Brahmin (ब्राह्मणः)

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Brahmana (Samskrit: ब्राह्मणः), in this usage the word is usually rendered in English as "Brahmin" here refers to one who belongs to the first varna namely Brahmana. He is governed by Brahmana dharmas. One who has the following occupations are Brahmanas according to Mahabharata

वृत्त्यर्थं ब्राह्मणानां वै शृणु धर्मान्सनातनान्॥ 13-141-66 (Maha. Anush. 13.141.66)

यजनं याजनं चैव तथा दानप्रतिग्रहौ। अध्यापनं चाध्ययनं षट्कर्मा धर्मभाग्द्विजः॥ 13-141-67 (Maha. Anush. 13.141.67)

Shabdakalpadruma[1] reference In the Mahabharata (Anushasana Parva), when Yudhisthira is asked who is a brahmana, he replies as follows.

सत्यं दानं क्षमा शीलमानृशंस्यं तपो घृणा । दृश्यन्ते यत्रनागेन्द्रस ब्राह्मण इति स्मृतः ॥१८०.२१॥

satyaṁ dānaṁ kṣamā śīlamānr̥śaṁsyaṁ tapo ghr̥ṇā । dr̥śyante yatranāgendrasa brāhmaṇa iti smr̥taḥ ॥180.21॥

Meaning: Oh Nagaraja, those who have the good qualities of truthfulness, charity, forgiveness, virtuous character devoid of violence, penance and compassion are considered as brahmanas.[2] According to the Bhagavata Purana, the one whose samkaras (16 purifying rites accompanied by mantras) have been performed without any break, in succession, and to whom lord Brahma has designated as such, he is called as a dvija (twice-born).[3]

संस्कारा यदविच्छिन्नाः स द्विजोऽजो जगाद यम् । (Bh. Pu. Skanda 7, Adhyaya 11, Verse 13).[4]

saṁskārā yadavicchinnāḥ sa dvijo'jo jagāda yam ।

According to the Bhagavata Purana, Control over mind and senses, asceticism, purity, contentment, forbearance and forgiveness, straightforwardness, knowledge, compassion, fervent devotion to Lord Vishnu and truthfulness are the characteristics of a brahmana.[3]

शमो दमस्तपः शौचं सन्तोषः क्षान्तिरार्जवम् । ज्ञानं दयाच्युतात्मत्वं सत्यं च ब्रह्मलक्षणम् ॥ २१॥[4]

śamo damastapaḥ śaucaṁ santoṣaḥ kṣāntirārjavam । jñānaṁ dayācyutātmatvaṁ satyaṁ ca brahmalakṣaṇam ॥ 21॥

Reference

  1. Shabdakalpadruma (See ब्राह्मणः)
  2. Ramanarayanadatta Shastri Pandeya, Mahabharata (Vol.2), Gorakhpur: Gita Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare, The Bhagavata Purana (Part III), Ancient Indian Tradition & Mythology (Volume 9), Edited by J.L.Shastri, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, P.no.964-965.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bhagavata Purana, Skandha 7, Adhyaya 11.