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who is a brahmin?

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Brahmanyan

Active member
Who is a Brahmin?

Good question. But to answer the question is not that simple in the present day. "Brahmana" forms a part of Varnasrama according to "Srimad Bhagavatha Purana". Lord describes about Varnasrama and qualities of Brahmana in Skana XI (Chapter 17): I quote below from the book by His divine Grace AC Baktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of ISCON.

SB 11.17.15: The various occupational and social divisions of human society appeared according to inferior and superior natures manifest in the situation of the individual's birth.
SB 11.17.16: Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, cleanliness, satisfaction, tolerance, simple straightforwardness, devotion to Me, mercy and truthfulness are the natural qualities of the brāhmaṇas.


I do not know how far the present day "Brahmanas" will satisfy the description of the Lord. Thus in today's world, birth alone decides the nomenclature.


Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 
imho, occupational groups in reality do not seem to have been stable.

story 1 (south-india):
in the past, (based on what some1 said, am supposing that) a cow herd was not looked upon favourably by a bangle-seller either. similarly a pearl-seller wud not look upon a bangle-seller favourably. but when the same cow-herd became a king / feudal lord / land owner, the pearl-seller wud clamour to be associated with him thru a matrimonial alliance or other means.

but then, after becoming a land owner, this cow herd may choose to bypass the pearl-seller and marry a diamond or coral-seller or into a family owning ships or someone more 'better' (or possible marry everyone along the way, as seems to have been most common)...this cow-herd wud also hire a record-keeper to construct his 'great' (fake) geneology to legitimize his rule after having acquired himself his new gotra and lineage...

The coral-seller and the rest of the bandwagon due to their matrimonial alliance with the former-cow-herd wud by now get similarly 'sanskritized' enuf to claim of themselves as 'warriors', a step higher than a 'trader'.

Some years later, the cow-herd's son on losing his kingdom (who might have become far more sanskritized by this time), gets sanskritized enuf to claim of himself as a 'brahmin' (with similar titles to effect), a step higher than a 'warrior'. His step-siblings, with the clout and everything else gone, will now no longer hesitate to associate with anyone, including the bangle-seller...

such is the pretence of this world, the role of each of us (destined to act) as actors in it and the irony called 'life' by people who live it.
 
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story 2 (north india):

am basing this stuff on the cattle-raids and fights in the vedic society, that i came across in a few places:

cow-herds possibly looked down upon peacok-farmers and shepherds (since he owned a 'larger' animal, the cow). plus bcoz, the cow-herd was 'sanskritized', or followed certain rituals, which the shepherd and peacock-farmer (or poultry-farmer) did not.

the shepherds having grazed their folk on wider areas than cow-herds possibly knew the geography of the area better than the cow-herds (spatial planning skill set). the peacock-farmer was muscular, agile, diplomatic and patient (taming peacocks being no joke).

fate had it that a peacock-farmer became a 'king' (power struggle for cattle grazing areas or animal breeding areas ?). Along the way, he probably got a good many shepherds and cow-herds executed.

But, when the muslim or another bigger attacker came, the peacock-farmers, cow-herds and shepherds had no option but to unite with one another to drive the new enemy away. As fate wud have it, the new attacker or the muslim defeated all of them.

With 'power' gone, some of the cow-herd's people moved place and began life, offering rituals as means to make a living, as temple priests. Some others, (including the shepherd and peacock-farmer) got imprisoned by the muslim (just as they had been done under former 'hindu kings') and were made to do menial 'unclean' jobs, as 'dalits'. Some moved place and did other odd jobs as 'traders' and dug fields as 'farmers'.

All of them possibly kept trying their luck as 'warriors'.

[Both the stories 1 and 2 are too much crap and speculation on my part i know (since am no historian, i wudn't know) but i wud like to think they are probable possibilties (?).

from what i see, the power play in ancient india had been between settled farming settlements (indo-iraninans?) and the semi-nomadic pastoral grazers (central-asians?). Their power-play resulted in frequent clashes and various forms of mergers. These mergers were so old and so frequent, that they do not exist as unique population groups anymore. Cultures (and stories) however have remained.

Years later, came another wave of 'indians' and yet another. Mergers (frequently violent) resulted in 'castes' (and various socially developed or 'new professions'), while the others that did not merge into this mess remained 'tribes'. That explains why many tribal groups, esp of south india, end up with the so-called 'indo-iranian' or so-called "aryan" R1a grp (?)].
 
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VV-ji,

After all these stories, my earnest request to you wud be to please read the brahma-sutra, translations of which are available at diff websites.
 
Hmmm.. I reflect on this question even today. The answer would depend on what we want to believe.

The varna system of classification is based on lineage. Again this is acceptable if the society followed the varnasrama dharma. Accordingly, occupation (which was also a way of life earlier) was fixed for a particular varna (though not always rigoriouly followed!).

The second type of classification is by character (this is evident from the Question-Answer session between Nahusha and Yudhishtira). A Brahmin is one who is honest, seeker of knowledge, dharmic and upholds all virtues. But there are, always, a mix of Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic qualities in every being – only the proportion varies. Hence a person may be a Brahmin by character for two years, a Shudra for another ten years and so on. Thus classification by this method becomes confusing and complicated.

This might be the reason why the varna system of classification was adopted to.

The Purusha Suktam has an analogy, which, I believe, is widely misinterpreted. The body parts are symbolic expressions of the basic structure of LIFE AS A SOCIETY (these are purely my interpretations):

Shudra – associated with thighs (legs) and should be identified with work which is the basis of society (for without work, life decays)

Vysya – associated with stomach and should be identified with sustenance which is the basis of a healthy growth (that is why the vysya is associated with trade and commerce)

Kshatriya – associated with arma and shold be identified with power and action which is the basis of unity (for power is symbolic here with the power fo the people – the society and thus one who commands the society is fit to give direction)
Brahmana – associated with the face (or head) and should be identified with knowledge which is the basis for direction (in this life and after?)

Thus, it explains the driving forces of society – it is necessary for all the organs to function efficiently for existence.

Krishna had said that of the vedas, he is the sama veda (sama veda is the considered the Brahmin among the vedas).

This means that the Brahman is Knowledge. One who strives to see the Brahman is a Brahmin, but not necessarily vice versa!

 
first of all , brahmanyan ji , ss-ji and hh-ji ..thnx a lot for a thought provoking discussion .. pls keep the thots coming ... in the meanwhile ... i humbly submit a few others for consideration ...
 
a review of the rig veda purusha suktha as pointed out earlier talks about the varna dharma ... when reading such scriptures and trying to understand them , we need to remember that even rishis of yore have conceded that it is beyond them to fully understand and explain the rig veda .... while trying to interpret the rig vedha , the modern ones like griffith and others seem to have been oblivious to the fact that it is the gnana kanda of the shruthi .... their interpretations have reduced it to a mere ritualistic cant ... one cannot blame them , the vedhas are called prabhu samhitha for a reason , one can never hope to understand them and "de mystify " them thru the intellect , one needs to submit oneself in humble,unquestioning surrender to the "manana" of the shruthi to understand even an iota of what they convey .... the group of people meant to be exclusively involved only this manana of the brahman were the brahmanas .....(to be contd.)
 
surrender to the "manana" of the shruthi to understand even an iota of what they convey .... the group of people meant to be exclusively involved only this manana of the brahman were the brahmanas.

vv-ji,

Can you please explain this manana part as you have mentioned above. What is it and please cud you explain the surrender part please ? Thanks much.
 
vvi-ji,

i know you are explaining in vedic terms, but maybe you can consider a geographical term as well. Like Manu Smriti mentions "brahmavarta", it is possible that people (irrespective of profession) inhabiting that region followed a common culture, so possibly they were called as 'brahmins' (?); as opposed to the aryavarta who were called aryas.

interestingly Parikshit was the king of "brahmavarta" and the kurus were mentioned as having helped develop the 'brahmanical cultures' or 'dhama-sutra cultures' as we know it today. i have always suspected the kings wanted rigid-varna to stay in power. And that is what someone told me as well. It makes sense, since the brahmin remained a 'respected advisor' but rarely managed to rule a kingdom in those times.
 

KRS

Active member
There have been many postings here in this Forum, defining 'who is a brahmin'. There is one lesser known Upanishad, whose authorship and time is not certain, synthesises the answer to this question from our Vedas and apparently from other Upanishads as well. It is Vajrasuchika Upanishad, belonging to Sama Veda. This Upanishad is conveniently ignored by all who take the view point that a Brahmin is by birth, belonging to a particular Varna. Let me post the translation of this Upanishad here):

Introduction

"I expound the 'Vajrasuchi' which is a doctrine that dispels ignorance,
Brings disrepute to those who are devoid of (spiritual) knowledge
And is an ornament to those who see with the eye of (spiritual) knowledge". || 1

The Central Question


"Brahmin (priests), Kshatriya (soldiers and kings), Vaishya (merchants and agriculturists) and Shudras (artisans and farmers)- these are the four castes.
Amongst these castes, Brahmins indeed are the supreme (pradhana)- this accords with the statements of the Vedas and is stated by the Smritis also.
In this regard, the following enquiry is made:
Who indeed has the designation 'Brahmin'? Is he the individual soul (jiva)? Is he the body? Is it the class based on birth or one’s lineage (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is it the (spiritual) knowledge (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is it the ritualistic karma or fruits thereof (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is he the performer of meritorious acts (dharmika)?" || 2

Is Jiva the Brahmin?

"Of these options, if the first i.e. 'the designation Brahmin applies to the Jiva' is considered, then no (i.e., this cannot be true) because the nature (rupa) of the Jiva remains the same in the bodies it assumed in previous lives and also in the future bodies.
Impelled by the fruit of its actions, the Jiva attains numerous bodies (in different births) and in all these bodies, the nature of the Jiva remains the same.
Therefore, the designation 'Brahmin' cannot apply to the Jiva." || 3

Is Body the Brahmin?

"Then, if it is said that the body has the designation 'Brahmin', then no (i.e., this cannot be true),
Because the bodies of all human beings down to the chandalas (=outcastes) have the same nature since they are composed of the same 5 elements;
Because features like death, birth, vice and virtue are seen in all bodies;
Because of the absence of the rule that Brahmins are white, Kshatriyas are red, Vaishyas are yellow and Shudras are black.
Because upon cremating the corpses of their fathers/elders and others , one would get tainted with the sin of Brahminicide.
Because of these reasons, the body cannot bear the designation 'Brahmin'."|| 4


(contd.)
 

KRS

Active member
Familial Lineage and Caste:

"Then, if is said that the class by birth (or familial lineage or genus) bears the designation 'Brahmin', then no (i.e., this cannot be true), because there are several non-human species from whom numerous great Sages emerged.
We hear from the sacred texts that
- Sage Rsyasrnga was born of a deer,
- Sage Kausika of the Kusa grass,
- Sage Jambuka from a jackal,
- Sage Valmiki from white termite hill,
- Sage Vyasa from a fisher woman,
- Sage Gautama from the back of a hare,
- Sage Vasishtha from Urvashi- the celestial nymph
- Sage Agastya from a pitcher.
Amongst these, there have been many Sages who have been amongst the foremost of men that have demonstrated spiritual realization.
Therefore, it is not one's class by birth that can be taken as (the determinant of the designation) ‘Brahmin'." || 5

Spiritual Knowledge and Brahminhood


"Then, if it be said that spiritual knowledge is (the cause of) Brahminhood, no (i.e., this cannot be true), because amongst Kshatriyas and others, there are many who have realized the Supreme Reality and have attained Wisdom. Therefore knowledge does not determine Brahminhood.” || 6

Religious Rituals (Karma) and Brahminhood


"Then, if it is said that performance of karma or the fruits thereof (makes one) a Brahmin, no (i.e., this cannot be true), Because association with karma that has been commenced, karma done in the past and karma that will be done, is seen common to all creatures.
(Moreover) good men perform karmas, impelled by (the effects) their past karma.
Therefore, karma does not (make) one a Brahmin.” || 7

Meritorious Acts and Brahminhood


“Then, if it is said that (performance of) meritorious deeds (makes one) a Brahmin, no (i.e., this cannot be true), because there have been many Kshatriyas and others (Vaishyas and Shudras) who have (done meritorious deeds like having) gifted gold (to Brahmins, to religious institutions etc.).
Therefore, the performer of meritorious deeds is not (automatically) the Brahmin.” || 8

 

KRS

Active member
Who is a Brahmin?
“Who indeed then bears the designation Brahmin?
He (indeed) who, after having all his desires fulfilled as a result of perceiving (realizing) directly, as an amalaka fruit in one’s hand-- The Atman that is One without a second (or is beyond compare), (That is) bereft of (distinctions of) clan and (is not composed of) the constituents of Prakriti (guNa-hInaM), and actionless, (That is) free of all defects like the six infirmities (viz. old age, death, sorrow, delusion, hunger and thirst) and the six states of existence/transformations (viz. birth, existence, growth/development, transformation, waning and perishing), (That is) of the nature of Immutable Reality, of Consciousness, Blissful and Infinite/Eternal, (That is) an Independent Entity (not deriving its existence and properties from anything else), (That is) devoid of determinations, but (itself) the support of infinite determinations, (That is) present in all living and non-living beings as the immanent Soul, (Who) pervades the interior and envelopes the exterior of everything as ether, (That is) possesses the attribute of perfect and complete (akhanda) Bliss, (That is) incomparable, (That is) known only through one’s own (spiritual) experience (and not through reading of books or teaching by others) and is inferred only indirectly (because of It cannot be perceived by the senses);
Becomes free of the defects of desire, attachment and the like, becomes endowed with the (positive) qualities like tranquility etc., becomes free of (negative) behaviors like jealousy, greed, expectations, delusion etc., and leads a life in which the mind is not tainted pretensions, ego and the like.

He alone, who possesses the aforementioned characteristics, is a Brahmin- such is (indeed) the import of Sruti, Smriti, Itihasa and the Puranas.
There is no other way of attaining Brahminhood.

Meditate upon Brahman, the Atman, (That is) of the nature of Immutable Reality, of Consciousness, Blissful and One without a second (or is beyond compare! Meditate upon Brahman!

Such is this Upanishad (secret/exalted) doctrine!” || 9
 

kunjuppu

Active member
vv,

this is indeed a larger than life question. let me ride on the back of so many posts before me, and try to dwelve into some unexplored nooks and corners.

hope you don't mind.

vv, not sure in what context you posed this query. to this forum in particular. i have indeed scratched my bald head a few thousand times to figure out the hidden innuendos, and after your initial mini response, i may have picked the trace of your thinking. but i could be wrong.

i have to confess, that i am fairly ignorant along those esoteric train of thought. i hope krs's answers below more than assuages your intellectual hunger. :)

however, since this word brahmin has been bandied here and everywhere else with so much abanddon these days, i continueto be confused. hence this rather verbose address to you sir.

vv, are we talking about those semi sages of yore - those that lived simple lives and pursuing Knowledge as their primary profession? these by and large, lived to themselves, and were looked up to in their communities.

atleast, this is what i undertand to be a broad brush brahmin lifestyle a thousand years ago. the pursuit of professions, money and war, was left to others. brahmins of yore, did not participate in such.

OR

are we talking of a caste of people termed as brahmins of today. particularly tamil brahmins to whom this forum is dedicated? i think, one should not tend to relate one to the other. the differences between the group of yore, and the group of today, is as distinct as day and night.

i think, if our forefathers, by chance happen to visit us, there is not much there can identify with our lifestyles or values. they might recognize a morsels of their values in us, but just that. a few morsels and a little of their spirituality.

so, this group of tamil brahmins, indeed, with increased mobility, emigration and influence of the mleccha winds, are increasingly a diverse group within itself, some going along with the flow, others tenuously trying to cling to some hand me down practices to suit their conscience; the rest of us falling inbetween.

so sir, back to your query, 'who is a brahmin? the critical word here is the word 'IS'. for i think you believe there is a universal agreement on who a brahmin is. and such a person exists today, and you are searching for his identity.

had you asked, 'who was a brahmin of yore?', the query would have made sense to me. especially in the light of your condition, that 'proper references' be provided.

i do not see the need for proper references, for identifying the current tamil brahmins. we are such, and grouped such, because of our fathers.

i think, to put everything in proper perspective, and keep this exchange meaningful, we need this further clarification from you. and why you want it. do you intend to emulate them and shun this modern world? or are you trying to do a gap fit analysis?

i am quite sure, that you are not a college student trying to get a quick answer to an assignment - the easy way? :)

vv, with entirely good intentions, queries of this sort, elucidate the best of our posters. i think it is only fair to them, that you step through your query with more details as to your intentions.

i am all the more suspicious, because the brief repartee you provided, indicates far more erudity, than this simple initial query warrants. somewhere there the picture does not fit.

thank you.

finally, i think the brahmins of yore do not exist today. they are a part of our racial memory. that too, maybe.

thank you.
 

KRS

Active member
Dear Sri kunjuppu Ji,

It always amazes me that you are able to go right in to the crux of an issue. Hopefully VV Ji will respond to your call for clarification.

I think that there is perhaps still a very small percentage of our own 'brahmin' brethren who still live the life of what our scriptures ordained. They are almost invisible to us, but they do exist. They are the ones who do not post messages about Brahminism anywhere. They still learn our scriptures the proper way and are the custodians of our majestic way of life.

But they do not have any benefactors any more. They serve no one as the other three Varnas do not see a need for their knowledge anymore. Instead they have opted for a lesser purva mimamsic knowledge of our Vadyars, who can perform various functions for them.

We ourselves as a community has not recognized this. Our ancient role as brahmins, who solely existed as the glue that held the society as teachers of the original knowledge as well as the temporal knowledge as embodied in science and arts for the service to other three varnas is permanently gone.

What we have is a shell of ourselves, caught in between our ancient burden of our role and the modern claim for practicality. We are and have been for a long time caught in the web of who we ought to be and who we are. The rest of the varnas have left us. They have told us, we have no real use for you. We have no need for real knowledge. They offer this spurious and imagined reason that we took up on jobs that make us money to survive as the reason for not looking up at us anymore! If they search their hearts they would realize that it was they who stopped supporting the brahmins financially as our customs ordained, so the brahmins had no choice. So the glue is gone, the link is broken and today we see the sorry state of our being - jatis, quotas, conversions, no unity to the extent that an Iyer and an Iyengar can not even see eye to eye. Now extend this to the myriads of other jathis and sects!

This is why, unless we shed this concept of Varnas and Jathis that are no longer supported within the society, we will always be faced with schizophrenia within our society. This pertains to the question 'Who is a Brahmin?'.

I have nothing against orthodoxy as a good portion of our members are. Orthodoxy seems to me is rather culture bound as is what is progressive. Seems to me that problems occur in our community between ourselves as members of either camps, because the orthodox always believe that they are nearer to what the true concept of brahminism is. They somehow miss the point that there is a hairline difference between them and who they view as progressive in relation to the gold standard of the brahmin and his duties as defined by our ancestors. No one is asking the orthodox people to change, but it seems to me that they do not want to acknowledge the progressives as a part of the community at all.

And this goes back to the original question, as critiqued by sri kunjuppu ji, as it applies to today. Yes, who is a 'brahmin' today? We all need to ask this question and try to understand the import of it's meaning without emotion.

Regards,
KRS
 
To KRS ji,

Thanks for your citation… that again propels the thought that it might be a later inclusion? Looking at the deductive logic at which the definition of the Brahmin is arrived at, it dawns upon me that such a Brahmin as explained is indeed the Brahman!!! To summarise, one who has realised Brahman is a Brahmin – but then how does this fit in amongst the other varnas?

If Brahmin = Realisation of Brahman, then do the other varnas represent stages in realisation? This thread of reasoning would then, open up a whole new world of looking at the varna structure…

To vivek.vairagyam ji,

Actually, didn’t quite get your point when you mentioned about "de mystifying" the vedas!!!

Well, here goes my reason – the more one tries to decipher (knowledgeably, of course!) the more it might seem to confuse and deviate from the truth, but sooner or later, realisation is bound to happen…

We should all become "Neelakantan" to survive the Alahala Visham that comes out of such churning to attain the final fruit of Amrita.

 

KRS

Active member
Dear Seshadri Subramaniam Ji.

Seems to me that you just read the last stanzas of the Upanishad. Please go back and read the whole - as your question is answered there.

The answer is not about realizing the Brahman. but rather about understanding the steps towards realizing Brahman.

Regards,
KRS

To KRS ji,

Thanks for your citation… that again propels the thought that it might be a later inclusion? Looking at the deductive logic at which the definition of the Brahmin is arrived at, it dawns upon me that such a Brahmin as explained is indeed the Brahman!!! To summarise, one who has realised Brahman is a Brahmin – but then how does this fit in amongst the other varnas?

If Brahmin = Realisation of Brahman, then do the other varnas represent stages in realisation? This thread of reasoning would then, open up a whole new world of looking at the varna structure…
 
KRS-ji,

Your postings have me spell bound. This is a lot similar to what one seer had once said to a group, but had no idea it was from an upanishad. This seer, i speak of, is no longer alive. So, i was thinking such a concept of "brahman" was esoteric so far, and was not any recorded stuff.

The vedic surrender in the brief description given by vv-ji seems complicated. Hope he explains what is the prabhu samhita he speaks of as well. The surrender i was told of is very simple, and practical too. It consists of offering all thots and deeds each day to the lord in a simple prayer. That's it.

However, i must say that during the sadhana part, things were very different. All these vedic stuff was not used. Instead, everything was just meditational. One lives in isolated silence and watches his own thoughts, tries to understand why he thinks that way, negates all possible sources of its origin, then meditates upon it. The kundalini part is very hard to describe. I have no english equivalents for those terms and long drawn concepts. Also i suspect it is not from the vedas (mayb that's why its considered tantric). However, am curious to know more about the vedic side of stuff.

To me, the definition of 'brahmin' has undergone so many changes from past to present, its hard to describe or define it anymore.
 

KRS

Active member
Dear Seshadri Subramaniam Ji,

After responding above, I just focused on this. Do you think that this is not a valid Upnishad? By the way, this has been included and cited as one of the 108 upanishads. If you have doubts about our Smrithis, including this one, please cite the necessary reasearch to back up your claim. Saying ' that again propels the thought that it might be a later inclusion? ' should have some underlying fact to beileve so.

I would very much appreciate if you cite your reasoning with proper citation in our scriptures.

Regards,
KRS


quote=Seshadri Subramaniam;14339]To KRS ji,

Thanks for your citation… that again propels the thought that it might be a later inclusion? [/quote]
 
Dear Seshadri Subramaniam Ji.

Seems to me that you just read the last stanzas of the Upanishad. Please go back and read the whole - as your question is answered there.

The answer is not about realizing the Brahman. but rather about understanding the steps towards realizing Brahman.

Regards,
KRS


Dear KRS ji, I have read the full post; please do not assume otherwise. Seems you have not understood the intent of my musings. In the Upanishad itself, inttially, it refers to the other varnas as fixed classes based on occupation:

"The Central Question


"Brahmin (priests), Kshatriya (soldiers and kings), Vaishya (merchants and agriculturists) and Shudras (artisans and farmers)- these are the four castes.

Amongst these castes, Brahmins indeed are the supreme (pradhana)- this accords with the statements of the Vedas and is stated by the Smritis also.
In this regard, the following enquiry is made:
Who indeed has the designation 'Brahmin'? Is he the individual soul (jiva)? Is he the body? Is it the class based on birth or one’s lineage (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is it the (spiritual) knowledge (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is it the ritualistic karma or fruits thereof (that is responsible for Brahminhood)? Is he the performer of meritorious acts (dharmika)?" || 2 "


And then it goes on to explore the meaning of "Brahmin". The last stanza summarises the whole issue and if one were to realize (not just understand), the qualities as mentioned, then he is a Brahmin. What am trying to highlight is that the qualities mentioned above are not ordinary qualities - when the Athma attains such a state, it is nothing but Brahman!

We become (or rather inherit the properties of) the subject on which we concentrate (i.e., meditate) on. That is what is stressed in this Upanishad - Meditation on the Brahman (in other words the pure and unadulterated Athman that resides in the self).

"Brahma Gyanam adaindhavargal Brahmanargal"

Therefore striving towars this type of Brahminhood (or Brahmanhood) should naturally be the aim of the varnas (including the priestly Brahmins!)

On more reflection is that if this is true Brahminhood, then even Brahmins of the Mahabharata had degenerated...

"He alone, who possesses the aforementioned characteristics, is a Brahmin- such is (indeed) the import of Sruti, Smriti, Itihasa and the Puranas.
There is no other way of attaining Brahminhood. "


From the above quote, it is apparent that the Upanishad clearly defines the Brahmin based on his realisation... How he attains it is a different issue altogether.

Kind Regards,
Seshadri
 
Dear KRS, I have not claimed it to be a later inclusion, have only indicated that from the nature of explaining "Who is a Brahmin".

The supremacy of the Brahmins among the four varnas has been questioned all along the ages; and hence it is but natural for an explanation to evolve.

More importantly, as like other Upanishads, the Vajra Suchika too talks about the Brahman, rather than dwelling on the varna system.

I have not read all the Upanishads and neither claim to have done so. My statement is suggestive and is based on the Upanishad itself – where does the question of providing research material arise here?

Regards,
Seshadri



 
brahmanas

Those who posses kama and krodha are shudras, Moha and Loba are vaishyas and Agahamkara are shatriyas. Those who does not posses all the above five vices are Brahmin. So we have to think where we stand based on these lines.


Regards
V Kothandaraman











Good question. But to answer the question is not that simple in the present day. "Brahmana" forms a part of Varnasrama according to "Srimad Bhagavatha Purana". Lord describes about Varnasrama and qualities of Brahmana in Skana XI (Chapter 17): I quote below from the book by His divine Grace AC Baktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of ISCON.

SB 11.17.15: The various occupational and social divisions of human society appeared according to inferior and superior natures manifest in the situation of the individual's birth.
SB 11.17.16: Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, cleanliness, satisfaction, tolerance, simple straightforwardness, devotion to Me, mercy and truthfulness are the natural qualities of the brāhmaṇas.


I do not know how far the present day "Brahmanas" will satisfy the description of the Lord. Thus in today's world, birth alone decides the nomenclature.


Regards,
Brahmanyan.
 
thnx for the enlightening thots ..pls keep them coming ....
first of all terms like brahmavarta .. like aryavarta ..and dharmaksetra .. are metaphors for a culture in pratice .... here it is worth noting that arya means noble , not a race as often wrongly portrayed ...
manana of the brahman --refers to meditative contemplation on the brahman
the rig vedha gives the earliest and best defn probably of the brahmana ... it clearly refers to the four varnas from the standpoint of function alone , never birth ..therefore "brahmanosya mukha maaseeth ".... should not be reduced to a materialistc "brahmins are considered superior ,hence refered to the face of the brahman ,while shudras are inferior ,hence the foot" ..these are divisive thots planted into the minds of a generation that needs english to get acquainted with the vedhas ... , it actually refers to "considering the fabric of society as a human form , the one at the helm of affairs, here face by extension also includes the head and brain , is one whose duty it is to contemplate and help direct the other indriyas constructively" ... this the suktha refers to allegorically as the brahman itself being represented in parts by the 4 varnas ... when reading the vedhas , one needs to look beyond the apparent ... they talk abt the one that is intangible to the senses .. why will their meanings conform to those of the senses? .... (to be contd)
 
thnx for the enlightening thots ..pls keep them coming ....
first of all terms like brahmavarta .. like aryavarta ..and dharmaksetra .. are metaphors for a culture in pratice .... here it is worth noting that arya means noble , not a race as often wrongly portrayed ...
manana of the brahman --refers to meditative contemplation on the brahman
the rig vedha gives the earliest and best defn probably of the brahmana ... it clearly refers to the four varnas from the standpoint of function alone , never birth ..therefore "brahmanosya mukha maaseeth ".... should not be reduced to a materialistc "brahmins are considered superior ,hence refered to the face of the brahman ,while shudras are inferior ,hence the foot" ..these are divisive thots planted into the minds of a generation that needs english to get acquainted with the vedhas ... , it actually refers to "considering the fabric of society as a human form , the one at the helm of affairs, here face by extension also includes the head and brain , is one whose duty it is to contemplate and help direct the other indriyas constructively" ... this the suktha refers to allegorically as the brahman itself being represented in parts by the 4 varnas ... when reading the vedhas , one needs to look beyond the apparent ... they talk abt the one that is intangible to the senses .. why will their meanings conform to those of the senses? .... (to be contd)

vv-ji,

i do have a request for you: Please do not post in half-half like this. Please post in full, at length, whatever you wish to say. Or it is tuf 2 string together and make sense of your earlier and later posts.

also please explain: what is the metaphor in practice as regards brahmavarta?

if you say that brahman is the head whose duty it is to contemplate and help direct the other indriyas constructively, does it mean it is to do with directing the sense organs in a certain way?

sorry, but generally i tend to assume anything with the vedas is complicated, since that's only so far my thinking goes. and i have only recently started on the rigved with all dependence on the english translation.

again, i request you, please post in full length and not half posts like this. and please post soon or my head will break, i can't wait.
 
The rest of the varnas have left us. They have told us, we have no real use for you. We have no need for real knowledge. They offer this spurious and imagined reason that we took up on jobs that make us money to survive as the reason for not looking up at us anymore! If they search their hearts they would realize that it was they who stopped supporting the brahmins financially as our customs ordained, so the brahmins had no choice. So the glue is gone, the link is broken..
KRS-ji,

Hope you will consider that the glue dried out because the dough (income sources) of those that supported the brahmins in the past also dried out. But in the present time, there are so many people from all walks of life, that contribute to that link, in some form or the other...whether it is a small act in a temple, contributing to building the swaminarayan temple in delhi or donating to mutts..
 
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