A Hindu site by the name "Agniveer" has claimed that Buddha never rejected the Vedas. To substantiate their claim, they have quoted a few verses from the Sutta Nipata to show Buddha's respect for the Vedas:

In Sutta Nipat 192, Mahatma Buddha says that:

Vidwa Cha Vedehi Samechcha Dhammam Na Uchchavacham Gachhati Bhooripanjo.

People allow sense-organs to dominate and keep shuffling between high and low positions. But the scholar who understands Vedas understands Dharma and does not waver.

Sutta Nipat 503:

Yo Vedagu Gyanarato Sateema …….

One should support a person who is master of Vedas, contemplative, intelligent, helpful if you desire to inculcate similar traits.

Sutta Nipat 1059:

Yam Brahmanam Vedagum Abhijanjya Akinchanam Kamabhave Asattam……

One gets free from worldly pains if he is able to understand a Vedic Scholar who has no wealth and free from attraction towards worldly things.

Sutta Nipat 1060:

Vidwa Cha So Vedagu Naro Idha Bhavabhave Sangam Imam Visajja…..

I state that one who understands the Vedas rejects attraction towards the world and becomes free from sins.

Sutta Nipat 846:

Na Vedagu Diththia Na Mutiya Sa Manameti Nahi Tanmayoso….

One who knows Vedas does not acquire false ego. He is not affected by hearsay and delusions.

Sutta Nipat 458:

Yadantagu Vedagu Yanjakaale Yassahuti Labhe Taras Ijjeti Broomi

I state that one who acquires Ahuti in Havan of a Vedic scholar gets success.

Now people who post these on internet say that Gautam Buddha didn't opposed Vedas he opposed the evil practices done in name of Vedas like animal sacrifice, caste system

Now, personally I have found many of the site's claims and quotations unreliable. However, I would still like to verify these verses so could anybody tell me if these quotations are true or fabricated?


3 Answers 3


Please refer to the Introduction to the Sutta Nipata given here - https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/StNp/introduction.html

The Three Vedas were ancient religious texts that constituted the core of the brahmanical education. A person who had memorized these texts was called an attainer-of-knowledge (vedagū) or a three-knowledge person (tevijja). The Buddha adopted these terms and applied them to himself on the basis of the three knowledges he had gained on the night of his awakening: knowledge of previous births, knowledge of the passing away and re-arising of beings through the power of their actions, and knowledge of the ending of the mental effluents (āsava). He also asserted that the brahmanical use of the terms vedagū and tevijja was illegitimate, and that these words found their legitimate meaning only in a person who had mastered the same three knowledges that he had (3:9).

Also, this -

Arahants are also given the title vedagū—attainer-of-knowledge—as a way of asserting that their knowledge is superior to that of the three brahmanical Vedas (2:8, 3:4–6, 3:12, 4:9, 4:15, 5 Prologue, 5:4).

  • You're on this site as well? :)
    – user16265
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 15:58
  • 3
    Yeah, I am dissatisfied with vedAnta. I also find anattA more appealing. :) Commented May 9, 2019 at 16:01
  • 2
    Interesting, very curious to know about your story. Back in 2012, I read the book What the Buddha taught just after reading a translation of the Bhagavad Gita, which I found impressive. The part when Anatta was explained really shocked me at the core. I sat in meditation and I realized suddenly, that my craving for meditative bliss was also suffering and stopped making things happen. Suddenly, my whole body was encompassed with bliss. That is how my Dhamma journey started.
    – Luv
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 9:44

The quotes may be real, but their translation is probably not.

Sanskrit (and Pali) root "ved-" stands for gnosis, knowledge, understanding. The name of Vedas comes from the same root, they are supposed to be collections of (religious) knowledge. Using this coincidence, it looks like instead of translating the words such as vedehi, vedagu etc. as e.g. having known, expert/erudite etc. - they left them untranslated and made it look as if they were referring to the Vedas.

For example in the first phrase they have quoted

...Vidvā ca vedehi samecca dhammaṃ...

probably means something like

...having known and having learned, thanks to encountering Dharma...

There is no way vidva and vedehi can refer to Vedas, because these are clearly verb forms, not nouns.

And so on.


As people have commented here, the Buddha used the same term prevalent at that time but gave his new interpretations. In these cases too, he was using brahmanical words setting a new bar for them from the point of view of his own Buddhist teachings. Try to check some of the recent translations done by Bhikkhu Bodhi or Thanisaro. You can also check these two excellent cites for any such issues in the future: (1) sutta central (2) www.accesstoinsight.org.

Veda comes from the sanskrit or pali root "vid", which simply means to know or experience etc. There are many sanskrit or pali words constructed out of this root. Veda is one, which could mean "brahmanical text" but also could mean "knowledge" in general. In the case of these verses, it is more like knowledge, that is related with the fourfold paths such as stream-enterer upto arhathood.

I will give one example among the verses (mis)quoted. The translation is garbled, of course. This is often done in the "Hindu" sites to show that "Veda" is the foremost source of knowledge and there couldn't be anything in this world, including the teachings of the Buddha, which would not be related with their "almighty" Veda.

798. Sayaṃ samādāya vatāni jantu,
uccāvacaṃ gacchati saññasatto;
Vidvā ca vedehi samecca dhammaṃ,
na uccāvacaṃ gacchati bhūripañño.

The second paada is glossed in the commentary in the following way:

vidvā ca vedehi samecca dhammanti paramatthavidvā ca arahā catūhi maggañāṇavedehi catusaccadhammaṃ abhisameccāti.

It can be roughly translated as "A wise who knows the ultimate, an arahat, penitrates four noble truths by the knowledge of fourfold paths i.e., srataapatti etc.

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