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Dasharatha killed a brahmin (unintentionally) and didn't leave his kingdom for forest.

Pandu killed brahmin and left kingdom.

Rama killed Ravana, a brahmin, and didn't do anything as parihara.

  • What are the parihara for sins of brahmin killing?

  • Why the are different ways it's done by Dasharatha, Pandu, Rama...?

  • "Rama killed Ravana, a brahmin, and didn't do anything as parihara." Didn't he do Aswamedha as a prayaschitta? – Rickross Feb 14 at 6:20
  • @Rickross Correct me if I am wrong, but it was done for not just Ravana killing, but other Rakshasa killing too. – TheLittleNaruto Feb 14 at 6:31
  • I do not have much knowledge about Ramayana but I think it was done for atoning for the sin of killing a Brahmin @TheLittleNaruto – Rickross Feb 14 at 6:34
  • "There is no sin in eliminating a Brahman who is weaponed and warring" - Valmiki Ramayana Bala Kanda, Chp 76. So Aswamedha (if done by Sri Rama, as Valmiki Ramayana does not mention it) cannot be for killing Ravana. All this is based on one assuming one believes in birth based varna. Otherwise as seen in this answer hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/8645/18974 he was never a brahmana – Carmen sandiego Feb 14 at 6:49
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I am reproducing the question part:

Dasharatha killed a brahmin (unintentionally) and didn't leave his kingdom for forest.

Pandu killed brahmin and left kingdom.

Rama killed Ravana, a brahmin, and didn't do anything as parihara.

  • What are the parihara for sins of brahmin killing?

Let me answer point-wise:

  1. Dasaratha never killed any brAhmin by accident. The ascetic boy, who was killed by Prince Dasaratha, was born to a an ascetic couple - Husband being a Vyshya and wife being a Sudra.

न द्विजातिर् अहम् राजन् मा भूत् ते मनसो व्यथा | शूद्रायाम् अस्मि वैश्येन जातः जन पद अधिप || २-६३-५३

'O, king the ruler of the country! I am not a Brahmana. Let there be no agony in your mind. I am born through a Sudra woman by a Vysya.


  1. Pandu did not abdicate his kingdom just because he killed a sage by mistake. He was overcome with grief and decided to roam in the forest like an ascetic.

'The wicked, even if born in virtuous families, deluded by their own passions, become overwhelmed with misery as the fruit of their own deeds. I have heard that my father, though begotten by Santanu of virtuous soul, was cut off while still a youth, only because he had become a slave to his lust. In the soil of that lustful king, the illustrious Rishi Krishna-Dwaipayana himself, of truthful speech, begot me. A son though I am of such a being, with my wicked heart wedded to vice, I am yet leading a wandering life in the woods in the chase of the deer. Oh, the very gods have forsaken me! I shall seek salvation now. The great impediments to salvation are the desire to beget children, and other concerns of the world.

I shall now adopt the Brahmacharya mode of life and follow in the imperishable wake of my father.

I shall certainly bring my passions under complete control by severe ascetic penances. Forsaking my wives and other relatives and shaving my head, alone shall I wander over the earth, begging for my subsistence from each of these trees standing here.


  1. Sri Rama did not kill a brAhmana, ie., Ravana. Ravana declared himself as a kshatriya, a person from warrior class.

While sending Indrajit to defeat Sri Hanuman, Ravana says as follows:

न खल्वियम् मतिः श्रेष्ठा यत्त्वाम् सम्प्रेषयाम्यहम् | इयम् च राजधर्माणाम् क्षत्रियस्य मतिर्मता || ५-४८-१३

"This thought of my sending you is not indeed the best option. But, this decision is said to be according to the duties of a king and is the commendation of a warrior-class."


Agni Purana says:

A killer of a brahmana has to build a hut in the forest and live there for twelve years. He has to beg for a living and give up all that he possess to another brahmana.

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