Why does the Manusmriti have verses discriminating against Brahmins?

For example:

A twice-born person, having, through folly, drunk wine, shall drink wine red-hot; he becomes freed from his guilt, when his body has been completely burnt by it. — (90)

(Manusmriti verse 11.90 - Expiation of drinking Wine (surā)

‘Red hot’— Though the text uses the word ‘varṇa’ colour, yet it is mere heat that is meant; as is clear from what follows, about ‘the body being burnt.’—(90)

(Medhātithi’s commentary)

...according to Nārāyaṇa the death-penance is meant for all twice-born men partaking of liquor distilled from grains, and by Brāhmaṇas who have drunk any of the three kinds of liquor described under verse

(Explanatory notes by Ganganath Jha)

Gautama (23.1).—‘They shall pour hot wine into the mouth of a Brāhmaṇa who has drunk wine; he will be purified by death.’

Āpastamba (1.25.3).—‘A wine-drinker has to drink exceedingly hot liquor, so that he dies.’

(Comparative notes by various authors)

This is discriminatory and against human rights. Why is the scripture so unfair to Brahmins that it prohibits them from having a simple beer?

Sometimes I feel like all the scriptures are written by Shudras and are biased toward Shudras.

Are these anti-Brahminical interpolations?

  • 4
    This sounds opinion based question.
    – Pandya
    Jan 22, 2020 at 16:29
  • 1
    As per MBH, earlier Brahmins were allowed to consume wine but Shukracharya put that restriction..but as of now it's opinion based if you ask why Brahmins were forbidden then, it can be answered..
    – YDS
    Jan 22, 2020 at 17:02
  • 1
    I think a better question title would be - "Is Manusmriti anti-Brahmin" Jan 22, 2020 at 17:31
  • @YDS Can you provide the MBH verse that says Brahmins were allowed to consume wine before?
    – Ikshvaku
    Jan 22, 2020 at 17:34
  • 4
    I don't think this question is opinion based at all.
    – RishX
    Jan 25, 2020 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


Sometimes I feel like all the scriptures are written by Shudras and are biased toward Shudras.

If this is true, how did verses like these end up in Manusmṛti?

Discourse IX - Duties of the King (concluded)

Section XLI - The Treatment of Brāhmaṇas

Even when fallen in the deepest distress, the king shall not provoke the Brāhmaṇas; for if provoked, they would ruin him, along with his army and conveyances.—(9.313)

Learned or unlearned, the Brāhmaṇa is a great divinity; just as consecrated or unconsecrated, the fire is a great divinity.—(9.317)

Similarly even though they betake themselves to all sorts of undesirable acts, yet Brāhmaṇas should be honoured in every way; for they are the greatest divinity.—(9.319)

  • 3
    so you agree that it is not biased towards or against any particular group. good.
    – ram
    Apr 8, 2020 at 23:08

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