If a Brahmin man work for wage (a shura attribute) , should he be considered as Brahman ?

I had read somewhere that no matter what a brahmin man does, even if he indulges in wrongful things , he should always be considered as Brahmin .

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1 Answer 1


According to scriptures a Brahmin can earn money only through gifts he receives. He is not even allowed to teach Vedas for wages. Some acts that lead a Brahmin to lose his caste are:

Manu Smriti 11.61. Defiling a damsel, usury, breaking a vow, selling a tank, a garden, one’s wife, or child,

11.62. Living as a Vratya, casting off a relative, teaching (the Veda) for wages, learning (the Veda) from a paid teacher, and selling goods which one ought not to sell,

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)

However, when in distress and unable to maintain oneself through the lawful occupations, a Brahmin is allowed to resort to a Kshatriya or even a Vaishya mode of living and Vaishyas are allowed to work for wages.

Manu Smriti 10.80. Among the several occupations the most commendable are, teaching the Veda for a Brahmana, protecting (the people) for a Kshatriya, and trade for a Vaisya.

10.81. But a Brahmana, unable to subsist by his peculiar occupations just mentioned, may live according to the law applicable to Kshatriyas; for the latter is next to him in rank.

10.82. If it be asked, ’How shall it be, if he cannot maintain himself by either (of these occupations?’ the answer is), he may adopt a Vaisya’s mode of life, employing himself in agriculture and rearing cattle.

In general, while in distress, all men are allowed to work for wages.

Manu Smriti 10.116. Learning, mechanical arts, work for wages, service, rearing cattle, traffic, agriculture, contentment (with little), alms, and receiving interest on money, are the ten modes of subsistence (permitted to all men in times of distress).

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