In Manu Smriti for example it is said:

2.49 An initiated Brahmana should beg, beginning (his request with the word) lady (bhavati); a Kshatriya, placing (the word) lady in the middle, but a Vaisya, placing it at the end (of the formula).

In Apastamba Sutra 1.1.3:

bhavat pūrvayā brāhmaṇo bhikṣeta || 28 ||

  1. A Brāhmaṇa shall beg, prefacing [his request] by the word 'Lady'. “Bhavati bhīkṣāṃ dehi!”

bhavat madhyayā rājanyaḥ || 29 ||

  1. A Kshatriya [inserting the word] 'Lady' in the middle [between the words 'give alms'], “Bhīkṣāṃ bhavati dehi!”

bhavat antyayā vaiśyaḥ || 30 ||

  1. A Vaiśya, adding the word 'Lady' [at the end of the formula]. “Bhīkṣāṃ dehi bhavati!”

These verses are talking about dvijas who have undergone Upanayana Sanskar, so they would not mention Shudras. However, they don't mention a punishment for non-dvijas begging for alms in this way. Is there one?

  • 2
    bhiksha (begging alms) is for brahmacharis doing gurukula vaas (boarding school) after upanayana. shudras do not undergo upanayana, so no question of them begging for food. not everything was enforced through punishment in those days. People were satvik and followed shastras mostly.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 17:28
  • @mar Thanks for the comment, I understand your perspective, and it makes sense.
    – PAI
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 3:11

1 Answer 1


No. If the wrong Varna does a ritual it has no effect. This is explicitly said in this verse, which makes clear there are no prohibitions. The limitations are just said to avoid you wasting your time and resources, they have no deeper meaning.

न शूद्रे पातकं किं चिन्न च संस्कारमर्हति । नास्याधिकारो धर्मेऽस्ति न धर्मात् प्रतिषेधनम् ॥ १२६ ॥

na śūdre pātakaṃ kiṃ cinna ca saṃskāramarhati | nāsyādhikāro dharme'sti na dharmāt pratiṣedhanam || 126 ||

For the Śūdra there is no sin; nor is he worthy of any sacraments; he is not entitled to any sacred rites; but there is no prohibition against sacred rites.—(126)


  • +1 and thanks, this makes sense. 10.127 and 10.128 also explain this (for example, "imitating the virtuous and gaining praise"). I'll accept this as the answer.
    – PAI
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 3:12
  • Frankly Hindu society would be better off if all stuck to the instructions from dharmashastras..without trying to shortchange, out-smart , find loopholes, interpolate and other deviant conduct. After all karma gets to each one and we pay for all actions based on our true intentions so we fool none, least of all God! Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 9:15

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