Who is a Brahmin? by Sharada

Blog post by Sharada Subramanian

Enge Brahmanan…?

Well, I hope to keep this one short…!

I had this topic in mind for various reasons and observing people around who belong to this community. As decades passed by, the definition of how a Brahmin should be or rather shouldn’t be is completely misunderstood. Let me go a step ahead and say “I don’t find Brahmins as such but just those who belong to a caste by the name.  Today, when I see around, I do not see any Brahmin by deeds, but Brahmin by convenience and situations. Brahmins on need basis.

Who is a Brahmin…?

One who has no materialistic desires for himself and has no longing for what is ahead of him. – He is a Brahmin.

One who has no hate in his heart and has only love to give. – He is a Brahmin.

One who has no attachments to anything/anyond during his life. – He is a Brahmin.

One who has true knowledge and willing to share it with others immaterial of the caste and religion the ‘others’ belong to.– He is a Brahmin.

One who is fearless and can stand for what is right rather than what is being told – He is a Brahmin.

One who has high degree of self-control, humility and patience – He is a Brahmin.

One who does not discriminate people based on their castes and treats all equal. – He is a Brahmin.

One who thinks talks and does good deeds to people around him – He is a Brahmin.

One who respects mankind as a whole and not divide it into sections of SC, SBC, OC etc. – He is a Brahmin.

Who is not a Brahmin….?

One who differentiates people baded on castes and religion – He is not a Brahmin.

One who thinks himself to be supreme and other communities to be below him – He is not a Brahmin.

One who recites the Vedas and also possesses greed and lust at heart – He is not a Brahmin.

One who has limited thoughts about people and society around him and lives in -ve perception – He is not a Brahmin.

One who abuses woman emotionally, physically and mentally. – He is not a Brahmin.

One who performs Sandhyavandhanam thrice a day yet treats his wife with no respect – He is not a Brahmin.

One who performs rituals and chants mantra with a selfish thought of keeping only him and his family happy – He is not a Brahmin.

One who accumulates wealth and not share it with the needy – He is not Brahmin.

I can go on and on. Show me one Brahmin priest who lives only by his everyday bhiksha and performs his rituals and expects nothing in return?


Image Courtesy: ISKCON Desire Tree

The Bhagwad Gita says –

Brahmin has no race, religion or space limitation. Wherever, whenever, whoever has the qualities of Self-control, tranquility, uprightness, patience, purity, humility, learning, austerity, wisdom, and faith or have greater tendency towards those qualities is a Brahmin…”

So next time when you have a birth in your family, do not feed her/his mind that she/he is Brahmin because her/his parents are one, bring them up by telling what Brahmin actually is, do not dilute the beauty of the definition by limiting it to birth alone, for life is what happens after that.

Brahmin is beyond a Religion. Beyond a caste. It is the deeds you do and the way of life that defines you to be a Brahmin. You are not Brahmin because you are born one. You become one in the way you live.

It does not matter if you are Joseph or Jameel or Jambunathan, you are a Brahmin by the deeds you do in your life and not by your birth.

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18 thoughts on “Who is a Brahmin? by Sharada

  1. I think Sharada Subramanian himself is not a Brahmin .. Brahmin’s I mean kattarpanti only follow one book named “Manusmriti” please ask your elder ones in your family what is Manusmriti u will get all your answers .. I m also an upper caste person by birth but .. I m Human first & not of any caste at any given time.. Love Humans


  2. Most unwanted and neglected community now a days are Brahmins and the minority in India. Writer should focus on where this community stands in comparison with other communities.

    What governments are doing to protect the interest of this community. Nobody raises voice in support of this community though criticise.

    Certain parts of writings are totally disagreeable.


  3. I think there is a fundamental difference between Brahman and a brahmin.. The word brahman means the one who is like brahma, devoid of all material attachments and has no caste or creed. A brahmin is a person who belongs to a certain sect in the hindu community. The author got it all mixed up..


  4. Very well written. Recently when my father attained the heavenly abode, the karma was being performed for the we says, the first question asked by the Brahmin was,” how much can you spend for the rituals?” Then his Dakshinay was in thousands and he retelled the expenditure to be in lakes. Fine. But even during the rituals were to begin his mobile kept on ringing and his focus was on what he could earn from his clients. So for us his advice was “yosichu solungo yethene neengo afford panna mudiyum nu. Yenaku varay edathulayum karmathu engagement erukku.” We were really shocked. A Brahmin talking like a businessman. So that is the truth of present day Brahmins.


  5. The definitions given are for saints and sanyasis and not for Brahmins. Bramins are expected to be only saintly. The concept of SC/ST etc were all started only by the Government to earn votes. Don’t think that those who are born in Brahmin family thinks themselves to be superior. Today they consider that to be a curse due to Government’s reservation policies. Each and every Brahmin family are subjected to severe sufferings. All are aware that they are denied admission in schools and colleges, Government jobs etc. even those who have scored high marks. They don’t protest as their tolerence limit is very high. Politicians and film makers exploits this good quality of Bramins to their advantage to make money and earn votes. Majority of Bramins are today below the poverty level. They silently digest everything including the arrest of their religious leader. The author is also doing the same thing to get into good books of non-brahmins. Yes tolerence limit of Brahmins are high. Go ahead. Why don’t you define other casts too.


  6. I accept the facts u written im not brahmin but i see lots of vangent nature complete racisim by them in many it telecom fields… I myself faced lots of issue with these cruel idiots… But damn sure they brahmin s only by birth and cross cable.. But no humanity and kind.. Verry cunning minded on spreading racism


  7. Hi, it’s a good read. As you mentioned Brahmins should not consider themselves as superior to any other caste. Are we thinking we are superior? The answer would be no. I know a friend who was denied college admission just because he/she was a Brahmin. We live in a society where “Brahmins by birth” have to put all their efforts to secure good results in any field and while (ps: I am not discriminating, but my Govt did) SC, ST and other backward classes get everything at a reduced price even admissions and job opportunities because of their castes. If they can deny my right because of their caste, then why shouldn’t a Brahmin.


  8. The one who dwells in Brahman alone is a Brahmin. Accidents of birth does not entitle one to any claim to such a title. Ancestory and longitudinal claims as a result of the accident of birth should be abhored. Period.

    To be a Brahmin, it means his/her mental disposition (Guna) and work (Karya) are in tune with HIM all the time. The person may engage in secular world of transactions yet his mind is anchored in HIM. That person alone is a Brahmin. Such a person does not see differences but only the ONE in all forms and names.

    The Purusha Suktam brings it out beautifully. In the Purusha, his head which thinks and speaks is Brahmin, his upper limbs of action are Kshatriya, the lower limbs are Vyasya and his toiling feet are Sudras.

    Everyone is born a spiritual Sudra. Everyone can aspire to be a Brahmin over time. Our previous ‘vasanas’ – traits that we are born with may come in the way of our inner growth. With our free will, the choices we make are up to us. But never should we lay claim to a title which we are not. That is the greatest sacrilige.


  9. i totally agree with the core message you want to convey and strongly believe that the way how we live and what we do puts us in one of those four classes but over the period of time the system has been misconceived to be based on birth. However, my personal opinion is: in this day and age – practically it is not possible to follow all the rules defined for each class. I believe each person wears a different hat based on what they do on a given situation.

    some might quote you have deviated a bit off the heading – yes i agree; could you have avoided it – yes definitely; but… so what?? End of the day this a blog not a dictionary 🙂


  10. You lost me here.

    “I can go on and on. Show me one Brahmin priest who lives only by his everyday bhiksha and performs his rituals and expects nothing in return?”

    Living without addiction to materialistic possessions, and living in poverty without food to eat and education for your kids isn’t the same thing. Tell me how many people even pay a living bhiksha? It’s not wrong to ask for what you think you deserve, so long as your not hoarding, stealing, and giving back in charity what’s excess. Priests are already among the poorest in society.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel this is superficial..these are traits for a good human being I would say. We cannot define a Brahmin without touching the Varnas subject, however to write or discuss about it in detail my knowledge is not complete. I think vedham than pramanam to discuss or define a Brahmin.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Still a biased, restrictive description of a Brahmin. No amount of quotes from sacred texts will help in the definition. You have wildly deviated from the topic. This is not all-encompassing. Highly misleading post. No offense intended.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree with you on all aspects ..However I do feel that despite all this Brahmins worship Hindu Gods, are devoted to Hindu Gods..One who is in search of God and Knowledge is a Brahmin..One whose job is service to God, one who fears and at the same time is devoted to God…Fortunately or unfortunately we do not worship Jesus Christ, Allah, Budha or any other Gods …we pray only to Hindu Gods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And, that is primarily because of the Brahmin culture that we are “familiar with” has for long been based in the Indian subcontinent, where the Hinduism is the longest practiced dharma. Consequently, since the practice of being a Brahmin also dates back to when the Hindu dharma amalgamated, it is only quite natural that the spiritual beliefs of the Brahmin culture is also largely based on Hinduism and the Gods associated with it. Other religious practices came to the Indian subcontinent only in the last few centuries, while the practices of being Brahmin and Hindu go back to thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent.

      Based on the characteristics that have been listed as that of a Brahmin’s, you definitely can find “Brahmins” in the other parts of the world too, who may be associated with other religions that we well rooted or originated there.


  14. Very well written!! I absolutely agree to this thought process.
    A brahmin is by deeds, not by just showcasting in front of others & boasting about being a brahmin,
    A brahmin is not the one who sends whatsapp & FB messages about vedas & puranas & has hatred filled inside his heart.
    To prove that you are a first class brahmin, you need to Practice what you preach!

    Liked by 1 person


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