sprung the Brahmanas; from his arms, sprung the Kshatriyas; from his navel, the Vaisysa; and from his feet, the Sudras. All the orders, (having sprung in this way) should not be regarded as pilfering from one another.

Impelled by ignorance, all men meet with death and attain, O King, to birth that is the cause of acts. Divested of knowledge, all orders of men, dragged in terrible ignorance, fall into varied orders of being due to the principles that flow from Prakriti. For this reason, all should, by every means, seek to acquire knowledge.

I have told thee that every person is entitled to strive for its acquisition. One that is possessed of knowledge is a Brahmana. Others, (viz., Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas and Sudras) are possessed of knowledge. Hence this science of emancipation is always open to them all.'

  • 5
    This is incorrect. There is something called adhikAra for mantra and vEda pArAyana. For e.g., women, even if born into brahmin families, cannot utter mantras or recite veda. Similarly there is "adhikAra nirNaya" for all people. In the taatvic sense, anyone can aspire to and attain brahmatvam or self-realization but mantra/veda practices are governed by adhikAra.
    – user1195
    Feb 11, 2015 at 15:19
  • @moonstar2001 Harita Smriti says women can technically become a Brahmavadini if they don't want to be a housewife.
    – Ikshvaku
    Nov 13, 2017 at 18:11
  • @Ikshvaku one cannot apply pre-historic sutras/allowances to kaliyuga.
    – user1195
    Nov 13, 2017 at 19:03

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