Qualities of a Brahmin

The views of Hindu scriptures (Vedas and Gita) and Buddhist scriptures (The Dhammapada) on the qualities of a Brahmin

Guys, some of you may take objection to this post of mine as being along caste lines. But, I would like to maintain that “Brahmin” is just a code word for a “Sattvic person” or if you so wish, “a good person”. Seen that way, it is easy to see that the qualities enumerated below are things each one of us should try to cultivate to the extent we can, irrespective of what our so-called caste is. You MN Srinivas’ followers might say I am trying to Sanskritize myself and others. But, surely, as Rig Veda observes, it is true that we should “Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides”. So, don’t be hung up on caste identities and merely ennoble yourself by imbibing the below qualities:

What is the duty of a Brahmin?

There are eleven qualities of Brahmin as defined in the Vedas:

1. Ability to forgive
2. Kindness to everyone with equality
3. Pursuit internal/external Holiness
4. Follows Truth
5. Control over Maya or moh
6. Avoids sinful activities
7. Seeker of knowledge
8. Educating others
9. knowledge of Vedas
10. Meditation
11. Knowledge of Brahm

Bhagwad Gita 18.42 states that Brahmin should work by following these prime qualities:

1. Tranquility
2. Restraint
3. Austerity
4. Patience
5. Integrity
6. Knowledge
7. Belief in a hereafter
8. Peacefulness
9. Purity
10. Tolerance
11. Honesty
12. Wisdom
13. Religiousness

The above are the intrinsic qualities of work for Brahmins.

Brahmins are to learn and teach some of the following Vedic concepts in detail:

1. Spirituality
2. Philosophy
3. Dance and music
4. Religion
5. Rituals
6. Yog
7. Temples, arts and culture
8. Grammar and pronunciation
9. Astrology and astronomy
10. Logic and mathematics
11. Law, military strategy and martial arts
12. Surgery, medicine and technology

Similarly, In the Dhammapada (Chapter 26) Buddha Lists the qualities that make a person Brahmana.

He who is Thoughtful, Blameless, Settled, Dutiful, without Passions and who has attained the highest ends is a Brahmana.

He who is Bright in his Meditation is a Brahmana.

A man Rid of Evil is a Brahmana.

He who does not attack his aggressor in anger is a Brahmana.

He who holds his mind from the pleasures of life is a Brahmana.

He who has no wish to injure and in whom the pain has ceased is a Brahmana.

He who is controlled in Body, Mind and Speech and does not offend others through these means is a Brahmana.

No one is a Brahmana because of his hairstyle or by birth or family, he whom in there is truth and righteousness is a Blessed Brahmana.

A man regardless of his dirty attire, emaciated body if he lives in solitude and meditates, he is a Brahmana.

One is not a Brahmana because he is rich or because his mother is one, a poor if his desires have vanished is a Brahmana.

He who has cut all fetters, who never trembles, is independent and unshackled is a Brahmana

He is a Brahmana who is free from anger, dutiful, virtuous, without appetite who has subdued his body.

He is a Brahmana who does not cling to pleasures, like water on the lotus leaf, like mustard seed on the point of a needle

He is a Brahmana who has understood suffering, has put down his burden (worries & attachment) and is unshackled

He is a Brahmana whose knowledge is deep, who possesses wisdom, who knows the right way and the wrong and has attained the highest end.

He is a Brahmana who keeps aloof from both layman and mendicants, and has few desires.

He is a Brahmana who finds no fault with other beings whether weak or strong.

He is a Brahmana who does not kill nor cause slaughter.

He is a Brahmana who is Tolerant with the intolerant, mild with fault finders and free from passion among the passionate.

He is a Brahmana from whom Anger & Hatred, Pride & Envy have dropped.

He is a Brahmana who utters True speech, Instructive and Free from Harshness and Offends no one.

He is a Brahmana who Takes nothing from the world, which is not given to him be it large or small, Good or Bad.

He is a Brahmana who Fosters no desire for this world or the next, has no inclinations and is free.

He is a Brahmana who has No interest, and has reached the depths of immortality.

He is a Brahmana who is above both good and Evil, above the bondage of both; free from Grief, Sin and Impurity.

He is a Brahmana who is Pure, Serene, Undisturbed and in whom all Gaiety is gone.

He is a Brahmana who has successfully passed through the impossible world of vanities and reached the other shore.

He is a Brahmana who is Thoughtful, Guileless, Free from Doubts, free from Attachments and is Content.

He is a Brahmana who Leaving all Desires, Travels without a home, in whom all concupiscence is extinct .

He is a Brahmana who leaving all belongings, travels without a home and in whom covetousness is extinct .

He is a Brahmana who after leaving all bondage to men has risen above the bondage to even gods, and is free from all and every bondage.

He is a Brahmana who has stopped entertaining both pleasure and pain and has ended the germination of renewed life.

He is a Brahmana who calls nothing his own, and is free from the world of Love.

He is a Brahmana who is manly, noble, the hero, the sage, the conqueror, the awakened.

He is a Brahmana who knows his past, who sees heaven and hells and has reached end of births and is perfect in knowledge.

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  1. Sir, could you please guide us on what to read to calm the mind, which will not be difficult to grasp, easy to understand and simple in practical life and revolutionised thinking.


    1. The only way to escape karma and its effects is to realize that you are not the doer. I refer you to these blog posts of mine on the falsity of the “sense of doership” – https://self-realization.blog/2022/02/01/false-sense-of-doership/ ; https://self-realization.blog/2020/01/05/sense-of-doership/ ; https://self-realization.blog/2020/05/08/ramakrishna-paramahansa-on-the-sense-of-doership/ ; https://self-realization.blog/2018/10/09/ramana-maharshi-on-sense-of-doership-karma-and-karma-yoga/ ; https://self-realization.blog/2021/08/06/bhagavad-gita-on-the-sense-of-doership/

      Also, consider this logic: Are you the thinker of your thoughts? Clearly not because it’s not as if you are sitting in your mind and choosing the thoughts you think. Thoughts just pop into your head, and you keep thinking and feeling that you are the thinker of those thoughts, though clearly that is not the case. Thoughts are dependent on the whole of your biological past and past life experiences and knowledge that have made you into the person you are today, or more specifically, the way they have conditioned your mind to be the way it is in the present, AND the environmental cues and influences impinging on you in the present and interacting with your mind. It is this interaction between your mind conditioned by the past and the present environment in which it finds itself that determines what thoughts are produced in your mind, in which you as a person have no say. Thus, if you are not the thinker of your thoughts how can you be the doer of your actions, because it is thoughts that determine and drive your actions.


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