Dvija

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Dvija (Sanskrit twice-born) is one of the members of the first three varna in Hindu Dharma. Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are included in Dvija, although in many Shastras.

The first birth is physical. The second occurs when one uptakes fulfilling a role in society. One is initiated into the ultimate pursuit of life Brahmopadesam (Preaching/Advising in the matter of the nature of Brahman, the ultimate reality) at the time of Upanayanam.Dvija, is the second stage in the stages of a Vedic follower goes through. A Dvija is governed by his Karma (to be taken in this context as disciplined actions). His conduct is a cultured conduct. His life is governed by Dharma-Adharma (right and wrong), Karya-Akaryam (good and bad deeds) and Vidhi-Nisheda (Prescribed and Proscribed actions) as determined by Sastra Pramana. A Dvija does what he ought to do rather than what he wants to do. He does not avoid what he dislikes rather he avoids what ought to be avoided.

Stages of life

The "stages of life for a twice-born man" or Ashrama are discussed in the Hindu Manusmriti. This concept says that a member of the Dvija (twice-born) varna (Brahmin, Kshatriya, and Vaishya) is to undergo four periods of life: first, as a student Brahmacharya; then, as a householder Grihastha; then, he shall live in retirement Vanaprastha; and finally, as an ascetic Sanyasi. The Manusmriti goes into some detail, regarding what is expected of an individual during each stage.

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