The word ‘Brahmin’ finds its meaning from Vedic Bhaashyas as given below:
1(ब्राह्मणः) वेदोपवेदवित्। (यजुर्वेद: 12.96)
(A Brahmin is he who knows the four Vedas and the four Up-Vedas as well.) Aayurveda is the Up-Veda of Rigveda, meaning that a Brahmin should know the medical sciences to be a selfless Physician. Dhanurveda is the Up Veda of Yajurveda, meaning that the Brahmin should know politics well, and he should be able to teach real politics in the interest of the country. Gaandharvaveda is the Up-Veda of Samveda, meaning that the Brahmin should know music to recite Samveda and other hymns. Arthaveda is the Up Veda of Atharvaveda, meaning that the Brahmin should know economics and the uses of domestic industry (Sh-Vidya).
2 (ब्राह्मणाः)व्याकरणवेदेश्वरवेत्तारः। (ऋ1.164.45)
(Brahmins are they who know God, Vedas and Sanskrit Grammar.)
Sanskrit Grammar is not merely a set of rules for the language. It’s more than this. Sanskrit comprises both type of words- Vedic (found in the Vedas) and Laukik (to be used in the world). Sanskrit Grammar teaches us the use of words according to the Vedas, according to the worldly relations and according to the code of conduct. A Brahmin should be well-conversant in all these fields.)
3 (ब्राह्मणः) वेदेश्वरविद् अनयोः सेवक उपासको वा। (यजुर्वेद: 31.11)
(A Brahmin must know and devote to Vedas. He must know and worship God.)
A true Brahmin knows God. He knows that God is omnipresent, merciful,justiceful and fountain of knowledge, love, bliss etc. He knows how God is different from individual Souls. He knows how God is separate from the Matter and its properties. The Brahmin not only knows God, he prays to and worship him. He does a selfless worship. He prays to him but for the country, for the entire humanity, for all living beings and never for himself alone.
A true Brahmin knows the Veda, i.e. the four Vedas combined. He knows that Veda is the voice of God, that Veda is the voice of God alone, and that only Veda is the voice of God. He not only knows Vedas but really understands their meaning. He obeys andfollows the Vedas. He applies their saying to what he eats, what he wears, what he earns, what he speaks, what he teaches and what he lives. He applies the Vedas on the economics, politics, defence of the country and character of the nation. He applies the Vedas to the birth and death of individuals, to the marriage and remarriage of couples, and to the bond and liberation of souls
He serves God and serves the Vedas. Service to God means service to the good people, service to the hungry, needy and injured, and service to the birds and animals. Service to God means following the God’s voice and never disobeying Him. Service to the Vedas means to live to their commands, to explain their real and complete meaning, to remove each and every confusion over them, to clarify all mis-conceptions in their name, to prepare a long line of their students, and to give life for their cause.
In modern India, Brahmins are a birth-based community. In Ancient India, only Vedic Scholars were called Brahmins. In the middle period, the community became hereditary. Son of a Scholar Brahmin was called a Brahmin without studying Vedas. The system continues to the day. The tradition has become so thick and strong that it does not allow to be overhauled.A person is called Agnihotri even if he has nothing to do with agnihotra or havan. Another person does not read Vedic hymns but he is called Tripathi. Still another person is called Upadhyay without teaching Vedas.
The word ‘Brahm’ continues to carry two meanings- God and Veda. Its ally word ‘ Brahmin’ carries two meanings too- ‘Knower and worshipper of God’ and ‘scholar and teacher of Veda’. This word ‘Brahmin’ should not be used as a misnomer. It should rather be used for the persons knowing Veda and worshipping God.
Arya Samaj is an institution that represents Vedic culture and society. In Arya Samaj the Vedic Scholars are called Brahmins or Pandit irrespective of their birth caste. Only such persons are so called and not their sons or relations. Pandit Ganga Prasad ‘Upadhyay’ and his son Dr. Satya Prakash (later turned a Sanyasin) were Vedic scholars and they were called Brahmins or Pandits. However the later generations are called by their caste surnames. Swami Shraddhanand , Mahatma Hansraj, Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Narayan Swami, Mahatma Anand Swami etc. were,and Prof. Rajendra Prasad ‘Jijnasu’, Prof. Jwalant Kumar Shastri, Pandita Suryaa Devi Chaturvedaa, Swami Ram Dev etc. are Vedic Scholars.All of them have been called Brahmins or Pandits. Swami Satyapati Ji is a Vedic Scholar and a Samnyasin too. He is called aBrahmin or Pandit, although he was born into a Muslim family. This system working well in Arya Samaj. This tradition should be followed by entire society.
‘Brahmin’ is apious word. It is free from the three cravings, namely, Putraishanaa,Vittaishanaa and Lokaishanaa.
A Brahmin is a person who eats fruits & vegetables, can store grains but only for a few months, can have money but for the basic necessaries of life, and does not enjoy individual property for joy.
A Brahmin must not fear anybody, must not be partial to anybody and must not bow before anybody. He must speak the truth, dispense with justice , and realise God. Hense he must refrain from individual collections and personal relations. Taittiriya Aaranyaka (188.8.131.52) says that ‘दैव्यो वै वर्णो ब्राह्मणः’(The orde of Brahmins is godly & pious.) Taandya Brahmana(1.6.1) says that ‘ब्राह्मणो मनुष्याणां मुखम्’(The Brahmin is the mouth of human society.) Hence a ‘कुम्भीधान्यः’ pious Vedic Scholar should be called Brahmin.