Manu Smriti 11.66

11.66. Stealing grain, base metals, or cattle, intercourse with women who drink spirituous liquor, slaying women, Sudras, Vaisyas, or Kshatriyas, and atheism, (are all) minor offences, causing loss of caste (Upapataka).

So if someone becomes an atheist he will loss his cast.

But Samkhya school of thought is a atheist school. They believe in God.

If a person is following Samkhya school will he lose his cast. Or will he be committing minor.

The source of this verse is a question I found on this website.

  • Atheism is defined as non belief in vedas. All six schools of hinduism believe in vedas. Some say authorless, non-eternal, some say otherwise but all six schools believe in the validity of vedas.
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:03
  • @GIRIBLR Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:40
  • @GIRIBLR so atheistism means no God Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:40
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    That's the modern definition. In sanatana dharma, atheism means not belief in Vedas. Like jains and buddhism. Mimansa also does not believe in ishvara, but is a school of sanatana dharma. All six schools and subschools believe in vedas. That's the definition to be included in sanatana dharma.
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:44
  • @GIRIBLR okay thanks for it Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


Manu Smriti verse correct translation goes like this

Stealing grain, base metals and cattle,—intercourse with women addicted to drinking wine,—killing women, Śūdras, Vaiśyas and Kṣatriyas,—and heresy,—everyone of these is a ‘minor offence.’(Manu 11.66)

Commentary of Medhatithi reads

Heresy— the holding of such opinions as ‘there is no heaven,—there is no virtue in charity’ and so forth.

According to Manu Smriti, Atheism/Heresy means lack of faith in Vedas.

He shall, avoid atheism, cavilling at the Vedas, abusing of the gods, hatred, haughtiness, pride, anger and hastiness.(Manu 4.163)

Commentary of Medhatithi reads

‘Atheism’ consists in thinking, as untrue, of things that are spoken of in the Veda.

Since Samkhya accepts authority of Vedas, following Samkhya isn't bad. Also Gita says

Of all trees I am the holy fig tree, and amongst sages and demigods I am Narada. Of the singers of the gods I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.(BG 10.26)

  • 1
    So people who reject vedas are atheist(according to manu Smriti), so Christians are also atheist according to manu Smriti. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 14:34
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 14:34
  • 2
    @Dark knight if belief in God is required for astika, mimansa will become nastika. If belief in after life is only required, then Buddhism will become astika. But we know mimansa is astika and Buddhism is nastika. So setu answer is correct. It is a great answer.
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 15:57
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    @DarkKnight Probably not. Those statements of Manu were written to denounce guys who don't believe in Vedas. Or encourage belief in Vedas. Christians don't know Vedas to denounce it. We have a Skanda Purana verse saying all religions read to truth. I think you remember it Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 16:03

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