Faith

Qualifying factor

The most fascinating aspect in human beings is the differences in physical and subtle natures that are unique to each individual. In addition, birth, wealth, status, learning, valour, skill, achievement, etc, also compound the differences. Scriptural tradition speaks of the four Varnas — the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya and the Sudra — as a means of classification where the Brahmana is seen to be distinct in terms of knowledge and the Kshatriya in terms of valour and so on. The term ‘Brahmana’ is discussed in the Upanishads and sacred texts and it is shown that only a person in whom are manifest truthfulness, charity, forbearance, good conduct, ahimsa, austerity and compassion is a Brahmana according to the sacred tradition, pointed out Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a lecture.

The import of the term Brahmin refers to the knower of Brahman and the Puranas show that many sages who have realised the Brahman do not necessarily hail from the Brahmana category. Vasishta was born to Urvasi, Rishyasringa born to a deer, Agastya born to a pot, and so on. Sage Valmiki is held to have been robber earlier and by association with the Saptarishis and later with Narada, he underwent a transformation and became a sage. It is held that Narada kindled his conscience and asked him to meditate on “Rama Nama”. He accepted this instruction and meditated intensely for many years. In due course an anthill grew around him and he came out of it.

An individual’s worth rests only on conduct and inner purity by which one pursues the quest to realise the Brahman. Those in whom this conduct is absent are to be exempted from this category, though they by birth they may claim to this title.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 8:36:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/qualifying-factor/article6528215.ece

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