Who is a Brahmin?

Who is a Brahmin?

In the Vanaparva of Maha Bharata, Yudhisthira, the Dharmaraja, had an encounter with a huge python, who was in fact king Nahusa, one of the forefathers of Yudhisthira. Nahusa, through his good deeds and piety, obtained as his reward, the throne of Heaven but then his downfall started. For he became too proud and forgot the distinction between Dharma and Adharma. He kicked at the head of sage Agastya, and was cursed, which turned him into a python for thousands of years. He had been waiting, in the form of a python, for long time, to be saved by the pious Yudhisthira through a discourse on Dharma.

So one day Nahusa (in python form) got hold of Bhima, and was about to crush him when Yudhisthira appeared in search of his brother. The fabulous power of Bhima, who used to kill endless numbers of demons, elephants, pythons etc., was of no avail. Nahusa was more powerful for he had a noble mission—a discourse on Dharma.

Nahusa said to Yudhisthira, “ I will let your brother go, if you answer my questions on Dharma”. So the discourse started. The first question was; what makes a Brahmin a Brahmin? Yudhisthira listed a number of virtues: truthfulness, generosity, forgiveness, goodness, kindness, self control and compassion—all these qualities together constitute a Brahmin. The list is not very different from the one found in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 verse 42.

The python asked, “But this goes against the principle of four varnas/ castes. For even a Shudra may have all these virtues. Virtues cannot be the monopoly of any caste.” Yudhisthira replied in unambiguous language, “Indeed ,if a Shudra is characterised by all these virtues, he is to be defined as a Brahmin. And if a Brahmin lacks them then he is to be regarded as a Shudra.”

The python asked again, “but if Brahminhood is constituted by a number of virtues, then birth (In a Brahmin family) would be in vain, where such virtues are conspicuous by their absence”. Yudhisthira replied, “Indeed. Since through sexual urge (raga) people copulate and produce children, birth is always a dubious criterion in such matters. Therefore, the old sages depend upon good conduct as the indicator of a better person. Even one who is a Brahmin by birth would be a Shudra through poor despicable conduct”. Yudhisthira even referred to the “self originating” (Swayambhuva) Manu as his authority.

**From the book “ The Gita in World Literature”

The Vedas consider all the four Varnas including Shudra as Arya and gives them utmost respect.

It is unfortunate that in this country of ours, where Vedas were the foundation of our culture, we forgot these original lessons of Vedas and got trapped in a variety of misconceptions regarding birth-based caste system and discrimination of people born in certain castes collectively known as Shudras.

The misleading theories of communists and biased indologists have already caused a great damage to our society and have sown seeds of differences. It is unfortunate that so-called Dalits consider themselves outcaste and hence we fail to unite together for prosperity and security. The only solution is to go back to the roots – the Vedas – and rebuild our understanding of our relationships with each other.

We don’t need religion to divide us in separate casts/classes, MONEY DOES IT ANYWAYS!!



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  • It is the duty of the rest of the world to uplift and maintain the Brahmin community to show the the new generation the values of humanity, integrity knoledge and wisdom

  • Really,a treasure I found,what ever the questions came or comes in mind are beautifully defined here.This topics is so nicely prepared that due to absense of this systematised prepared knowledge the burning problems of castism can never be uprooted. We should puiblish such matter widely as possible as large even in daily newspaper so that common public could get the reply of such technical religious questions for clearing their confusion and stood against common beliefs propagated by oppertunist who already ruined our society and country since century after century.

  • The seven Brahminical qualities are-
    4.controlling the senses
    6.Full knowledge
    7.Engagement in devotional service.

  • Thanks for explaining this important issue.
    Vedas tells us the truth.
    We are one big family
    Vasudeva Kutum Bakam

  • By the above mentioned standards,in the present day you will not find one single person a brahmin.i trust the reality will strike them where it should.i am yet to see one single brahmin by these standa.rds

  • even in devi purana the four hand of devi are defined as the birth givers to all four in varna system they are considerd eqaul and defined on the grounds of gunas bhramin are symbol of sattva,kshtriya are symbol of sattva and rajas and vaishya are symbol for rajas abd tamas….so only gunas of a person defines who he is and what creed he belongs to…

  • Vasudeva kudumbaga- seven heavenly traits constitute Brahmin whichever varna s/he belongs to. Be a Brahmin of Satya Yugha.

  • If this is true, then 99% of so-called Brahmins should be called Shudras and 95% of Shudras should be called Brahmins.

  • The good thing about the contemporary Indian is that being Indian born educated in the field of IT,excels himself as IT specialist in the USA even licking the finest graduate from MIT.
    The bad and the ugly thing is that ,when some one try to justify the outdated cast system as a noble of life. What a shame, wake up

  • If the above said theory is true then I think 99.99% of so-called Brahmins of present day would fall in the category of Shudra & 48% of present day Shudra will be in the category of Brahmin

  • These clearly show how superior Hinduism really is. People should be judged by his/her merit only and nothing else should matter. Then only our country will prosper. Reservation in the name of caste, minority etc. is taking us backward. Hope good senses will prevail.