In vedic literature “Purushasuktam” hymn of Yajurvedaranyaka, which is chanted on all auspicious occasions and also for ritualistic worship in temples, explains the process of creation. The Universal Consciousness from which the whole world has emanated is allegorically referred to a Supreme Person “Purusha” from whose body parts humans were created. From His face ‘ Brahmins’ originated. As face stands for intellect, thought and discriminating power Brahmins are expected to lead the society with their intellect and wisdom on spiritual path.
Every living creature is destined to perform action. Even so, man who is endowed with power to think is all the more bound to perform action. All actions lead to outcomes or results. Every result leads to happiness or unhappiness. Both the types of results are impermanent .Hindu Scriptures explain how to perform action , yet not get influenced by the result of the action. This is the first step in spiritual progress. A person born as a Brahmin has the obligation to justify his birth by seeking knowledge of both the types ‘ apara’ and ‘para’. All knowledge that leads to understand Divinity and reach it is called knowledge of ‘para’ type. Rest of it is called of ‘apara’ type. Brahmins are expected to attain knowledge and disseminate it for the welfare of the society in general and on personal plane relentlessly pursue the path to reach Divinity and guide others.
Divine worship is a part and parcel of a Brahmin’s life journey. Ritualistic worship, chanting the Divine name(s) and meditating on the name and form of the Divine are the three forms of worship. The first type involves the usage of all organs of senses and action. It becomes subtle when only the name is chanted as only speech is involved. The worship becomes even more subtle when silent meditation is practiced.
Since the world descended from cosmic consciousness, which is attribute less, into gross and grosser forms of space (ether) air. Fire, Water and matter; the way back to reach the source of creation is to direct one’s own inner self from gross to more and more subtle modes of worship so that ,finally the Attribute less Divine Source is reached. This process is called liberation or self realization. A Brahmin has to perform daily three times the prayer to Gayatri the cosmic power of the Sun God at the appointed timings. Over and above he may choose to perform worship of God in any of the forms he chooses.
The ‘Shodasa’ or sixteen step idol worship constitutes the first step in spiritual life of a Brahmin. God is worshipped as Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti ,Aditya, Ganesha or Skandha. Rigveda says
Everything in creation is characterized by five aspects. They are existence of the object (Asti), knowledge that illumines the object (Bhati), the use or purpose of the object (Preeti), the form of the object (Rupa), and the name of the object (Nama). In this world all objects are identified by their form and name. The first three aspects viz. existence of a thing, the light that illumines it in the mind and its purpose are not cognized. They constitute the Divine aspect of every object in creation. This Divine attribute is the same for all and forms the basis for creation.
Every life form is a wave in an ocean. The wave and the ocean are not different from the waters. In the same way every animate or inanimate object in creation, even though their form and name may be different originated from the same Supreme Consciousness. This knowledge when experienced under the guidance of a Master (Guru) a person becomes a Brahmin. Hence, every person born as a Brahmin has to attain this experience and be called a true Brahmin.
But, in this mundane world one may doubt that it may not be possible to become a Brahmin of that nature. When we practice the basic principles of true human life – Truth (Satya), Right Conduct (Dharma),Peace (Shanti), Love (Prema) and Nonviolence (Ahimsa) as the corner stones then a slow but sure way to achieve Brahminhood will be found. On the foundations of truth the walls of righteousness are built. Love exhibited in action is righteousness or Dharma. When love is preserved in heart, peace can be experienced. One can easily understand the principle of nonviolence when the origin of love is traced in our inner self. Ritualistic worship, meditation, yoga and all other methods accelerate the process of liberation.
Ramayana explains how king Janaka ruled ‘Videha’ as a Rajarshi. We can rule our body kingdom (Deha) in a controlled manner in the same way and live in this world and finally become a true Brahmin or even Brahmarshi.