Bhagavat Gita 9.32 Translation
māḿ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye ’pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te ’pi yānti parāḿ gatim
Vaisyas (members of the tradingand agriculturist classes),
Sudras (those belonging tothe labour and artisan classes),
as well as those of impious birth (such as the pariah),
whoever they may be, taking refuge in Me, they too attain the supreme goal.

Why Krishna is specifying woman, Vaishyas and Shudras regarding attending Supreme Goal?

Were they less capable of attaining Supreme Goal that's why they are mentioned?

Why did not Krishan said like Anyone who take shelter will attain supreme goal instead of mentioning gender and Varna?

  • 1
    In my opinion, they were specifically mentioned because they were socially disadvantaged. If Krishna had said - "Anyone who take shelter will attain supreme goal" there is a chance that some later commentator on the Bhagavad Gita might misinterpret it as - "anyone does not literally mean anyone. It means anyone wearing a sacred thread etc". By specifically mentioning gender and varna, any room for such later misinterpretations was closed.
    – user23407
    Sep 25, 2021 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


The problem is with the interpretation of the term papa-yonih in Gita 9.32. Should we interpret it literally as a sinful womb? The answer is no since such an interpretation will make Lord Hiranyagarbha, the ultimate source of both man and woman, sinful.

He, verily, had no delight. Therefore he who is alone has no delight. He desired a second. He became as large as woman and man in close embrace. He caused that self to fall into two parts. From that arose husband and wife. ....

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad I.4.3

Should we interpret it as socially inferior? We have to be careful about this translation also because of Gita 9.29.

I am the same towards all being. None is hateful, and, none dear to Me. But those who worship Me with devotion dwell in Me, and I too dwell in them.

Gita 9.29

God does not view people through the social lens since all people are same to Him. So the correct translation of papa-yonih is socially oppressed. Vedic people did not allow women, Sudras to access the Vedas. Krishna is thus referring to that oppression in Gita 9.32.

A complete discussion of Gita 9.32 would require also an explanation of Gita 9.33.

Then how much more so in the case of holy Brahmanas and also of devoted royal sages! Having come into this impermanent and unhappy world, engage yourself in My worship.

Gita 9.33

Why will the Brahmanas and royal sages find it easy to gain the highest spiritual goal?

The simplest answer is that they did not experience the social oppression faced by women, sudras etc. This shows that translating papa-yonih as socially oppressed makes perfect sense.

Why didn't Krishna just say that all will attain moksha?

He did in Gita 9.29 where he says that He is the same to all. He does not distinguish between high and low born people. Such social distinctions mean nothing to Him. Gita 9.32 and 9.33 are simply applications of the position stated out in 9.29.

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