Parashara Smriti 8.25 says:

25. Even a Brahmin of a bad character deserves respect; but not so a Shudra, even though his passions may have been subdued by him. Who would quit a wicked cow, and try to milk a docile female ass?

Are there other citations from scripture that disagree with this verse?

  • 1
    This is total interpolation by later brahmins, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vena_(Hindu_king) a Kshatriya was killed by curses of Brahmins because he turned evil. Use your common sense, the creation is based on Karmas, not some caste based reservation. Nothing is given for free neither human birth, nor respect, nor Moksha. One who does nothing is inert and real Shudra, while subduing passions makes a person yogi from whatever background one comes from. If you have done good Karmas in past birth and you are born Brahmin in this birth, you will be judged on Karmas of this birth, not previous.
    – user16530
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 13:40
  • 1
    I have answered dozen times, hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/38113/16530 , hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/36406/16530 with such logicless statements of Kaliyuga from interpolated scriptures, one can satisfy one's ego, but not the Omniscient God who knows everything and who has created the creation. Thats why India was slave for Britishers and Muslims for 500 years, because true Hinduism was replaced with such interpolated and logicless laws.
    – user16530
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 13:47
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    @ManuKumar You blame Brahmins for interpolation? Then why trust Hindu scriptures at all when the expounders are Brahmins?
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:50
  • 2
    The "caste,caste,caste" posters @Manu Kumar are going to drive so-called "low caste" hindus into the arms of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.
    – S K
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 16:30
  • 3
    being against orthodoxy (especially against the orthodoxy of one sect) is frowned upon at HSE @vidyut . don't get provoked by the provocateurs from this sect (it stands out a mile who they are ) and freely express what you want to express, but you should know how the game is played here..
    – S K
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


This edition of the Mahabharata, translated by K M Ganguly, contradicts the above citation.

The Yaksha asked,--'By what, O king, birth, behaviour, study, or learning doth a person become a Brahmana? Tell us with certitude!' Yudhishthira answered,-'Listen, O Yaksha! It is neither birth, nor study, nor learning, that is the cause of Brahmanahood, without doubt, it is behaviour that constitutes it. One's behaviour should always be well-guarded, especially by a Brahmana. He who maintaineth his conduct unimpaired, is never impaired himself. Professors and pupils, in fact, all who study the scriptures, if addicted to wicked habits, are to be regarded as illiterate wretches. He only is learned who performeth his religious duties. He even that hath studied the four Vedas is to be regarded as a wicked wretch scarcely distinguishable from a Sudra (if his conduct be not correct). He only who performeth the Agnihotra and hath his senses under control, is called a Brahmana!'


We have another scripture (vajrasuchika upanishad) also saying that one becomes a brahmana not by birth, but by his qualities.

There are four castes—the brāhmaṇa, the kṣatriya, the vaiśya, and the śūdra. Even the smṛtis declare in accordance with the words of the vedas that the brāhmaṇa alone is the most important of them.

Then this remains to be examined. What is meant by the brāhmaṇa? Is it a jīva? Is it a body? Is it a class? Is it jñāna? Is it karma? Or is it a doer of dharma?...

To begin with: is jīva the brāhmaṇa? No...

Then is the body the brāhmaṇa? No....

Then is a class the brāhmaṇa? No. Since many great Ṛṣis have sprung from other castes and orders of creation—Ṛṣyaśṛṅga was born of deer; Kauśika, of Kuśa grass; Jāmbuka of a jackal; Vālmīki of valmīka (an ant-hill); Vyāsa of a fisherman's daughter; Gautama, of the posteriors of a hare; Vasiṣṭha of Ūrvaśi2; and Agastya of a water-pot; thus have we heard. Of these, many Ṛṣis outside the caste even have stood first among the teachers of divine Wisdom; therefore a class is not the brāhmaṇa.

Who indeed then is brāhmaṇa? Whoever he may be, he who has directly realised his Ātmā and who is directly cognizant, like the myrobalan in his palm, of his Ātma that is without a second, that is devoid of class and actions, that is free from the faults of the six stains[6] and the six changes,[7] that is of the nature of truth, knowledge, bliss, and eternity, that is without any change in itself, that is the substratum of all the kalpas, that exists penetrating all things that pervades everything within and without as ākāś, that is of nature of undivided bliss, that cannot be reasoned about and that is known only by direct cognition. He who by the reason of having obtained his wishes is devoid of the faults of thirst after worldly objects and passions, who is the possessor of the qualifications beginning with śama[8], who is free from emotion, malice, thirst after worldly objects, desire, delusion, etc., whose mind is untouched by pride, egoism, etc., who possesses all these qualities and means—he only is the brāhmaṇa.

Addition 2

Nor does the Lord distinguish anyone based on birth as Sri Ramanuja mentions in his commentary on bhagavad gIta 9.29.

9.29 I am the same to all creation. There is none hateful or dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion abide in Me and I do abide in them.

Commentary by Sri Ramanujacharya

9.29 Being a refuge for all, I am the same to all creation, be they gods, animals, men or immovables, who exist differentiated from the highest to the lowest according to their birth, form, nature and knowledge. With regard to those seeking refuge, none is hateful because of inferiority in status by birth, form, nature, knowledge etc. No one is discarded as an object of odium. Likewise, it is not that one who has resorted to Me is dear to Me on account of any consideration like birth, status etc. That he has taken refuge in Me is the only consideration. The meaning is no one is accepted as a refuge for reasons like birth. But those who worship Me as their sole objective I like, because I am exceedingly dear to them, and because they find it impossible to sustain themselves without My worship. So they abide in Me, irrespective of whether they are exalted or humble by birth etc. They abide in Me, as if they possess qualities equal to Mine. I also abide in them, as if they are My superiors.

Enough said.

  • 1
    @SK Looks like you have an agenda here. The scripture clearly says one becomes brahmana by behavior and not by birth. So also, one is a sudra by behavior.
    – user17987
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:11
  • @SK varna system =/= caste system. the user just showed above it is not based on birth but on qualities.take example of a school, there are is a administrative part, there is a non adminstrative part, there is teaching staff, there is non teaching staff. how do people get those assigned? based on their education etc. the same way it is.
    – hindu
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:41
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    but the number of occasions when varna was "earned" in scripture are very very few - like Vishwamitra earning the "brahmarishi" title. ALL the semi-pious statements never really let go of the discriminatory underpinnings of varna or caste whatever you want to call it. thats why people EVEN TODAY are calling for caste discrimination.
    – S K
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:49
  • From the "enough said" at the bottom it appears to me that you are the user lazy lubber. @yAdRcchika
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 17:05
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    @Ikshvaku, to avoid stereotyping by others.. any case, yAdRcchika, while you are correct that character defines brahmins, it is incorrect to say that character ALONE defines brahmins. You have to understand, that birth in current life is a consequence of character in previous life. If someone rose to the position of CEO, does that mean a janitor who has done MBA and is super-smart will be allowed to take part in board meetings - you have to have the pedigree to enter certain restricted areas, but that pedigree alone is not enough.
    – ram
    Commented Mar 1, 2020 at 1:08

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