There are a lot of our scriptures mentioning Gautam Buddha as one of Vishnu's avatars. You can see this Wikipedia post for the list
If it is so under which varna do they come,like should they be allowed to perform the Sacred Thread ceremony and other vedic ceremonies ?
I want to know whether our scriptures give any guidelines on which varna do Buddhists belong (ideally, if our scriptures call Buddhists as Hindus,they should give details about their varna).
I am not talking about conversions here

  • There is a question which would be helpful to you. Also this question. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 4:03
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    @benzenefan Varnasrama Dharma is based on Guna/qualities and Karma. See this answer. It applies to all 7 billion people.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 5:35
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    buddhists are by definition non-hindus. they do not have a varna and since buddhism is anti-karma kanda, it does not apply.
    – user1195
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 6:03
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    Buddhists rejected teachings of the Hindu vedic scriptures, and therefore no varna and other things that those scriptures teach is relevant for them, and those things are not applied to them. Thus they do not belong to any varna. They are not allowed to perform any of the ceremonies that the Hindu scriptures teach. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 11:33
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    Varna depends on the psychology of a person through his Karma and Guna. Every person living today who has a mind will exhibit mixtures of different Varna. So Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, atheists, any one who has a mind, can be classified by Varna. It does not matter if they reject Vedic teachings since Varna is a universal concept. Buddha did not accept. Varna determined by last name and recommended Varna determined by conduct, i.e. Karma and Guna. Check his teaching on Brahmana in Dhammapada. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


Since the Buddhists don't follow the Hindu Caste system they will fall in the category of "those having no cast"(or outcast) from the Hindu perspective.

If some generations ago some of their forefathers adhered to the Hindu caste system even then ,since that is all broken now,all the present Buddhists will fall in the outcast category only.Because mixed casts are outcast only.And,because there is no 5th caste in Hinduism.

Manu Smriti 10.4 Brahmano Kshatriyo Vaisyas Trayo Varna DvijatayoH|| Chaturtha Ekajatis Tu Sudro Na-asti Tu Panchamaha ||

Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaisya castes (varna) are the twice-born ones, but the fourth, the Sudra, has one birth only; there is no fifth (caste)

Now if you are among the ones who believe in a guna/karma-based caste system ,where one's birth plays no role,then i can't answer your question for sure.Because, then your guess is as good as mine.

But in Hinduism one's caste is mostly determined by birth,although gunas and karmas also play some role in it.

For example see the following verse from Manu:

Manu Smriti 10.3. On account of his pre-eminence, on account of the superiority of his origin, on account of his observance of (particular) restrictive rules, and on account of his particular sanctification the Brahmana is the lord of (all) castes (varna).

Here origin refers to birth,observance of some restrictions refers to karma and the sanctification process refers to the Saamskaras we have(viz-the 40 Samskaras,including Upanayana).


It is generally believed in Eastern India ( Orissa,Bengal and Assam) ,that the Kayastha caste was created to accommodate the Buddhists who integrated with Hinduism .Since the Buddhists did not believe in a Caste System ,the Kayasthas were given the freedom to take up any profession and inter marry with people of any Caste in Hinduism.
I have ,however , not come across any written record ,in support of this belief...But till now , there are no caste related restrictions on the Kayasths (Karanas' in Orissa).

  • -1 Buddhism is an atheist school of thought how can it merge with thestic vedanta school or Hinduism which is nothing but vedanta these days there are rarely any Purva Mimansakas these days?
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 20:51
  • @Yogi Jainism is atheistic and not Buddhism. They are quite similar in many aspects though. Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 2:40
  • @user1952500 Anyone who doesn't believe in vedas or reject teachings of vedas is an atheist. Buddhism rejects existence of soul antmavada which makes it atheistic religion en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism?wprov=sfla1 .
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 5:17
  • @Yogi your definition of atheism is different from what a dictionary says, so we will not be able to communicate well in general. Also, Buddhism does believe in rebirth and has the concept of a soul. Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 5:21
  • @user1952500 Did you read that wikipedia page ? it clearly says that they dont believe in existence of soul. what dictionary are you talking about and obviously atheism is defined by your perspective not by a dictionary if you are a hindu and believe in vedanta then this is the definition of the word nastika
    – Yogi
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 6:37

I have never heard of this theory before and I am from Eastern India. I am kulīna brāhmaṇa from Bengal and have no idea what you are talking about. Kayasthas are the descendants of the mixed caste Karana which is mentioned by both Yagnakalvya and Manu. They are definitely not Buddhists who are referred as Shekhara in Brahmavaivarta Purana. Current Bengali Buddhists are still found in Chittagong and they are called Baruas. They are Theravada Buddhists and they have very different social rituals than Kayasthas who follow Brahminical rules to the tee.

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