Brahmin

ब्राह्मण - ˈbrɑːmənə

A person who knows God; a priest. Brahmin is one of the four Hindu castes. (1)

Representing the fourth and highest Hindu caste or varna in the ancient system, brahmins are characterized by their contemplative nature. In sharing their spiritual wisdom, brahmins are both inspired and inspiring. (2) The other castes of sudras (peasants), vaisyas (merchants), and kshatriyas (noblemen or warriors) represent lower levels of spiritual consciousness. (1)

Members of the brahmin caste are driven by the motivation of moksha, or liberation. (3) As highly spiritual beings, brahmins continually ask the questions of what is true and what is divine will. Brahmins realize that the way to teach others is to remain immersed in inner bliss, and members of the highest caste able to share their consciousness with members of lower castes (4)

Traditionally, brahmins are designated to serve as spiritual teachers or priests. Although priesthood may be a mere profession, for the brahmin spiritual wisdom is the only knowledge worth having, and the wisdom may be shared freely with others. (5) The natural duties of the brahmin are toward mind control (concentration), sense control, self-restraint, purity, forgiveness, integrity, wisdom, faith, and meditation on the higher truth. Although these duties are shared by all people, brahmins must work toward the perfection of their potential. (6)

Members of the brahmin caste fulfill the spiritual calling. The brahmin type has attained eternal rest within himself by conquering his ego and ceases to identify threats outside of himself. (1) The constitution of brahmins is marked by the predominance of the sattva guna; sattva is the principle of enlightenment. (2)

Brahmin may also refer to the social caste in India based on heredity; however, the ancient Hindu varna system was actually based on man’s natural inclinations and purposes despite his social class at birth. (2)

References

  1. a b c Awaken to Superconsciousness, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 16, “The Higher Stages.”
  2. a b c Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 41, “An Idyl in South India.”
  3. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Glossary.
  4. Out of the Labyrinth, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 8, “Truth in Relativity,” Part II, “Directional Relativity.”
  5. Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography, by Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 13, “Attacks: Racial, Religious, Journalistic.”
  6. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, by Paramhansa Yogananda. Chapter 31, “You Shall Attain Me.”