Brahmana – Caste or Varna?

I find the difference is between an endomagous group and an ideal.

Any good book on Hinduism will speak of the Brahmana as “ideal” rather than as a Caste group per se. If it does speak of the Brahmana as Caste group then it speaks of the group as a carrier and preserver of the ideal of the Brahmana Varna.

I think we should remind ourselves that the Brahmana Varna, just like the other Varnas – Kshatriya, Vyshya and Shudra is composed of many castes or endogamous groups of people who either due to their existing occupations, identified with the appropriate Varna or chose the Varna by adopting the appropriate occupation.

This seems the only logical manner to unravel the Caste and Varna “puzzle”.

PS – (We) should test each claim by an individual or a Caste group to be Brahmana/nical by what the individual or the asserting Caste group does for a living. If it is not in accord with what the Brahmana Varna stipulates, then he/they cannot be of a Brahmana Varna. In Kannada there is a term that is used half in jest – “Kalla Brahmana” (False Brahmana). This is used for a person who claims to be a Brahmana but conducts himself differently. Actually the correct manner would be to recognize that individual within the Varna that his actions/occupation is most suited.

– Namaste

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