Are shudras and women not allowed to chant aumkara? I heard many purohits and one great saint say that. Is there any scriptural basis? Please give the reference of scripture for such injunctions. I heard that Kulanava Tantra says so, but don't know any reference.

Edit: I have scanned to Kularnava Tantra but nowhere it says anything such. Instead, it has slokas such as gato shudrasya shudratava ... which is after Diksha shudra is no more shudra and brahmin is no more brahmin. Also in purascharan vidhi in the same shastra it says how Aum must be chanted to get proper results of purascharana. Here is the link to the Shashtra. https://archive.org/details/Kularnava

  • rockmine.blogspot.com/2023/10/… Here are my thoughts on the same. Oct 2, 2023 at 20:47
  • I have read it and appreciate your thoughts on the same, but did not find any scriptural reference.
    – Ayus
    Oct 8, 2023 at 4:44
  • You need to inquire who am i? you call urself shudra but who it it that says so ? in deep sleep there was no body and no duality. what happened in waking state ? i suggest you to leave these shudra Brahmin etc these are just words. if one is spiritually serious, meditative he is top quality Oct 30, 2023 at 13:28
  • yes. they can say AM, not the pranava. it is specifically restricted, even during vishnu sahasranama. source - elders, shastris, purohits, acharyas of mutts.
    – ram
    Dec 3, 2023 at 18:54

3 Answers 3


oṁ can be chanted by all people regardless of their age, nation, race, religion, gender etc. oṁ is śabda brahman (īsvara in sonic form). oṁ is non-different from īśvara. bhagavān śrī kṛṣṇa in bhagavad gītā says:

[BG 7.8]

रसोऽहमप्सु कौन्तेय प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययो: | प्रणव: सर्ववेदेषु शब्द: खे पौरुषं नृषु ||

I am the taste in water, O son of Kunti, and the radiance of the sun and the moon. I am the sacred syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether, and the ability in humans.

So, oṁ is a universal sound. It can be chanted in a bhakti context or a person engaged in yoga.

yoga sūtra 1.23-26:

तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः ॥ १.२७ ॥ तज्जपस्तदर्थभावनम् ॥ १.२८ ॥ ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च ॥ १.२९ ॥

The sacred word designating Him is praṇava, the mystic syllable ‘OM’. Repeat it and contemplate upon its meaning. From that comes realization of the individual self and the obstacles are resolved.

Also, bhakti mārga can be taken up, even by women and śūdras.

[BG 9.32]

मां हि पार्थ व्यपाश्रित्य येऽपि स्यु: पापयोनय: । स्त्रियो वैश्यास्तथा श‍ूद्रास्तेऽपि यान्ति परां गतिम् ॥

O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth – women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] – can attain the supreme destination.

The only restriction is in chanting the vedic mantras which are related to the ṛg, sāma, atharva, and yajus. The reason being, vedic mantras are to be chanted in a proper meter, with proper pronunciation and with great attention to detail (niyama and vidhi). As these classes of people are not properly trained in this practise, the utterance of vedic mantras by them can cause ill-effects, i.e. effects opposite to that of initially intended.


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    Your own answer contradicts what you write. Of the Vedic mantras I am Om. And Vedic mantras are restricted for stri Shudra is what you say, then how can Om be allowed?
    – Adiyarkku
    Sep 27, 2023 at 12:25
  • I agree that vedic mantra is restricted for shudras, but how can you tell that Om is vedic mantra, just because Om occurs as a word in a mantra does not make it vedic. If I take your arguement then many words or names or deities like Narayan,Purusha, Rudra, Shiva,Saraswati Ganga etc should also not be used by shudras as they occur in vedas.
    – Ayus
    Sep 27, 2023 at 13:20
  • See your own quote in your answer
    – Adiyarkku
    Sep 27, 2023 at 18:09
  • @Adiyarkku I think you confused me with the answerer. I am the questioner here. BTW if you say about the quote, it says I am the Om among the sacred SYLLABLES (shabda)in in the vedas. प्रणव: सर्ववेदेषु शब्द: . It does not say I am the Om among the MANTRAS. Mantra and Shabda are different.
    – Ayus
    Sep 28, 2023 at 16:56
  • bhagavan himself specifically said pranava and NOT the (or 3) letter symbol that you mentioned. he could have said 2(or 3)-letter-kara (another synonym for pranava). that itself shows that the sacred symbol is supposed to be secret. even if it is an open secret.
    – ram
    Dec 3, 2023 at 18:53

These verses demonstrate that anyone can be allowed to chant Om.

All the four orders, therefore, have always the right to the performance of all pious duties and of sacrifices (MB Santi CLXXXVIII )

Sufficient liberty of action is left to them in consequence of which all individuals may attain to an equality of condition. (MB Anu CLXIV)

O ruler of the Videhas, Brahmins learned in the Vedas, monarch, regard a (virtuous) Sudra as equal to a Brahmin himself. I, however, O king, look upon such a Sudra as effulgent Vishnu of the universe, the foremost one in all the worlds.” (MB Shanti 302,Shl 12-18)

Because people of all varnas are born from Brahma, they are all Brahmanas. All are all the time reciting the name of Brahma. I am telling the correct shastra by the buddhi given by Brahma. Entire universe and this visible world is nothing but Brahma. Therefore whatever be the varna, they should not be considered as being different from Brahma(MB Shanti 378,Shl 90)

Hanuman says about Krita Yuga that “For all four varnas meditation (dhyana) was the main karma. Paramatma who shines like a lamp in all hearts will be the Adhishtana-Murthy for all varnas.‘Omkara’ alone was their main mantra. All four varnas followed only Upanishad Dharma.They all worshipped only the Jyoti-Swarupa Paramatma who resides in all hearts”(MB Anu 149)

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    I didn't write anything regards Varna and ashrama. I just quoted Mahabharata, only if you had brain to read verses quoted above, you wouldn't start with your useless rants. @mar Dec 4, 2023 at 16:38
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    Illiterate kids should be humble and learn. Reading is not your cup of tea. Here is entire quote. " Bhrigu said, 'There is really no distinction between the different orders. The whole world at first consisted of Brahmanas. Separated by these occupations, Brahmanas, falling away from their own order, became members of the other three orders. All the four orders, therefore, have always the right to the performance of all pious duties and of sacrifices. Even thus were the four orders at first created equal by Brahman who ordained for all of them." Don't humiliate yourself repeatedly @mar Dec 5, 2023 at 19:27
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    Kid, atleast bother to read the full statement quoted above. Bhrigu, a Rishi, unlike a troll like you says clearly that , " All the four orders, therefore, have always the right to the performance of all pious duties and of sacrifices. " because they degraded from Bramhanas and all varnas cannot be different from Brahman. It's not your cup of tea. You won't get it. Ignoring your rants from now. Bark somewhere else. @mar Dec 7, 2023 at 8:25
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    We have been civil and respectful but you were reporting and downvoting our answers. Ever saw me being agressive like this ? Whole site knows me, this is the first time I am being aggressive. This is all you always do. Report block and frustrate viewers when we say repeatedly we don't need your comments. @mar. Dec 7, 2023 at 15:50
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    Also, since when India became your country XD, you were like abusing constitution as it grants equal rights to all citizens, no ? It also prohibits untouchability, caste discrimination, sati, child marriages, right ? Which you would justify as Hindu law? (it isn't though) @mar Dec 7, 2023 at 15:52

In this answer, I mentioned how Pranava Mantra Omkara = Panchakshari Mantra.


Sri Skanda Purana 3.3.1.:

  1. Hence this five-lettered Mantra (NaMa SiVaYa) is declared as the bestower of everything. It may be practised (muttered) even by women, Śūdras and men of mixed caste and nativity desirous of salvation.

Sri Shiva Purana 7.2:12.:

  1. A person steady in the Japa of the five-syllabled mantra is released from the cage of sins whether he be a Śūdra, base-born, fool or a learned man.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

  • panchakshari (5 letters) means pranava is excluded. otherwise it will become 6 letters. fyi, ashtakshari includes pranava.
    – ram
    Dec 3, 2023 at 18:56
  • I know that n i already mentioned that but Fyi i clearly mentioned panchakshari = pranava. Check the link given. Commenting n downvoting (if u did) after reading half is not cool. So, 1st do that patiently. Plus, i didn't mentioned anything about ashtakshari. Anyways, goodbye.. Dec 4, 2023 at 2:56
  • it's a semantic stretch to say panchakshari = om based on an article, and then say panchakshari can be chanted by anyone, therefore om can be chanted by anyone (including menstruating women, shudras, mlechhas etc.). question clearly asks about pranava, not namasivaya. by this logic, anyone can chant anything since bhagavan encompasses om and all other names, so any name is equivalent to any other name.
    – ram
    Dec 5, 2023 at 13:29
  • 1st of all, The question clearly only asked about Women and Shudras. Plus, there is no air palaces but proper verses and if A=B and B=C, then obviously A=C. Anyways, Mahabharata clearly mentioned all varnas can chant pranava as mentioned in the other ans, but still u downvoted that also based on some prejudices that's seem more illogical stretch. So, i guess u r against the very idea itself. But it's ok it's not necessary for everyone to agree in every topic. U hv ur own views n i hv my own. So, its ok. Instead of commenting just write ur own ans. I don't like unnecessary chit-chats. Goodbye.. Dec 5, 2023 at 15:04
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    Yes, guys don't even bother to comment its like bothering others. If someone don't like anything or they like anything just use the voting button to upvote or downvote n just move on. I do the same. Prd.. Dec 7, 2023 at 10:11

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