By Swami Harshananda
Vipra literally means ‘one in whom the seed of dharma has sprouted’.
Vipra as per Ṛgved
A brāhmaṇa is known by several names. One of them is the word vipra. The Ṛgveda uses this word as applied to the deity Gaṇapati. Etymologically, it means one in whom the seed of dharma has already sprouted.
Vipra, a Brāhmaṇa
In a more technical sense, he is a brāhmaṇa who has undergone the necessary sacraments and is also endowed with the vidyā or knowledge of the scriptures. He is expected to discharge six duties:
- Yajana - performing a sacrifice
- Yājana - conducting a sacrifice for others
- Adhyayana - studying the scriptures
- Adhyāpana - teaching the scriptures to others
- Dāna - giving gifts to others
- Pratigraha - accepting gifts in accordance with dharma
Vipra, a tree
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore