It is apt to quote the following shloka from ancient scriptures – probably from Manusmriti.
janmana jayate sudrah samskarat dwij uchchte
veda pathnat bhavet viprah brahma janati iti brahmanah
“By birth one is a sudra (lowest caste), by the culture he possesses one becomes a dvija (higher caste), by study of the Vedas one becomes a vipra, and one who knows Brahman is a brahmana.”
When this is applied in true sense, I doubt, how many living persons will reach the second stage, forget the third one. Of course, in Sanskrit, Dwija, Vipra and Brahmana were sometimes used as synonyms, but the difference was always there.
Sudra, by this definition was the human remained within the boundaries of instincts that are results of his senses. This is the stage, when one remains when he was alone – like a child.
When the child grows learning ways of the world and displaying qualities that enable him a sociable person – traits like compassion, helping – he is dwija, or the man who was born twice, the second being initiation into the world, from the family boundaries.
If he studies (here veda means not only rituals but also science, maths etc) and becomes knowledgeable, he becomes Vipra.
Finally, when the person understands the Brahmanda – the Universe and realises he is its equivalent, he becomes Brahmana.
When I learned this definition of shloka, I critically looked around all living personalities and found to my astonishment, there was only one person whom I can call Brahman – Dr Abdul Kalam.
I need not explain reasons, which are too evident from his life and the definition. If one cannot understand, there is no point to explain.
He was probably the only inspirational personality after Mahatma Gandhi in India – unless one blindly follows someone.
I am not trying to categorise him under the brand – Hindu, a foreign word popular in India. That would be demeaning the great soul. The perfect Muslim he was, he became the only Brahman for me – in true sense. His knowledge, his humility, his vision and finally – his actions and contributions to the nation.
He had really exhibited the power of Kalam – the Pen i.e., Knowledge
May his soul rest in peace.
By Rama Krishna Prasad
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