By rigid precedence the Brahmans occupy the first rank; they are numerous and influential, and with them may be classed the peculiar and important caste of Bhats, the keepers of secular tradition and of the genealogies.
In general terms the Mahrattas, in the wider sense, may be described under two main heads: first the Brahmans, and secondly the low-caste men.
The Mahratta Brahmans possess, in an intense degree, the qualities of that famous caste, physical, intellectual and moral.
In modern times they have proved themselves the most able and ambitious of all the Brahmans in the Indian Empire.
Apart from the Brahmans, the Mahrattas may be generally designated as Sudras, the humblest of the four great castes into which the Hindu race is theoretically divided.
They are sincerely devout in religion, and feel an awe regarding "the holy Brahmans," holding the life and the person of a Brahman sacred, even though he be a criminal of the deepest dye.
Apart from the Mahratta Brahmans, as already mentioned, the Mahratta nobles and princes are not generally fine-looking men.
The peshwas, on the other hand, as Brahmans, were men of the highest education then possible in India.
Benares, having from time immemorial been a holy city, contains a vast number of Brahmans, who either subsist by charitable contributions, or are supported by endowments in the numerous religious institutions of the city.
As in the rest of Indo-China, there is no hereditary nobility, but there exist castes founded on blood relationship - the members of the royal family within the fifth degree (the Brah-Vansa) those beyond the fifth degree (BrahVan), and the Bakou, who, as descendants of the ancient Brahmans, exercise certain official functions at the court.
Although this transition from the discontinuous to continuous is not truly scientific, yet it materially augmented the development of algebra, and Hankel affirms that if we define algebra as the application of arithmetical operations to both rational and irrational numbers or magnitudes, then the Brahmans are the real inventors of algebra.
It is a celebrated place of Hindu superstition, the favourite residence of the Brahmans of Nepal, and contains more families of that order than either Khatmandu or Patan.
132), and the Iranian priests (athravans, later Magi) claimed, like the Brahmans, to be the highest order of society; but a variety of conditions were lacking to give them the full place of their Indian brethren.
The population is composed of many elements, among which Brahmans and Rajputs are specially numerous.
The village is small, containing only twenty or thirty huts, in which reside the Brahmans and the attendants of the temple.
How far southward this dominion at first extended is not known; but in 703 Nepal and the country of the Brahmans rebelled, and the Tibetan king, the third successor of Srong tsan gam-po, was killed while attempting to restore his power.
The bed of the river adjoining the temple is divided off by the Brahmans into three basins, where the pilgrims bathe.
From the earliest times the caste of Brahmans has preserved, by oral tradition as well as in MSS., a literature unrivalled alike in its antiquity and in the intellectual subtlety of its contents.
The burning of widows on their husbands' funeral-pile was unknown, and the verses in the Veda which the Brahmans afterwards distorted into a sanction for the practice have the very opposite meaning.
In those early days the Aryan tribes were divided into four social grades on a basis of colour: the Kshatriyas or nobles, who claimed descent from the early leaders; the Brahmans or sacrificing priests; the Vaisyas, the peasantry; and last of all the Sudras, the hewers of wood and drawers of water, of non-Aryan descent.
They shall mix equally with Brahmans and beggars, with the 1 The historicity of this convention, not now usually admitted by scholars, is maintained by Bishop Copleston of Calcutta in his I Buddhism, Primitive and Present (1908).
The philosophers were the Brahmans, and the prescribed stages of their life are indicated.
Megasthenes draws a distinction between the Brahmans (Bpaxµ.aves) and the Sarmanae (Iap,u6.pat), from which some scholars have inferred that the Buddhist Sarmanas were a recognized class fifty years before the council of Asoka.
But the Sarmanae also include Brahmans in the first and third stages of their life as students and forest recluses.
But in India the bravery of the Rajputs and the devotion of the Brahmans seem to have afforded a stronger national bulwark than existed in western Europe.
It is reported that Mahmud marched through Ajmere to avoid the desert of Sind; that he found the Hindus gathered on the neck of the peninsula of Somnath in defence of their holy city; that the battle lasted for two days; that in the end the Rajput warriors fled to their boats, while the Brahman priests retired into the inmost shrine; that Mahmud, introduced into this shrine, rejected all entreaties by the Brahmans to spare their idol, and all offers of ransom; that he smote the image with his club, and forthwith a fountain of precious stones gushed out.
Bengalis, whether Brahmans or of other castes, frequently go bareheaded.
In India, in Behar, during August there is a colourless festival in which women, " wives of the snake," go round begging on behalf of the Brahmans and the villages (Crooke ii.
2 It is a significant fact that, whilst in the worship of Siva and Vishnu, at which no animal sacrifices are offered, the officiating priests are almost invariably Brahmans, this is practically never the case at the popular performance of those "gloomy and weird rites for the propitiation of angry deities, or the driving away of evil spirits, when the pujaris (or ministrants) are drawn from all other castes, even from the Pariahs, the out-caste section of Indian society."
Whilst community of occupation was an important factor in the original formation of non-tribal castes, the practical exigencies of life have led to considerable laxity in this respect - not least so in the case of Brahmans who have often had to take to callings which would seem altogether incompatible with the proper spiritual functions of their caste.
Thus," the prejudice against eating cooked food that has been touched by a man of an inferior caste is so strong that, although the Shastras do not prohibit the eating of food cooked by a Kshatriya or Vaisya, yet the Brahmans, in most parts of the country, would not eat such food.
In the same way " the Minas, a non-Aryan tribe of Rajputana, used to worship the pig; when the Brahmans got a turn at them, the pig became an avatar of Vishnu " (Lyall, Asiatic Studies).
He travelled through Asia and visited Nineveh, Babylon and India, imbibing the oriental mysticism of magi, Brahmans and gymnosophists.
But when Buddhism, whose widely open doors had absorbed the mass of the community, became thereby corrupted from its pristine purity and gradually died away, the smaller school of the Jains, less diametrically opposed to the victorious orthodox creed of the Brahmans, survived, and in some degree took its place.
Later still the settlement of Brahmans along the west coast had already Aryanized the country in religion, and to some extent in language, before the Persian conquest of the Indus valley at the close of the 6th century B.C. The Persian dominion did not long survive; and the march of Alexander the Great down the Indus paved the way for Chandragupta and the Maurya, empire.
These views naturally met with scanty acceptance among the Brahmans to whom he introduced them, and Dayanand turned to the masses and established Samajes in various parts of India, the first being at Bombay in 1875.
Thus the Brahmans were offended at the prohibition of suttee and female infanticide, the execution of Brahmans for capital offences, the re-marriage of widows, the spread of missionary effort and the extension of Western education.
The Parsis adore fire as the visible expression of Ahura-Mazda, the eternal principle of light and righteousness; the Brahmans worship it as divine and omniscient.'
Bourquin, " Brahmakarma, ou rites sacres des Brahmans," in the Annales du Musee Guimet (Paris, 1884, t.
Hindus (Sikhs, Gurkhas, Rajputs, Jats, Dogras, Mahrattas, Tamils, Brahmans, Bhils, Garhwalis, &c.), 727 companies, 79 squadrons (6 3.3%).
Akbar (1542-1605) gathered Brahmans and Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians and Mahommedans at his court, and endeavoured to get translations of their scriptures.
Siva has at all times been the favourite god of the Brahmans,' and his worship is accordingly more widely extended than that of his rival, especially in southern India.