WHO IS A BRAHMIN?
According to Bhagvad Gita, Brahmanas must be established in Satv-gun. That is the essence of their qualities and values.
ब्राह्मणक्षत्रियविशां शूद्राणां च परन्तप ।
कर्माणि प्रविभक्तानि स्वभावप्रभवैर्गुणैः ॥ १८-४१॥
Bg 18.41 — Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.
Explanation: Intelligent class of
people technically called Brāhmaṇas are supposed to be
situated in the mode of goodness or Satv-gun. Next is the administrative class,
technically called the Kṣatriyas are situated in the mode of
passion or Rajas-gun. The mercantile community called the Vaiśyas is situated
in the mixed modes of passion and ignorance or Rajas-gun and Tamas-gun. Śūdras
or the labourer class, are situated in the mode of ignorance or Tamas-gun.
Thus the tendency of a
person towards work is determined by the modes of material nature which he has
To know more about Satv, Rajas & Tamas-gun visit: Satv, Rajas & Tamas-gun.
To know more about Satv, Rajas & Tamas-gun visit: Satv, Rajas & Tamas-gun.
शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥ १८-४२॥
samah--peacefulness; damah--self-control; tapah--austerity; saucam-- purity; ksantih--tolerance; arjavam--honesty; eva--certainly; ca--and; jnanam--knowledge; vijnanam--wisdom; astikyam--religiousness; brahma-- of a brahmana; karma--duty; svabhava-jam--born of his own nature.
Bg 18.42 — Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.
According to Bh. Gita Brahmans manifest the following nine qualities.
SAMAH—PEACEFULNESS: When the mind does not indulge in unnecessary thoughts; that is called samah, or calmness. Nor does one spend one's time pondering over earning money. That is a misuse of the thinking power. The mind should be used to understand the prime subject of human beings, spirituality and that should be presented authoritatively. The power of thought should be developed in association with persons who are authorities in the scriptures, saintly persons and spiritual masters and those whose thinking is highly developed.
DAMAH--SELF-CONTROL: It means that the senses should not be used for unnecessary personal enjoyment. There is no prohibition against meeting the proper needs of the senses but unnecessary sense enjoyment is detrimental for spiritual advancement. Therefore the senses should be restrained from unnecessary use.
TAPAH—AUSTERITY: It means austerity or penance. There are many rules and definitions in the Vedas which apply here, like rising early in the morning and taking a bath. Sometimes it is very troublesome to rise early in the morning, but whatever voluntary trouble one may suffer in this way is called penance. Similarly, there are prescriptions for fasting on certain days of the month. One may not be inclined to practice such fasting, but because of his determination to make advancement in spiritual, he should accept such bodily troubles which are recommended. However, one should not fast unnecessarily or against Vedic injunctions. One should not fast for some political purpose; that is described in Bhagavad Gita as fasting in ignorance or tamas-gun and anything done in ignorance or passion does not lead to spiritual advancement. Everything done in the mode of goodness or satv-gun and fasting done in terms of the Vedic injunctions enriches one in spiritual knowledge.
SAUCAM—PURITY:Cleanliness is next to Godliness. is always envisioned as both internal and external. One complements the other. Taking bath, wearing lean clothes, having basic hygiene and practicing common sense civic cleanliness constitute the external element. Internal cleanliness involves cleansing the mind of bad traits & indulgence by implementing counter measures like , amongst others.
KSANTIH—TOLERANCE:Patiently bearing the odds meted without an internal struggle is a much evolved trait. Forbearance allows one to practice mercy, compassion, and self-restraint while overlooking other’s faults. When contrary stimulus is encountered, staying on values and principles manifests as . Such a life enables cultivation and development of forgiveness.
ARJAVAM--HONESTY This is a factor of being fearless. Having innocence and frankness keeps the mind childlike. This enables the personality to interact with integrity in all its dealings. In the external world, one can have a poker face and yet hide their true colors. But in Spirituality where one understands the interconnectedness of everything, becomes default as the thoughts, words and deeds are aligned not only in relation to each other but also with . This congruence manifests in the external world as an upright personality and in the internal world, sets the mind in an exalted state.
JNANAM—KNOWLEDGE: It refers to the power of analyzing things in proper perspective, and knowledge refers to understanding - what is spirit and what is matter? Ordinary knowledge obtained by a university education pertains only to matter, and it is not accepted here as knowledge. Knowledge means knowing the distinction between spirit and matter. In modern education there is no knowledge about the spirit; they are simply taking care of the material elements and bodily needs. Therefore academic knowledge is not complete.
VIJNANAM—WISDOMWhen the above theoretical knowledge gets assimilated and manifests as a practical experience, intuition and a deeper understanding borne out of internalization, it reflects wisdom. This wisdom can be imbibed from great masters and spiritualists by living with them and serving them.
ASTIKYAM—RELIGIOUSNESS: It is belief in God as a creator or controller. He sees divinity in all things and existence of a omnipresent Supreme Being . It manifests itself in faith in scriptures – Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas & experiences of Mahatmas.
Once, as Lord Śiva was traveling in the sky with his wife, Pārvatī, he came across Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya merged in meditative trance. At the request of Pārvatī, Lord Śiva presented himself before the sage to grant him the result of his austerities. Coming out of his trance, Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya saw Lord Śiva, the spiritual master of the three worlds, together with Pārvatī, and he worshiped them by offering them obeisance, words of greeting and a sitting place.
At that time Lord Shiva, before giving benediction to Markandey Rishi praised him by following words:
YUDHISHTHIR (EXAMPLE 1)
There is a famous story of a riddle contest between Yudhishthir and a Yaksha in Mahabharat. It appears in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata.
kiṃ brāhmaṇānāṃ devatvaṃ kaś ca dharmaḥ satām iva
kaś caiṣāṃ mānuṣo bhāvaḥ kim eṣām asatām iva
What instills 'divinity' in
What is the human like quality of a Brahmin?
svādhyāya eṣāṃ devatvaṃ tapa eṣāṃ satām iva
maraṇaṃ mānuṣo bhāvaḥ parivādo ‘satām iva
Death is human-like quality in a Brahmin.
|Yaksh & Yudhishthir|
YUDHISHTHIR (EXAMPLE 2)
in the Nahusha asks Yudhishthir-
सत्यं दानं क्षमा शीलम आनृशंस्यं दमॊ घृणा
दृश्यन्ते यत्र नागेन्द्र स बराह्मण इति समृतः
satyaṃ dānaṃ kṣamā śīlam ānṛśaṃsyaṃ damo ghṛṇā
dṛśyante yatra nāgendra sa brāhmaṇa iti smṛtaḥ
Thus the Brahmanas develop nine qualities as mentioned in Bg Gita by being engaged in following ativities:
To know more about what Bh. Gita says on different casts / varna visit: what Bh. Gita says on caste.?
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