Brahmin (also Brahman) is a member of the priestly class in the Indian subcontinent. Brahmins belong to the upper caste society. According to ancient Hindu texts, there are four “Varnas” or spiritual classes, into which all persons can be divided, based on inherent temperament and level of spiritual development achieved through many incarnations – the Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (agriculturists, artisans and merchants), and Shudras (service providers and laborers). Later, this originally spiritual classification became a hereditary social system in India. Brahmins were charged with performing religious duties as priests and preaching Dharma (as “one who prays; a devout or religious man; a Brahmin 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.
Bardai Brahmins refers to a group of Brahmins whose ancestors originate from the State of Gujarat in India. They are found mainly in the coastal city of Porbandar. Bardai Brahmins can be identified by surnames; Accharia, Bapodra, Bambhanya, Bhogayta, Chhelavada, Dave, Jani, Joshi, Kinderkhadia, Modha, Pandit, Purohit, Rajyaguru, Sanathra, Sthanakiya, Thanki etc. Each Surname or group of surnames (Gotra) is associated with a Kuldevi (Goddess).
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