What is shudra-brahmin / shudra-kshatriya ? Which is mentioned in Shiva purana

2 Answers 2


The verse you are talking about is the following:

शूद्र ब्राह्मण इत्युक्तः स्वयमेव हि कर्षकः ।
असूयालुः परद्रो ही चंडालद्विज उच्यते ॥ ४ ॥

śūdra brāhmaṇa ityuktaḥ svayameva hi karṣakaḥ |
asūyāluḥ paradro hī caṃḍāladvija ucyate || 4 ||

Shiva Purana Verse 1.13.4

And the translation of the verse is found on this page.

  1. A brahmin ploughing the field himself is a Śūdra brahmin. One of envious and spiteful temperament is a degraded Dvija.

"svayameva hi karṣakaḥ" i.e. "who himself does the job of tilling the ground".

So, a "Shudra-Brahmin" is degraded Brahmin who himself ploughs the field.

There is the following verse in Parashara Smriti which apparently allows a Brahmin to do agriculture.

    1. Now, I shall explain, conformably to what Parasara formerly propounded, the law relating to the duties and observances prescribed for a householder, in the age of Kali ; also the rules of conduct, which, being common to all, are suited to the four castes and stages of life, so far as they are able to follow. A Brahman who regularly performs the six ceremonies, may also betake himself to agriculture.

But a commentary on this by Madhava says that this verse must not be taken to mean that a Brahmin himself is allowed to do the agricultural tasks himself. He should employ men to do such tasks.

The six ceremonies have been enumerated in ch. I., S'loka 39. Madhava says that the causal form ' karayet,' in connection with the practice of agriculture allowed in the Kali to the priestly class, has a special meaning : — he says that a Brahmana must employ ploughmen of the lower caste in carrying on his agricultural operations ; he is not permitted himself to hold the plough.]

A Vaishya's approved occupation is agriculture but it is not suited for Brahmins even when he is distressed. So, a Brahmin who is into agriculture is considered as fallen as mentioned in the Shiva Purana verse.

Manu Smriti says the following:

10.83. But a Brahmana, or a Kshatriya, living by a Vaisya’s mode of subsistence, shall carefully avoid (the pursuit of) agriculture, (which causes) injury to many beings and depends on others.

10.84. (Some) declare that agriculture is something excellent, (but) that means of subsistence is blamed by the virtuous; (for) the wooden (implement) with iron point injuries the earth and (the beings) living in the earth

A Brahmin (or even a Ksatriya), when in distress, can adopt the Vaishya's mode of living but even then he is advised not to indulge in agriculture.

  • That person Is shudra or brahmin Dec 20, 2020 at 6:49
  • 1
    That person is a Brahmin (by birth) but by conduct he has degraded himself to the status of a Shudra. @PashamVishnuVardhanGoud
    – Rickross
    Dec 20, 2020 at 6:54
  • In way A shudra by birth, but he as brahmin qualities when he can became brahmin-shudra . and other question the brahmin-shudra should follow brahmin dharma or shudra dharma . Dec 20, 2020 at 6:55
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    You are asking if similarly a Shudra by birth can become a Brahmin by good conduct? Well it might be possible but scriptures say it will happen only in his next life. BTW there is a Q on this site asking can a Shudra become Brahmin in this birth or not. You can check that @PashamVishnuVardhanGoud
    – Rickross
    Dec 20, 2020 at 6:58
  • The Brahmin-Shudra follows the Brahmin Dharma but actually he is fallen so all those are not of much use @PashamVishnuVardhanGoud
    – Rickross
    Dec 20, 2020 at 6:59

I will try to answer this question. A Sudra will have to remain in his Varna likewise a Bramhana but their conduct here influences their respect in the society. Vidura though a Sudra was revered by Bramhins and Dharmavyadha a Butcher even taught Vedanta to Bramhins. People used to come in que to meet him!

  • If one shows the symptoms of being a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification.(SB 7.11.35)
  • If satya, daana, karunya, lajja, daya and tapas are found in a Shudra then he does not remain a Shudra. Similarly if Satya etc qualities are not there in a brahmana then he will not remain a Brahmana.(MB Shanti 198)
  • If these characteristics be observable in a Sudra, and if they be not found in a Brahmana, then such a Sudra is no Sudra, and such a Brahmana is no Brahmana.'(MB Shanti CLXXXIX)
  • O serpent, whoever has the characteristics of a Brahmana is said to be a Brahmana. One who doesn't have the characteristics of a Brahmana is a Sudra, even if he is "born" a Brahmana. (MB Vana 180.26)
  • Even a Śūdra who is richly endowed with the knowledge of the Vedas shall become a Brahmin and cultured. Even a Brahmin shall forfeit his Brahminhood and become a Śūdra if his conduct is base and if his diet and culture is base. Brahma himself has said that even a Śūdra should be resorted to like a Brahmin, O gentle lady, if he is virtuous, purified by holy rites or if he has conquered his sense-organs. A Śūdra who clings to his duties, should be considered purer than the twice-born ones. Neither the womb of birth, nor the consecratory rites, neither the Vedic knowledge nor the lineage can be the cause of Brahminhood. Conduct is the real cause. All men are Brahmins if their conduct is pure. Even a Śūdra who strictly adheres to good conduct attains Brahminhood(Brahma Purana 115.5.53-58)
  • Yudhisthira said," In human society, O mighty and highly intelligent serpent, it is difficult to ascertain one's caste, because of promiscuous intercourse among the four orders..Therefore, those that are wise have asserted that character is the chief essential requisite. Whosoever now conforms to the rules of pure and virtuous conduct, him have I, ere now, designated as a Brahmana.(MB Aranya CLXXIX)
  • O ruler of the Videhas, Brahmins learned in the Vedas, monarch, regard a (virtuous) Sudra as equal to a Brahmin himself. I, however, O king, look upon such a Sudra as effulgent Vishnu of the universe, the foremost one in all the worlds.” (MB Shanti 302,Shl 12-18)
  • Birth is not the cause, my friend; it is virtues which are the cause of welfare. Even a chandala observing the vow is considered as a Brahmana by the gods(Uttara Gita)
  • If a person happens to belong to a superior order but still if he happens to be divested of good behaviour, he should receive no respect or worship. One may worship even a Sudra if he happens to be conversant with duties and be of good conduct. A person proclaims himself by his own good and acts and by his good or bad disposition and birth. If one’s race of birth happens to be degraded for any reason, one soon raises it and makes it resplendent and famous by one’s acts.(MB Anu 13.2.49)
  • Those brahmanas who are devoid of the knowledge of Vedas and shaastras and are not performing Agnihotra are indeed equal to Shudras. A dharmic king should not only collect taxes from them, he should make them serve him without paying wages.The following five types of brahmanas are considered to be chandalas (outcaste) among brahmanas. Those who call out the names of accuser, defendant and witnesses in court, who worship gods in temple by taking salary, who make a living by using nakshatra-vidya (astrology), who do the paurohitya (functions of a priest) of villages and who travel over ‘seas’(MB Shanti 76,Shl 1–6)

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