From this story in the Mahabharata (https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-mahabharata-mohan/d/doc826352.html) Matanga who was thought to be a Brahmin by his cruel acts and nature was deduced to be a Chandala by illegitimate birth. I am wondering if an inverse story is mentioned and a Chandala born illegitimately was a Brahmin and deduced in the same manner. If not what of other Varnas?

1 Answer 1


A similar inverse story is found in vana parva CCXIV & CCXV :

vana parva CCXIV

"The fowler replied, 'O good Brahmana, Brahmanas are worthy of all respect from me. Listen, O sinless one, to this story of a previous existence of mine. O son of an excellent Brahmana, I was formerly a Brahmana, well-read in the Vedas, and an accomplished student of the Vedangas. Through my own fault I have been degraded to my present state. A certain king, accomplished in the science of dhanurveda (science of archery), was my friend; and from his companionship, O Brahmana, I, too became skilled in archery; and one day the king, in company with his ministers and followed by his best warriors, went out on a hunting expedition. He killed a large number of deer near a hermitage. I, too, O good Brahmana, discharged a terrible arrow. And a rishi was wounded by that arrow with its head bent out. He fell down upon the ground, and screaming loudly said, 'I have harmed no one, what sinful man has done this?' And, my lord, taking him for a deer, I went up to him and found that he was pierced through the body by my arrow. On account of my wicked deed I was sorely grieved (in mind). And then I said to that rishi of severe ascetic merit, who was loudly crying, lying upon the ground, 'I have done this unwittingly, O rishi.' And also this I said to the muni: 'Do thou think it proper to pardon all this transgression.' But, O Brahmana, the rishi, lashing himself into a fury, said to me, 'Thou shalt be born as a cruel fowler in the Sudra class."

vana parva CCXV

"The fowler continued, 'Thus cursed by that rishi, I sought to propitiate him with these words: 'Pardon me, O muni, I have done this wicked deed unwittingly. It behooves thee to pardon all that. Do thou, worshipful sir, soothe yourself.' The rishi replied, 'The curse that I have pronounced can never be falsified, this is certain. But from kindness towards thee, I shall do thee a favour. Though born in the Sudra class thou shalt remain a pious man and thou shalt undoubtedly honour thy parents; and by honouring them thou shalt attain great spiritual perfection; thou shalt also remember the events of thy past life and shalt go to heaven; and on the expiation of this curse, thou shalt again become a Brahmana. O best of men, thus, of old was I cursed by that rishi of severe power, and thus was he propitiated by me.

  • 1
    This is a good example, but is their anything more inverse?
    – Haridasa
    Feb 21 at 20:27
  • Need to find that. There is a story of vishvamitra cursing some of his sons to lose brahmana status
    – ekAntika
    Feb 22 at 2:37
  • 1
    The more you give the merrier, thanks for being dedicated. I was looking for a story where a Chandala is thought to be of legitimate birth, but due to qualities is found out to be a Brahmina.
    – Haridasa
    Feb 22 at 12:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .