From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Jit Majumdar
- pertaining to Brahman; one who knows Brahman; one who embodies the qualities of Brahmanhood; one who expands in consciousness
- in Vedic and Brahminical Hinduism, the first, and the foremost in status and privileges, among the four varņas (see: varņa), who were created from the mouth of the Cosmic Being or Puruşa, and were given (according to the scriptures they had composed) the responsibility (and the right) of lawmaking, scripture writing and interpreting, developing philosophy and moral codes, educating the society, preaching and the performing of rituals and sacrifices as prescribed in the authoritative texts, the Vedas (Ŗg Veda). They occupied the foremost position in the Varņa system, and in general performed the role of the leaders, judges, arbitrators, intellectuals, opinionj makers, guardians, clergy, priests, and moral polices (fem: brāmanī).