Are there any proofs from Shastras that a neglectful Bramhana becomes a Sudra in this birth?

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    Absolutely Yes. Birth is necessary but not sufficient to retain the status/varna. When we have the long debates about janma vs karma, guna vs varna, why Sudras cannot become Brahmins in same birth etc., none bothers to ask about how Brahmins can become Sudras within a few days. Yudhishtira says in Yaksha Prashna when asked 'Does birth/ritual/study make brahmana'. He says 'No, character does'. This is highly nuanced. It doesn't mean character alone is enough, and he can neglect study/rituals. It means birth/ritual/study are not enough. Birth + Samskara + Study + Character = Brahmin.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 8:43
  • 1
    @ram Consider posting an answer.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 9:13
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    What to answer? all the verses which may be used to answer are already present in the Q.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 9:56
  • Manu Smriti 11.192-3 “Twice born ones, who have not been initiated with the Gayatri at their respectively proper ages (of initiation), shall first practice three Krichchhra penances; thereafter they should be initiated with the holy thread.” Tr. Dutt Vijnaneshwara also writes, “Vratyas or outcastes are devoid of all sacraments; so long as they do not perform the Vratyastoma; performing which they again become entitled to Upanayana.” Vijnanesvara in Mitaksara on Yajnavalkya Smriti verse 38 Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 10:29
  • “The mention of ‘outcaste’ here is only meant to indicate degradation; it does not mean that the man is to be actually treated as an ‘Outcaste’, as described under 11.182.” Medhatithi on Manu Smriti 3.16 “The term ‘outcast’ connotes disqualification in regard to the rites of twice born men; the meaning is that he ‘falls’, recedes, becomes deprived of, his rights.” Medhatithi on Manu Smriti 11.180 Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


The following verse is saying that a degraded Brahmin has to be practically treated as a Sudra.

Manu Smriti 8.102. Brahmanas who tend cattle, who trade, who are mechanics, actors (or singers), menial servants or usurers, the (judge) shall treat like Sudras.

So, the degradation is real and with real consequences.

But if you want see such a degraded Brahmin to be regarded (in the scriptures) as a Sudra in ALL respects then that is not possible because their births are separating the two and if we ignore the birth aspect TOTALLY then we are ignoring all the past birth Karmas that led to it.

  • Wow so wonderful But what does the Manu Smriti 11.192-3 say? Is it an assurance a Bramhana can do Sudra jobs as much as he wants and get initiated again whenever he wants?This sounds impractical and unjust right? Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 11:50
  • @SethuSrivatsaKoduru It is talking about the Krichhra penance.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 16:00
  • For what is it?Does this mean a Bramhin who became say like Ajmali again claims right to Vedas ?just by a penance despite these many verses of Manu saying they are Vrtyas?Can Vrtyas be initiated again? Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 16:11
  • Manu 11.192-When twice-born men, who follow improper occupations, or who are abandoned by the Veda, are desirous of performing expiations—for these also this same expiation is to be prescribed. Please tell Rickross Ji Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 16:16

I defently think the below verses must literally make a Bramhana a Sudra but I am confused that Manu 11.192 prescribes Initiation for a Bramhana again by doing penance.Kanchi Paramacharya says after 3 Generations if a Family doesn't chant Gayatri, they can never become Bramhanas again. But I don't have any scriptural proofs for this. If anyone can answer these riddles I will be thankful.

  • But he who does not perform Sandhya Vandana standing in the morning, nor sitting in the evening, shall be excluded, like a Sudra, from all the duties and rights of an Dvija.(Manu 2.103)
  • A Brahmana who without studying the Vedas who labors for other things material wealth, position, adoration, and other opulences, becomes Sudra along with all his family members.(Manu 2.168)
  • Having recourse to superior kinds of people, and avoiding the inferior kinds, the Brāhmaṇa attains eminence; by the contrary procedure, he becomes a Śūdra.(Manu 4.245)
  • By selling meat, lac and salt, the BRAMHANA BECOMES AN OUTCAST AT ONCE; and by selling milk the BRAMHANA BECOMES A SUDRA IN THREE DAYS(Manu 10.92)
  • He who, without having studied the Veda, labours over other studies, BECOMES A SUDRA ALONG WITH HIS OFFSPRING.(Vishnu 28.36)
  • That wretched Brahmin, who neglects his duties, and whose behavior becomes corrupt, becomes a Śūdra. The Brahmin, who weds a Śūdra woman, who becomes vile in conduct, or a dancer or a village servant, or does other improper acts, becomes a Śūdra. Whether he recites the Vedas or not, O king, if he does such improper acts, he becomes equal to a Śūdra, and on occasions of feeding, he should be assigned a place amongst Śūdras.” (MB Shanti. 62.4-5)
  • Those Brahmanas who are devoid of the knowledge of Vedas and 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 outcastes : 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 astrology, who do the functions of a priest of villages and who travel over ‘seas’(MB Shanti 76,Shl 1–6)

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