According to this Sutta a true Brahmin should be a pure descent to seven generations from both mother and father’s side, should master in mantras, should be handsome, virtuous, wise, and should hold the sacrificial ladle. However, the Brahmin head, Sonadanda justified that wisdom is the imperative quality and is the essence for one to be a true Brahmin. Other preconditions are conventional and manmade. Without wisdom one is of no value and is an empty. According to the Brahmin head the ascetic Gotama is more respectful because of his wisdom. The spiritual success, enlightenment and the fame earn by Gatama is due to his wisdom; therefore, Gotama should be given more respect by the Brahmin.
Though it is stated that Sonadanda was inspired by the teaching, knowledge and wisdom of Gotama, however the pride and voracity of having worldly possessions have hold him back to disclose his respect to Gotama in public. For instance, the head of Brahmin says to Gotama that, “I should take off my turban, may you take it as if I had bowed at your feet” From here one can say that even after knowing the spiritual power of Gotama the head of Brahmin is reluctant to unveil his respect for Gotama in public. It reflects that the head of Brahmin is still egotistical of his position; he is concern about his worldly possessions, income and reputation. It also shows hypocrisy and two-facedness of Sonadanda. So I wonder is a person with double standards should be called a true Brahmin? Sonadanda is ready to lie to save his power and the sophisticated lifestyle. Sonadanda lie to his people he didn’t use his knowledge in a right way even after having the knowledge about truth. Buddhism didn’t encourage materialist desires and greed so why Gotama accept the feast from Sonadanda.
The second thing which I understand from this Sutta is that anyone can be a true Brahmin if they have wisdom and knowledge. It is not mandatory to be born in a Brahmin cast to achieve the higher spiritual position. Even a Brahmin by birth can’t be a true Brahmin if they lack the wisdom. It is similar to the Buddhist teaching that anyone can be Buddha in a same way anyone can be a true Brahmin. The only requirement is one should be enlightened and should be wise.