Srimad Bhagavatham : 5.5.24.




dhrta   tanur    usati     me    purami

yeneha    sattvam     paramam    pavitram

samo     damah     satyam     anugrahas    ca

tapas    titiksanubhavas    ca     yatra.

dhrta  =  maintained by transcendental education; 

tanuh  =  body; 

usati  =  free from material contamination; 

me  =  My; 

purami  =  eternal; 

yena  =  by whom; 

iha  =  in this material world; 

sattvam  =  the mode of goodness; 

paramam  =  supreme; 

pavitram  =  purified; 

samah  =  control of the mind; 

damah  =  control of the senses; 

satyam  =  truthfulness; 

anugrahah  =  mercy; 

ca  =  and; 

tapah  =  austerity; 

titiksa  =  tolerance; 

anubhavah  =  realization of God and the living entity; 

ca  =  and; 

yatra  =  wherein.

The Vedas are My eternal transcendental sound incarnation. Therefore the Vedas are sabda-brahmam. In this world, the brahmanas thoroughly study all the Vedas, and because they assimilate the Vedic conclusions, they are also to be considered the Vedas personified. The brahmanas are situated in the supreme transcendental mode of nature—sattva-guna. Because of this, they are fixed in mind control [sama], sense control [dama], and truthfulness [satya]. They describe the Vedas in their original sense, and out of mercy [anugraha] they preach the purpose of the Vedas to all conditioned souls. They practice penance [tapasya] and tolerance [titiksa], and they realize the position of the living entity and the Supreme Lord [anubhava]. These are the eight qualifications of the brahmanas. Therefore among all living entities, no one is superior to the brahmanas.

This is a true description of a brahmana. A brahmana is one who has assimilated the Vedic conclusions by practicing mind and sense control. He speaks the true version of all the Vedas. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (15.15): vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. By studying all the Vedas, one should come to understand the transcendental position of Lord . One who actually assimilated the essence of the Vedas can preach the truth. He is compassionate to conditioned souls who are suffering the threefold miseries of this conditional world due to their not being conscious. A brahmana should take pity on the people and preach  consciousness in order to elevate them. Lord Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, personally descends into this universe from the spiritual kingdom to teach conditioned souls about the values of spiritual life. He tries to induce them to surrender unto Him. Similarly, the brahmanas do the same thing. After assimilating the Vedic instructions, they assist the Supreme Lord in His endeavor to deliver conditioned souls. The brahmanas are very dear to the Supreme Lord due to their high sattva-guna qualities, and they also engage in welfare activities for all conditioned souls in the material world.