anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 6 14:03:26 CDT 1998
>I like to know etymological origin for the word Viprata - one can
>more deeper meaning beyond its direct meaning.
I dont have access to the etymological dictionary at the moment,
but I can hazard a guess nevertheless.
In the Manu Smriti, it is stated, janmanA jAyate shUdraH saMskArair
dvija uchyate | vidyayA yAti vipratvaM tribhiH shrotriya uchyate ||.
From this it is clear that one is a shUdra when born. By the perform
ance of the saMskAra's such as the upanayana (the sacred thread
ceremony) one becomes a "dvija", a twice born one. By learning,
vidyA, one becomes a "vipra" (vipratvaM = vipratA), and by knowing
the three Vedas, one becomes a shrotriya.
Another way of analyzing "vipra" is to treat it as "vi"'s qualifying
"pra." "pra" itself has several meanings, among which are "first,
beginning, source, forward, etc." "vi"'s role is to add distinction
to "pra" So vipra means the special or distinguished first class.
Why this meaning is related to brahmins becomes clear when we
observe that Brahmins are said to have been born first, and others
later from the PuruSha, as in
brAhmaNo .asya mukhamAsIt.h (PuruSha sUkta)
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