Discussing Brihaspati 39 - Ethical Implications of Unlawful Land Acquisition

The verse from Brihaspati 39 serves as a stark reminder of the ethical consequences of unlawful land acquisition. It emphasizes that no amount of charitable acts or offerings can cleanse the actions of those who wrongfully seize lands. In this discussion, we delve into the profound ethical message conveyed by this verse, exploring its implications in relation to morality, justice, and responsible behavior.
"The stealer of lands is not purified by (the gift of) a thousand wells and tanks, by (the celebration of) a hundred horse-sacrifices, and by the gift of hundreds of thousands of cattle." (Brihaspati 39).


The verse from Brihaspati 39 emphasizes the enduring ethical stain left by the wrongful appropriation of lands. It underscores that even grand gestures of charity or religious rituals cannot cleanse an individual who has engaged in the unethical act of stealing lands from rightful owners.

The verse portrays the idea that no amount of material offerings or religious ceremonies can serve as a redemption for such actions. The act of land theft is seen as morally reprehensible, carrying profound ethical implications that cannot be offset by external displays of generosity or piety.

Key Points

  1. Unlawful Land Acquisition: The verse highlights the ethical gravity of stealing lands from rightful owners, a wrongful act with profound consequences.
  2. Ineffectiveness of Material Offerings: The verse underscores that material offerings, such as wells, tanks, and cattle, cannot absolve the wrongdoer of the ethical transgression.
  3. Religious Rituals and Acts of Charity: The verse also mentions religious rituals like horse-sacrifices and acts of charity, suggesting that even these cannot undo the moral wrong caused by land theft.
  4. Emphasis on Ethical Responsibility: The verse promotes the importance of ethical behavior, indicating that actions with negative moral implications cannot be rectified through external gestures alone.


This verse from Brihaspati 39 serves as a timeless reminder of the ethical implications of land theft. It encourages us to recognize the importance of respecting others' rights and property, promoting justice, and upholding ethical conduct in all our dealings.

The teachings of this verse align with universal ethical principles that emphasize the value of fairness, honesty, and responsible behavior. By understanding and internalizing this wisdom, individuals can contribute to a just and equitable society by respecting the rights of others and refraining from unethical actions such as land theft.

Bridge of Faiths

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