Brahmins of India – An Enigma

Brahmins of India – An EnigmaBrahmins of India
Origin, Traits & Essence

By Ramesh Kulkarni
(30 Yrs in IT industry as VP/President in India, USA & Canada)
Center for introspection & enlightenment - Canada

There is a considerable amount of mystery, curiosity as well as controversy associated with the Brahmins - not only in India but even around the world.
They remain an enigma even to this day.

The word Brahmin is derived from the Sanskrit word Brahman (Sanskrit: ब्रह्मन्)
The word Brahman has several different connotations ie ‘The universal soul’, ‘the highest universal principle’, “the ultimate reality in the universe”, “explanations of sacred knowledge or doctrine'.

A Brahmin is a ‘Seeker’ - who tries to seek Knowledge about - Truth, Self, Nature & Universe.
And then disseminate such knowledge for the benefit of humanity.
All those people who pursued these noble & virtuous objectives were collectively called ‘Brahmins’.
The essential qualities for such an endeavor are – a free thinking spirit, an inquisitive nature, a sharp intellect, observation skills & a perceptive/analytical mind.
And of course – extraordinary determination & compassion.

Dating 4000 yrs back - Brahmins were originally residents of the Indo Gangetic region – present day Punjab, Kashmir, Pakistan (Punjab/Sind), Haryana & Uttar Pradesh.

Contributions of the Brahmins
Spread over a period of the next 1500 years - 1000’s of Brahmins (men & women) created a vast body of knowledge base.
It began with the creation of the Sanskrit Language.
A language with well defined rules of grammar & syllables. sanskrit -Everything is One
A word vocabulary that was precise with very little ambiguity (no abstract meanings).
Phonetics - Listening to chanting of Vedic hymns has a therapeutic effect on the brain on even those who don’t follow Sanskrit.
The deterministic process in the construct of Sanskrit is a testimony to the analytical & scientific mindset of the Brahmins of that era.
It is the most apt natural language for AI Computer programming.
Sanskrit also became the source for many Indian languages.

Using this elegant language the Brahmins accumulated & assimilated a humongous ‘Body of knowledge” in the areas of science, astronomy, astrology, math, medicine (ayurveda & surgery), health wellness (Yoga/Meditation etc), literature (texts, hymns, mantras etc ), political science (arthshastra) etc.

One of Brahmins (sage Ved Vyasa) documented this initial knowledge in a hymns (poetic verse) format called Vedas.
He composed the Vedas into 4 parts
RigVedas - An ode to nature ie Fire, sun, wind, clouds, earth, rivers etc in the form of hymns.
YajurVedas - Instructions of the religious rituals/sacrifice – Meant for the priests.
SamaVedas - Hymns about religious rituals.
AtharvaVedas - Spells against enemies, sorcerers, and diseases.

Later on 1000’s of Brahmins added to the this collections namely
Upanishads – Philosophical discourse on Vedas.
Puranas - Historic texts (usually about a royal lineage or local legends).
Ithihasa - Recorded as they happened – Ramayana & Mahabharata.

Thru these exhaustive scriptures the Brahmins envisioned & hypothesized on sophisticated concepts like - God (Brahma), Devil (Rakshas), Prayers(Prarthana), Soul (atma), Reincarnation (Samsara/Punarjanama), Interrelatedness of the universe (Karma Theory- Cause & effect), Universal brotherhood (Vishwa kutumbakam ie world is a family), Mental liberation (Moksha), Truth (Satya) Good, Evil (Adharma), Duty( Dharma) , Responsibility (Kartavya), Respect (Adar/Namrata) , Morality (Naitikata), Ethics (Nitisastra), Honor, Nurturing/ protecting nature & all its creations etc.

For 1000’s of yrs - Every generation of Brahmins added to this vast repertoire of knowledge.

They passed on this knowledge over generations - initially thru ‘Sruthi’ ie memorizing & oral transmission (mostly in poetic or musical form).
And in later years thru ‘Smriti’ ie written form in Sanskrit language.

2300 yrs ago a trade network route evolved (via land & sea - The silk route) that expanded from India into Arabia, Europe & Asia.
Travelers from these lands visited India and news about the vast knowledge base spread to other continents.
The science in Vedas became the foundation for science in these lands (present day Europe & Arabia) - especially Math (Algebra, square roots ec), Physics (concepts of time), Architecture, Astronomy (structure of the universe & planetary movements), Metallurgy, Aviation, Taxonomy (classification system by Carolus Linnaeus - used extensively in Ayurveda etc), Arthshastra (The Prince/ The Art of War by Machiavelli) etc etc

This humungous body of knowledge by the Brahmins of India – Also became the source for all major religions in different parts of the world.
1) Hinduism – 4000 yrs ago the people of Indo-gangetic plains including present south (east/west/south India) quickly adapted these belief/ value systems, rituals & prayers and integrated them with their local languages, customs, culture & traditions.
2) Buddhism – 2500 yrs ago Gautama Buddha who lived in what is now Bihar/UP founded this religion. Buddhism spread eastward into Lagos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand etc
3) Christianity – Around 2100 yrs ago Jesus Christ a seeker of knowledge/truth travelled from Jerusalem to meet the Brahmins.
He spent 14 yrs with them in Kashmir/Himalayas absorbing all their knowledge.
He went back to Jerusalem to preach.
Bible was written/compiled 100 yrs after his death & underwent 2 revisions (I testament and II testament).
4) Islam – was founded around 1420 yrs ago by PBUH Muhammad. He himself could not read or write. Quran was revealed to him by Allah over a period of 23 yrs via Angel Gabriel (Jibreel). Quran was compiled by Zayd ibn Thabit 20 yrs after the death of Prophet Muhammad upon the orders of Abu baker.
5) Sikhism – 600 yrs ago was founded by Sri guru nanak in the Punjab (present day Punjab in India/Pakistan) region.
Guru granth sahib was compiled by Guru Arjan 64 yrs after Sri Guru Nanaks death.

Migration, Invasions & conversion
3500 yrs back Brahmins began migrating to different parts (south, west, east) of India.
They integrated with the local population & settled down.
But continued proselytizing their knowledge, value systems & rituals.

Islamic/Mughal invasions
Around 1100 yrs ago Mahmud an Islamic ruler from Khorasan region (present day Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzebekistan, Tajisktan etc) invaded northern India.
And over the next 600 yrs Islamic & other Mughal rulers like Babur from Mongolia etc continued the invasions.
All these invaders looted, raped, killed the people and also occupied and ruled India.
Millions of Brahmins were killed - because they refused to surrender their belief/Value system.

Conversion of Brahmins
These invaders also forcibly converted a large population of Brahmins in Kashmir & Pakistan to Islam.
From free spirited thinkers, seekers, creators, discoverers & spiritual leaders these “converted” Brahmins became tame followers.
Subjugated to a foreign religion.
Suppressed & muzzled under an alien value system.
Intellectually incarcerated.
Victims of mental claustrophobia.
For the last 1000 years...

Traits of Brahmins
The most striking characteristic of a Brahmin is his Honesty & integrity – Physical, Moral & intellectual.Brahmins
Brahmins are dependable & trustworthy – Whether it is wealth, money, property, task, responsibility or any personal /business dealings.
You will rarely find Brahmins involved in criminal activities, violence or terrorism
They maintain austere & frugal lifestyle.
Accumulating material wealth is not on their priority list.
The pursuit of knowledge & maintaining purity of body &mind is their highest priority.
Brahmins are peaceful, tolerant & non-violent.- not only towards all human beings but all living beings as well as nature.
They are sensitive, inclusive, and progressive with an enlarged vision.
Brahmins are innately compassionate.
Reflecting in their contribution to spreading peace, love, Joy & community welfare around the world.

Education & Professions
Brahmins are highly committed to advanced education.
Children are encouraged and motivated by parents for higher education.
Their preferred choice of profession - Priesthood, Researchers, Doctors, Engineers, Educationist, Architects, Astrologers, Civil services, Business Managers, Musicians, Arts, Law etc
Rarely will you find a Brahmin doing physical labor/ menial work.
Brahmins are highly dedicated & committed to their work and profession.
They have a strong innate sense of ethics, commitment, duty & responsibility towards their work.

Food habits
Brahmins are Strict Vegetarians.
Food habits include light breakfast, sumptuous lunch & meagre dinner.
Lunch consists of variety of items ie pickles, Indian soup, 2-3 types of vegetables, Raita (Indian salad) , Rice, Indian bread and a sweet.
Frequent Fasting is a norm in their lifestyle.
Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs and Weed etc is taboo.
Frowned upon & considered a sign of mental weakness.

Daily habits – Rituals & Prayers
Brahmins normally wakeup at 5.00 am or earlier.
This is followed by bath, prayers, yoga & meditation.
Culminating in a healthy & nutritious breakfast.
Afternoon & evening prayers (Sandhya vandanam) sum up the day’s activities
Brahmins strictly adhere to this custom irrespective of location or climatic conditions.
They maintain very high level of personal cleanliness & hygiene.
And this extends to the Kitchen too.
As an example food in Brahmin family is cooked only after a bath.
Brahmins conceived a large numbers of festivals/special events for celebration ie
Diwali, Dassera, Durga pooja, Ganesh chaturthi, Holi, Rang panchami , Rakhee (brother-sister bonding), Makar sankranti, Krishnajanmasthi, etc
All festivals are celebrated enthusiastically accompanied by Rituals, prayers, delicious food & sweets.

Brahmins typically marry within their community.
This is to preserve their qualities, culture & traditions.
Brahmins have a unique system of documenting their lineage (Gotras) and use ’ janam Kundali (Astrological Birth Chart aka Horoscope) to match the gunas (compatibility points) of the bride and groom.
Matching of ‘gunas’ (minimum 16) is a must for any marriage.
Brahmins are typically ‘One wife/husband for life & for all reincarnated lives’
Brahmin men as well as women folks - are caring, tolerant, devoted & committed towards their spouses.
Divorce is non-existent or very very rare if at all.
The sanctity of familial ties is ensured by creating a pious and spiritual atmosphere at home.

Konkansth Brahmin
Around 300 yrs ago a large group of European Jews hounded & persecuted by the Christians and Islamist travelled all the way to India (a safe land) and settled in the western coast of Maharashtra (Konkan).
They surveyed the land loved/respected the Brahminic way of life – And learnt it. Practised it. Adapted it.
Over a period of time they completely integrated with the other Brahmin community.
They are easily recognisable because of their fair skin and light blue/green eyes.
With innate survival instincts, administrative skills & military experience and the having suffered at the hands of religious fanatics - they set about protecting the Brahminic system (Sanatan dharma) by military might (Peshwa dynasty) and then later on creating organizations like RSS (Veer Savarakar etc).
Their contribution to the protection of ‘Hinduism’ has been immense.

Conclusion – New age Brahmins
Brahminism is not a caste or a class system neither is it by birth or hereditary.scientist- everything is one
Anyone with above belief /value system/ traits & adapts to brahminic way of living - is a Brahmin.
All the modern day scientists/professors in all fields of science across the world - are Brahmins.
Burning the midnight lamp
Adding incrementally and at times profoundly.
Contributing, complimenting and supplementing.
To this huge body of knowledge base.
And making the world a safe & better place for Humanity.

Journey’s end
For 4000 yrs the Brahmins have relentlessly pursued the quest for - The Construct, Meaning & Purpose of life/Nature/Universe.
A quest which has intrigued & tormented them for 4000 yrs.
It has been a long, violent & turbulent journey.
A journey that has hopefully reached its climax - with our centers exhaustive treatise.
Presented in our science documentary

Everything is One – Decoding the mystery of Life
Part 1 – Origin, Evolution & Nature of Life
Part 2 – Purpose of life

An Initiative for a utopian world & human life based on Science.
A documentary meant for scientists in the areas of Bio-science, Bio-technology, Computer science, AI, Physics, Neuro sciences, Humanities …..

Email us at and we will send you a free link to the documentary.

With love

Ramesh Kulkarni
Center for introspection & enlightenment
Towards a utopian world based on science
Vancouver Canada