Rig Veda 8.6.10 says

I from my Father have received deep knowledge of the Holy Law I was born like unto the Sun.

If we ponder over deeply, we can understand that it is talking about spiritual re-birth after getting over ignorance.

It indicates twice born or dwija.

Rig Veda I.60.1, dedicated to Agni, mentions dwija - dvijanmānaṃ

vahniṃ yaśasaṃ vidathasya ketuṃ suprāvyaṃ dūtaṃ sadyoartham | dvijanmānaṃ rayimiva praśastaṃ rātiṃ bharad bhṛghavemātariśvā ||

As ’twere Some goodly treasure Mātariśvan brought, as a gift, the glorious Priest to Bhṛgu, Banner of sacrifice, the good Protector, child of two births, the swiftly moving envoy.

My question is when one becomes dwija, after getting enlightenment/realisation, why are brAhmana, kshatriya and Vysya called dwija, after performing upanayana ritual?

Any reason?

  • 1
    This verse doesn't say that twice born = enlightened. Moreover the title is misleading. All three varNas can be twice born Oct 29, 2019 at 4:42
  • 2
    @TheLittleNaruto: The title and question have been suitably modified. Oct 29, 2019 at 5:29
  • 1
    @RakeshJoshi: What is misleading in my question and in my understanding? Can your explain? Oct 29, 2019 at 14:12
  • 5
    @srimannarayanakv the esoteric meaning YOU ASSUME. If you have direct reference that dwija means enlightened then post it Oct 29, 2019 at 19:33
  • 1
    @RakeshJoshi: Rig Veda never say many issues directly but only in esoteric manner . The famous truth that appears in later literature - God's love the mystic (hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/35814/3869) indicates the same Oct 29, 2019 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


The usage of the word dvija had been changed over a period of time.

As indicated in the question, in Rig Vedic period this word dvija was used to indicate an ENLIGHTENED one, but not used to indicate a brAhmana/kshatriya/vysya, which was a later day development.

In Rig Veda, Agni was eulogised as jAtaveda (जातवेद) - One who know past, present and future. Agni was also eulogised as BRAHMAN.

If it was viewed in SPIRITUAL sense, a human, who realises SELF, becomes BRAHMAN. That was why it was mentioned in Rig Veda that Agni was a dwija, which in fact indicates A realised person.

Rig Veda I.60.1, dedicated to Agni, mentions dwija - dvijanmānaṃ

So from the perspective of Rig Veda dwija indicates A REALISED PERSON.

By the time Ramayana was composed (I am not talking about occurrence of Ramayana here), dwija was being used to indicate brAhmanas only.

The ascetic boy, being hit by the arrow of Dasaratha, says that he was born to a Vysya and to a Sudra woman:

द्विजातिर् अहम् राजन् मा भूत् ते मनसो व्यथा | शूद्रायाम् अस्मि वैश्येन जातः जन पद अधिप || २-६३-५३

'O, king the ruler of the country! I am not a Brahmana. Let there be no agony in your mind. I am born through a Sudra woman by a Vysya.

The story of Sage Kavasa, who was the son of a slave girl, later considered as brAhmana (Aitareya Brahmana) confirms this.

At a still later period, the word dwija used to refer brAhmana, kshatriya and Vysya also, after undergoing upanayana ceremony.

  • which word from Rig Veda exactly denotes that dvija means enlightened person ? dvija means born twice. does anyone become enlightened just by being born ? they have to work towards it, right ? similarly, just by upanayana one does not get enlightened. they have to work towards it. but getting upanayana qualifies you to work towards it. that's why it's called second birth. it's not called second enlightement.
    – ram
    Sep 13, 2020 at 10:05
  • 1
    When you don't understand the essence of SPIRITUALITY, this type of arguments will come out @ram Sep 13, 2020 at 10:44
  • Yes, we all need to understand the essence of spirituality. But there are bonafide gurus and acharyas who can extract the essence and provide it to us. If we use our own limited intellect, we will expertly lead ourselves astray. That's why we have bhashya of acharyas instead of coming up with our own explanations.
    – ram
    Sep 13, 2020 at 18:57
  • 1
    Who are the bonafide gurus and acharyas who can extract the essence and provide it to us ? Are you referring to Sri Madhvacharya, who interpreted Balata Suktam from the Rig Veda, suiting to his requirements? Are you referring to acharyas of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, who interpreted Rig Veda according to their whims and fancies? @ram Sep 13, 2020 at 19:42
  • 1
    Spirituality is pure essence of Rig Veda. That's why the mantras therein were composed in an esoteric sense, making them provide different meanings for the people with different intuition levels. Please remember that SPIRITUALITY works with intuition but not with arguments or intellect. Intuition is indirectly proportional to intellect/arguments. If you are really interested in SPIRITUAL aspects, follow sages like Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Ramana Maharshi. The teachings of so called intellect based acharyas will take you no where. @ram Sep 13, 2020 at 19:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .