Priests, Warriors, Traders, Labourers is fine and dandy but where do scientists, journalists and artists, to name a few temperaments/occupations, fit into this?
I remember reading that a Soviet classification identified around 80 social classes which are similar to castes.

  • all examples I gave are temperaments or gunas. @Anurag Singh
    – S K
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 20:49
  • Mahabharata is giving details of various varnas and their respective occupations in detail , Will try to post answer. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 21:00
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  • Scientists fall under Brahmana, if they do it for the purpose of social cause. They fall under Vaishya, if they do it for wealth and fall under Kshatriya, if they do it for battle purpose. They become Shudra, if they are still naive in their field. In Gita, BG 18.42 to BG18.44, gives good explanation. Profession based classification of person is incomplete. It's only for the purpose of understanding.
    – iammilind
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 6:30
  • Scientists, journalists and artists are modern day jobs, and those occupations don't fit with fourfold Varna system. Varna system is only for practicing religious duties and not for materialistic things like you said. Moreover Varna is based on birth. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 6:42

1 Answer 1


First there is no reference to Caste system in any of the scriptures. There is description of Varna i.e. division of labour, and the gunas necessary to lead the lifestyle in each of the Varna.

All are born Shudras. The Gunas present in the kid needs to be identified and nurtured. Depending on the path they are initiated into they Varna gets "attached" to them. It doesn't matter who the parents are. For example, Rishi Valimiki is born to Shudra parents, Rishi Vyasa is born to a fisherwoman, Rishi Vishwamitra is born to Kshatriya family.

The definition of Varna has to be interpreted for every "yuga". Society structure and professions keep changing. Broadly speaking the 4 Varnas can be categorized into Visionaries(Brahmin), propagators ( politicians, marketing -> Kshatriya), entrepreneurs(Vaishya) and workers (blue collar, white collar -> employees). Each profession can have all of these 4 varnas.

Jati on the other hand is "grouping" based on bloodlines. It it not uncommon for a Jati to specialize in one particular occupation. One Jati / community in an area can have people of all Varna.

For example there can be a community / Jati of fisherman who's primary occupation is going out into the sea and catch fish. But this Jati generally has it's own community deity ( referred to as Kula Devi/Devata ) and they need a priest to do necessary rituals for deity and other community events like marriages, ceremonies etc.

The priests in most instances are from the same Jati as they have specific customs and practices influenced my the needs of the "primary" occupation of that community. Apart from these priests are "visionaries" for the community who work for spiritual, education, health of the community. They spend their time and effort into

Those involved in protection and expansion of the community both physical, their "market share" of primary occupation are Kshatriyas. If their Jati is under cultural genocide attack involving mis-representation of their customs (like in modern day society), then Kshatriya duties involve getting involved into academic debates, media debates etc.

In the same community, there are fishermen who are entrepreneurs and employ others. They could be providing services like boat maintenance, painting, traders selling the fish in the market. They key here is they are entrepreneurs i.e. vaishya. It's not just the skill that matters but how they have used that skill.

These vaishya employ other fisherman, workers etc for a salary, they are classified as Shudra

The professions themselves are not classified into 4 varnas, but the role individuals within these professions.

Hope this helps


"Varna from Vedic System vs Jaati from British" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69kKmZsIJY

"There were no castes in Hinduism" https://www.facebook.com/RajivMalhotra.Official/posts/147901772029835

"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDDNkLWPpUc" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDDNkLWPpUc&t=1041s

"Cast system in India & its origin" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WDFVMOtc5s

"European race theory and conversion of Jatis into Castes" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h6drLmYTr8

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    All are not born Shudra. All are born the Varna decided by the family Varna. The sentence "Janmanaa Jayate Shudra" is a figure of speech. It was said that a human is born as if Shudra and thus purification rites are very necessary. To persuade purification rites, they used this Exaggeration that you are born Shudra so you must purify yourself .
    – user14995
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 6:47
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    If you are really born Shudra and later become Brahmin et cetera, then why don't Shudras become Brahmin also. Why only Brahmin (born as Shudra) become Brahmin? The Scriptures also say that "You are born as Animal at birth so you must have purification" , so are we really born animals or human beings?
    – user14995
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 6:50
  • @AnuragSingh Why are your so offended with "Janmanaa Jayate Shudra" ? Why do you say its a figure of speech ? I am saying its not figurative but literal. Every one is born Shudra irrespective of who their parents are. The child needs to be educated/initiated based on their Gunas to identify the path suitable to them.
    – Akhil
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 18:43
  • "Every one is born Shudra irrespective of who their parents are." - That statement, whether figurative, or literal is fine. But what @AnuragSingh is trying to say is that - the corollary statement : "Every one can become a Brahmin/Kshatriya/Vaishya/Shudra irrespective of who their parents are" is not right . It's like saying a person with Rs.10 in his pocket, and a person with Rs.10 lakh in his account, both have equal chance of becoming crorepatis.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:52
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    Guys you are overlooking "The Gunas present in the kid needs to be identified and nurtured"
    – Akhil
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 19:26

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