We know bad actions result in bad reactions.

If a parent beats his kid for his studies, will he accumulate bad karma?

If not, then, if the parent locks him in the house, don't let him play, don't let him enjoy, beats him on every mistake so that the kid will fear him, and controls every single moment of the child, and he does all this so that he can keep his child safe from dangers and bad habits, and make him successful, will he then accumulate bad karma?

2 Answers 2


Manusmṛti allows a parent to discipline a child to keep them on the right path. Since a dharma śāstra itself is recommending this, there should be no bad karma as a result of this action.

bhāryā putraśca dāsaśca preṣyo bhrātrā ca saudaraḥ |
prāptāparādhāstāḍyāḥ syū rajjvā veṇudalena vā || 8.299 ||

The wife, the son, the slave, the servant and the uterine brother shall be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo, when they have committed a fault.—(8.299)

pṛṣṭhatastu śarīrasya nottamāṅge kathaṃ cana |
ato'nyathā tu praharan prāptaḥ syāccaurakilbiṣam || 8.300 ||

But only on the back part of the body, and never on the upper part; he who strikes otherwise than this incurs the guilt of a thief.—(8.300)

Medhātithi’s commentary (manubhāṣya):

‘Prāptāparādhāḥ,’—those who have fallen upon, committed, a fault. ‘Fault’ means transgression of morality; when any such has been committed by them, they should he beaten.

As a matter of fact, beating is a form of hurt, and as such is forbidden by the general law—‘no living beings shall be injured’; but an exception to this is made in the case of transgressions by the wife and other persons.

All these are relative terms; hence the meaning is that the wife is to be chastised by him whose wife she is, the slave is to be chastised by him who is his master, and so forth.

What is enjoined here is the method of keeping the persons on the right path, and not actual beating; so that chastisement may be administered verbally; and in cases where the fault is serious, there may also be beating.

In the place of ‘uterine’ we should read ‘younger,’ and the right reading would thus be ‘bhrātā tathānujaḥ’; since it is the younger brother that may be chastised by his elder brother, like a child. The half-brother also is under the tutelage of the elder brother, if the latter is a duly qualified person; hence he also, if he takes to the wrong path, should be prevented by all the methods, ending with beating,

Split bamboo’—the bark of the bamboo. This has been mentioned only as illustrative of the lotus-fibre and other such objects which cause only slight pain.

He who strikes with things other than those specified—i.e., with a stick or such things—or on a part of the body other than those mentioned,—i.e., on the eye, etc.—‘incurs the guilt of a thief.’

This is only meant to be deprecatory of the act referred to; and is not the injunction of an actual punishment; so that in this case also the penalty shall be the same as that in other oases of ‘hurt.’


Sri Krishna says in BG as follows:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।

मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि।।2.47।।

Let your claim lie on action alone and never on the fruits; you should never be a cause for the fruits of action; let not your attachment be to inaction.

So everyone has to do his duty - swadharma.

If one is a learned man and the has capacity and inclination to teach, one has to learn and teach.

If one has the capability to fight and defend his fellow humans and his country, he has to fight .

स्वधर्ममपि चावेक्ष्य न विकम्पितुमर्हसि।

धर्म्याद्धि युद्धाछ्रेयोऽन्यत्क्षत्रियस्य न विद्यते।।2.31।।

Further, considering your own duty, you should not waver. Indeed, for a Ksatriya there exists no duty superior to fighting a righteous war.

and so on.

In the same analogy, a house holder's duty is to beget children, arrange for good teachers for imparting knowledge, make his children good citizens, marry them off and retire.

This is dharma of a house holder.

While discharging the duty of a house holder, one has to try to impart good behaviour to one's children, if necessary, they should be punished to the extent it is necessary.

It does not result in bad karma. It result in discharing one's duty as a householder.

  • i agree on what you said. but, i wanted to ask about the extent to which one can go in doing so. Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 13:33
  • 1
    It depends on the maturity levels of the child as well as ability of the parent. There are no hard and fast rules in parenting. Every child is different and parent has to devise methods depending upon the family conditions @krishnamaya Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 14:50

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