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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?

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    This verse doesn't say that twice born = enlightened. Moreover the title is misleading. All three varNas can be twice born – Rakesh Joshi Oct 29 '19 at 4:42
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    @TheLittleNaruto: The title and question have been suitably modified. – srimannarayana k v Oct 29 '19 at 5:29
  • @srimannarayanakv misleading question and understanding. – Rakesh Joshi Oct 29 '19 at 14:08
  • @RakeshJoshi: What is misleading in my question and in my understanding? Can your explain? – srimannarayana k v Oct 29 '19 at 14:12
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    @srimannarayanakv the esoteric meaning YOU ASSUME. If you have direct reference that dwija means enlightened then post it – Rakesh Joshi Oct 29 '19 at 19:33
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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.

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