Brahmin

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A Brahmin (also Brahman; Brĝhmaṇa) (Sanskrit: बढ़राहढ़मण) is a member of the priestly class in the Indian subcontinent and belongs to the upper caste society. According to the Manusmṛti, there are four "varnas", or classes: the Brahmins (priests, teachers of Sanskrit), the Kshatriyas (kings, agriculturists and nobility), the Vaishyas (merchants), and Shudras (artisans, service providers and labourers).

In Hinduism, Brahmins were charged with performing religious duties as priests and preaching Dharma (as "one who prays; a devout or religious man; a Brĝhman who is well versed in Vedic texts; one versed in sacred knowledge"). The Brahmins held authority over interpretation of Vedic and Puranic spiritual texts like the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, and were the teachers of the Vedic period.

Due to the diversity in regional religious traditions and the Vedic schools (shakhas), which they belong to, Brahmins, in modern usage of the term, are further divided into various sub-castes. Not all Brahmins are priests; only a subset of Brahmins are involved in the priestly duties, with Vedic learning, ascetic and humble living. Many Brahmins have emigrated to other parts of the world seeking place in the general society.