In the Smriti-Puran's, 8 distinctions of Brahman are found : - mere, Brahmin, Srotriya, Anuchan, Embryo, Rishikalpa, Rishi and Muni. There are 8 types of Brahmins mentioned earlier in Shruti. Apart from this, Brahmins who are elevated from descent, knowledge and virtue are Trident. Brahmin is also called the Dharmgya Vipra and Dwij.

8 Distinctions :

1. Matra (only) :

Brahmins who are Brahmins by caste but they are not Brahmins by karma are called Matra (only). No one is called a Brahmin by taking birth in a Brahmin clan. Many Brahmins are away from Brahmin-oriented Upanayana rites and Vedic deeds, then they are called Matra (only). Some of them are not even this they are simply Shudras. They worship various kinds of deities and indulge in the pleasures of night thus can be called Rakshash (demon).

2. Brahmin :

Those who are strong with God, Vedpathi, Brahmagami, simple, reclusive (likes to stay alone), truthful and wise are called Brahmins. Does not do different worship as mentioned in Purans and lives life as mentioned in Vedas is said to be a Brahmin.

3. Shotriya :

According to the Smriti (memory), any person who reads any one branch of the Veda with Kalpa and all the six limbs, is enriched in the six deeds of Brahmanism, it is called 'Shotriya'.

4. Anuchan :

Any person who is an enlightenment of the Vedas and Vedangas, sinless, pure mind, superior, teaching and scholar to the pupils of the Vedas, is considered as 'Anuchan'.

5. Bhrun (Fetus) :

Having all the qualities of the Anuchan, he only engages himself in Yajna and Swadhyaya, such a person with self-control is called a fetus.

6. Rishikalp :

Anyone who has knowledge of all Vedas, Smritis and cosmic subjects, subdues the mind and senses and resides in the ashram by always following celibacy is called Rishikalp.

7. Rishi :

Such a person is above any doubt, stays brahmachari (celibate) while doing proper diet, dietary habits, etc. and whose curse and grace is coming to fruition, that truthful and capable person is called a Rishi (sage).

8. Muni :

A person who is situated in the path of isolation, knowledge of all elements, meditational, Jitendriya (control over his 5 senses) and Siddh, such a Brahmin is called 'Muni'.

The word Brahmin was first used for the Rishis, the pronounceers of the Atharveda. Then to understand each Veda, the texts were written and they were also called Brahman literature. The Brahmin did not belong to any caste or society then.

Now after the formation of the society, the highest division or classification in India is among the Brahmins such as: Saryuparin, Kanyakubj, Jijhotia, Maithil, Marathi, Bengali, Bhargava, Kashmiri, Sanadhya, Gaur, Maha-Baman and much more. Similarly, the highest surname (surname or title) is also prevalent among Brahmins. How the origin of these surnames came to know about some of them.

* Brahman reciting one Veda was called Pathak.

* The two Veda reciters were called Dwivedi, which became Dubey over time.

* The one who read the three Vedas was called Trivedi, also known as Tripathiwhich later became Tiwari.

* The four Vedas recited are called Chaturvedi, who later became Chaubey.

* Those who read Shukla Yajurveda are called Shukla or Shukla.

* The knower of the four Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads was called Pandit, who later became Pandey, Pandey, Pandiya, Padhyaya. This Padhyaya later became Upadhyaya.

* Those who hold shastras or perform Shastras were honored with the title of Shastri.

* Apart from these, the descendants of the famous sages adopted the name of their Rishikul or gotra as a surname, such as: - Bhagavan Parasuram also belonged to Bhrigu clan. The descendants of Bhrigu clan are called Bhargav, similarly Gautam, Agnihotri, Garg, Bhardwaj, etc.

* Many Brahmins were also given many titles by many rulers, which were later used by their descendants as surnames. In this way the surnames of Brahmins came into vogue. Such as Rao, Rawal, Maharawal, Kanungo, Mandalik, Zamindar, Chaudhary, Patwari, Deshmukh, Cheetnis, Pradhan, etc.

* Banerjee, Mukherjee, Joshiji, Sharmaji, Bhattji, Vishwakarmaji, Maithliji, Jha, Dhar, Srinivas, Mishra, Mendola, Apte, etc. have thousands of surnames which have their own separate history.