Meaning: noun: Brahmin, the first and the highest of the four varnas, the social classifications in Hinduism. Originally all Brahmins were priests. They were responsible for performing religious rites, and reading and teaching the Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures. However, in modern times, a Brahmin is not necessarily a priest.
ਕਹੁ ਰੇ ਪੰਡਿਤ ਬਾਮਨ ਕਬ ਕੇ ਹੋਏ॥ ਬਾਮਨ ਕਹਿ ਕਹਿ ਜਨਮੁ ਮਤ ਖੋਏ॥
kahu re paňḍit baaman kab ke hoe.
baaman kahi kahi janam mat khoe.
Tell me, O pandit! Since when have you been a Brahmin? Don’t waste your life by continually claiming to be a Brahmin. -Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib, 324
Message: What are your qualifications?
Do you feel very proud of your social class or standing?
In this verse Bhagat Kabir satiricallyaddresses a pandit who claims to be of a higher caste or social order just because he is born in a Brahmin family.
Everyone has come from the same source and is made of the same elements. The same blood flows in the veins of everyone.
When all of us are born the same way and are made of the same basic elements then how can one be of higher class (Brahmin) and another of a lower class (weaver)?
No one should feel arrogant about one’s class, creed or race. In the womb of the mother, no one knows one’s class. The label one gives oneself cannot be hereditary.
If we want to be called a Brahmin or a Sikh, then we should have the attributes and aptitude of a Brahmin or a Sikh.
It is only our inner values that count and not our birth in any particular place, group, race, or ethnicity.
Etymology: From Sanskrit braahmaṇ/brahman → Pali braahmaṇ (the hymner, the priest, who expounds on Vedas and has sacred knowledge, Brahman), from Sanskrit brahman (supreme good, Vedic text, hymn) → Prakrit bamhaṇ/baṁbhaṇ → Kumauni baamaṇ, Nepali/Bengali baaman..