Note : Man or a Brahman here in most of the contexts refer to both a man & a woman. Thus, there is no gender bias.
A Brahman is one who has achieved the Brahma. He becomes a Wise Man Who practises & abides by both Yamaas and Niyamaas, as stated in Manusmiriti, 4:204: -“A wise man would do well to practise both Yamaas and Niyamaas and He who practices one without the other, never makes any progress, on the contrary he simply degenerates, in other words, leads a degraded life in this world.”What r Yamaas ? They are 5 in number:- (a) Harmlessness;
(b) Strict devotion to veracity;
(c) Honesty in word, deed and thought;
(d) Abstinence from sexual indulgence;.. and
(e) abstinence from the headlong pursuit of worldly things and freedom from the prides of one’s possessions (such as wealth and Power). YOGA SHASTRA Sadhanapada, 30.What r Niyamaas ? They too are 5 in nos.:- (a) Cleanliness (physical and mental);
(b) Contentment – which does not mean contentedness with physical inertia, but which does mean that you do your utmost to attain your object,…. but are not carried away by the resulting profit and loss, joy or sorrow; (c) Devotion to duty regardless of consequences;
(d) Acquisition and discrimination of true knowledge;
(e) Resignation to the Will of God through extreme devotion to Him.A Brahman is one who has a well balanced desire and conduct towards learning and a virtuous life, as stated in Manusmiriti 2:2:.. “Neither inordinate desire nor its total absence is conductive to a man’s happiness, since it would be simply impossible, either to lead a virtuous life, or to acquire (Vedic) Knowledge without desiring for the same.”Without the practice of the followings an individual can never be called a Brahman (excepting those which are practically not feasible in modern world due to changing professional priorities), as stated in Manusmiriti 2:27:.. “The study and teaching of all true sciences; observance of the vows of Brahmacharya, and truthfulness; performance of Homa, as well as the acceptance of truth leading a virtuous life, as enjoined by the Veda,….. communion with God, and acquisition of the knowledge of the Veda; performance of seasonal Homa, reproduction of good children, performance of the Five Great Daily Duties, and doing such other good actions….. as are productive of beneficial results to the community such as developing technical arts; all the eight things to go to make a Brahman, in other words, his mind ought to be the repository of Vedic learning and devotion to God.”THREAD to continue…. Watch out for more…
Source & credit : Satyarth Prakash by Swami DAYANANDA SARASWATI Udeypur, 1939 Vikram, Bhadarpud Shukula Paksh (A.D. 1882).
A person becomes a Brahman when he or she goes through the prescribed process of earning the status of being a twice born (dwija) [1st birth biologically, 2nd birth after completing necessary education]. This is corroborated by the following verses:-Manusmiriti 2,168: “A Dwija as well as his children who, instead of studying the Veda, wastes his time in doing other things soon goes down to the level of a Shoodra (lowest in character).” …A twice born goes on to become a Brahman if he/she successfully acquires the supreme knowledge of Vedas :-… Manusmiriti 2: 164: “Thus let the twice-born students (male and female) who had there Upanayana performed go on gradually acquiring knowledge of the Vedaas, which is their highest duty.”…… Manusmiriti 2:162 “That Brahmana alone is said to possess true knowledge of the Veda and God, who shuns the world’s applause like poison and courts its censure like immortality.” ..However, for a Brahman, mere reading and chanting Vedas DOES NOT guarantee him the nobility and virtue associated with his/her varna in the society…….NIRUKTA 1:18 corroborates the above :-
“He, who reads the Vedaas even with proper accents, but does not know their meanings, is like a tree weighed down by its fruit, branches, leaves and flowers, or…… like a beast of burden carrying on its back grain which it cannot eat. But he, who understands their meanings and acts up to their teachings…… by avoiding sin and leading a virtuous life, enjoys perfect happiness in this world and eternal (extreme) bliss herafter in consequence thereof.”Rig Veda too iterates the above:
Rig Veda 10:17,4 :- “An ignorant man has eyes to see but sees nothing, has ears to hear but hears nothing, has a tongue to speak but speaks nothing. The ignorant can never understand…… the hidden mysteries of knowledge. But it is to the learned alone that knowledge reveals its true nature, just as a woman longing to meet her husband, dresses in her best & puts on her finest jewelry, so as to display her charms to him.”…Rig Veda 1:164,39 : “What good can the Vedaas do unto him who does not know that Great Being, who is Allpervading and Eternal, Holiest of all, Who sustains the Sun and the Earth, and is the support of the learned,…… the method of Whose realization is the chief aim of Vedic teaching? But they alone enjoy eternal bliss who study the Vedaas, live a righteous life, become perfect Yogis and realize God.”TAITREYA UPNISHAD 7, 11:1-4 speaks about Brahman who is true to his/her varna, in the role of an virtuous teacher :
“Always give. If you are ever in doubt as to the truth of any practice of religion, or a doctrine, or mode of divine worship,…… follow the practice of those highly virtuous Brahmans, whether Yogis or not, who are free from prejudice, charitable in disposition, and well versed in philosophy and science (physical and spiritual), and extremely desirous of…… furthering the cause of righteousness. This the advice. This the commandment. This is the mandate of the Vedas. Aye, this is the Law. Follow this advice. Obey the Law.”Manusmiriti 1: 108, 109 further enjoins a Brahman to lead a righteous and happy life by following this :
“Character or righteous living as taught by the Vedas, as well as, Smritis (in conformity with Vedas), is the highest virtue is the end-all…. and be-all of all reading and reciting, studying, teaching and preaching. Let a man, therefore, always walk in the path of righteousness. He that swerves from it can never enjoy true happiness -….. which is born of strict adherence to the conduct of life enjoined by the Veda. He alone enjoys, all true happiness, who requires, knowledge and leads a righteous life.”A Brahman (or from any varna), though claims to be one by virtue of birth alone, does not deserve to be respected when he/she becomes the following as per Manusmiriti 2: 11 :-“He is an atheist, & a slanderer of the Vedas,who disparages their teachings, as well as the writings of true teachers in conformity with the Vedas. He should be excluded from good society, aye, even expelled out of the country, (if necessary).”A true Brahman knows what is true religion and practises the same in his/her life. Equitable dealings, acceptance of truth and rejection of untruth under all circumstances, constitute the true conduct of life; as per true Religion,….. and the reverse of this is Irreligion. It is only those, who stand aloof form the headlong pursuit of both wealth and carnal pleasures, that can ever attain a knowledge of true religion…A Brahman becomes a true Teacher if he or she instils the aforesaid teachings into the minds of their pupils. They should take care that they do not neglect the education of Classes other than Braahmans, like Kshatriyaas,Vaishyaas and intelligent Sudras.Because, a) if Brahmans only were to acquire knowledge, there could be no advancement in knowledge, religion, and government, nor increase in wealth, for Braahmans, whose sole duty is to acquire knowldge and disseminate it,….. depend for their living on Kshatriyaas and other classes etc., to whom they are law-givers.
b) Also Brahmans would be relieved of all restraint and fear from Kshatriyaas, who, being uneducated, would be quite incapable of judging the…. soundness or unsoundness of their teachings. They would thus gradually use their power for their own selfish ends, drift into hypocrisy and do whatever they lied and their example would be followed by other Classes…Therefore, when Kshatriyaas and other Classes are also well educated, a true Brahman study still harder to keep ahead of the other Classes and walk in righteousness. They could never then falsely teach and lead selfish, hypocritical lives…It follows, thus, that it is in their own interest, as well as that of the community at large, to try their best to teach the Veda and other true sciences and philosophies to the Kshatriyaas and other Classes,…who are the real cause of advance in knowledge, religion, and government, and of increase in wealth, etc. When all Classes are well educated and cultured, no one can set up any false, fraudulent, and irreligious practices…All this goes to prove that it is the Brahmans, and the Sanyaasis, who keep Kshatriyaas and others in proper order and vice versa. Therefore all persons of all Classes should be given good and sound education….. and be well instructed in the principle of true religion so that all can work harmoniously and in synchronisation for the overall betterment of the society, country and the whole mankind.Source & credit : Satyarth Prakash by Swami DAYANANDA SARASWATI Udeypur, 1939 Vikram, Bhadarpud Shukula Paksh (A.D. 1882).