The word "BrAhmaNa" (Re: [Advaita-l] RE: Vedic Shakhas...)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at
Wed Jan 19 16:09:29 CST 2005

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:
> 1) Male belonging to the priestly caste -- *both* birth and conduct
> need to be taken into account. The dharma shAstras themselves say (e.g.
> BaudhAyana), "One who does not study the scriptures, does not perform
> the sandhyA worship and agnihotra, even if he be born into a BrAhmaNa
> family, is to be considered a shUdra."

"like a shudra"  If the definition of Brahmanahood was purely ethical than
numerous examples of "bad brahmanas" like Ajamila, Aswatthama, etc. would
be oxymorons.  For that matter, there are morally superior Shudras.  So
perhaps this quotation is not so much passing judgement but stating a
simple fact.

> 2) Knower of Brahman- The jIvanmuktiviveka says (I forget the exact
> page), "In certain contexts, the word BrAhmaNa refers to the Knower of
> Brahman."

Yes this is true.  The context should make the usage clear in most cases.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a boy! See the pictures -

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