People who follow Hinduism are classified based on varnas. If someone didn't follow Hinduism, how are their varnas determined ? If not, do they belong to any new category?

Consider a white man, what is his varna?

If you say it is based on their birth (in the current scenario), by which way do you classify them?

If it is based on occupation, then there is no clear way to do it (the father may be a governor, while the son may be merchant - which would make you give a different varna to father and son - which does not happen).

Also please mention a reference to vedas, mausmirthi or some book based on which you make a classification.

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    Read through the answer to this question, hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/26678/…, specially the Gita verses on varna. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:09
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    @Pradip Gangppadhayay , if you claim varnas are due to psychological behavior based on birth , how do you know people born on a particular varna has particular behaviour ? What is the method (scientific or logical method and not just hand waving) you use confirm (prove) people born on particular varna has particular behaviour? I can be a good hypothesis but i think varnas as psychological behavior is not well defined . How you know a person born as bhraman has all characters to be a real bhraman? And personn born as sudhra don't have that character ?
    – user16873
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:26
  • how do you know people born on a particular varna has particular behaviour ? -- That is impossible to know. @CloudJR
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:28
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    @pradip Gangopadhayay 18.1 to 18.5 very well contradict manusmirthi ... Thanks for enlightened me those quotation are really helpful
    – user16873
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:51
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    This is opinion -- Ok but traditionally that is what is followed. Our birth is dependent on our previous birth Karmas and so this fits in with the rebirth/Karma doctrine. Not only u apparently and at the beginning it will not make sense to any one :) @CloudJR
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


Their Varnas can not be known precisely. Simply because their races propagated without following the marriage rules prescribed in the Hindu scriptures. So, they may have had innumerable instances of what is called mixing of castes, speaking from the perspective of Hindu scriptures like Manu Smriti.

But originally they definitely had to belong to one of the 4 Varnas or the other. But due to the fact that they had stopped following the purificatory rituals (Upanayana and other Samskaras) they have attained the status of what is known in the scriptures as Vratyas.

Manu Smriti 10.42. By the power of austerities and of the seed (from which they sprang), these (races) obtain here among men more exalted or lower rank in successive births.

10.43. But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites, and of their not consulting Brahmanas, the following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the condition of Sudras;

10.44. (Viz.) the Paundrakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas, the Yavanas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Chinas, the Kiratas, and the Daradas.

So, for example, according to the above verses, Chinese, Greeks were originally Kshatriyas but they gradually became Vratyas.

And, Vratyas are not included in the 4-Varna system.

So, precisely knowing their Varnas now is an impossible task. Knowing which Varna their ancestors belonged to is equally an impossible task for us unless scriptures specify that for some particular tribes (like Manu Smriti did here for some tribes).

Now, there is also a group of people according to whom the Varnas are determined not by birth but by Gunas (personal traits). If that is the case answering your question (generally) isn't possible.

You have to investigate individually then. For example they also say if someone is into teaching then he is a Brahmin, a police/military person is a Kshatriya, a business man a Vaishya and one who does manual labour is a Sudra. So, if that is true you can check what kind of works a particular person does/likes to get his Varna. But this is not of course the traditional system. In this system there is no scope of any Samskaras.

  • Then why we still follow this lol? And what way it is used in past ? Is varnas has any use rather than just a classification with no good use
    – user16873
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:28
  • Mixing of castes happened among us too.. Bcoz caste can be gone too easily... For e.g a Brahmin can become a Sudra in just 3 days if he sells salt and also the same is the outcome if he does not perform Sandhya for equal no of days.. Then why we still follow this lol? -- I can't answer that ..let thm follow who wants to maintain the system @CloudJR IMO the backbone of caste system has been already broken.. Now wht we hv is basically mixture of castes.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:31
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    "the backbone of caste system has been already broken" - that maybe the case for us modern folks commenting on the internet or for kshatriya/vaishya varna, but the backbone is not broken completely as there are still orthodox brahmanas without varna-sankara.
    – ram
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 17:47
  • It's not only abt proscribed marriages.. A Dvija can loose his caste by doing so many things..it's very very easy.. now what's the guaranty tht he did perform the necessary atonement measures? If not wht will be the status of his son? his son's sons and so on? so the purity of his lineage is destroyed for ever.. although they will continue to think tht they are Dvijas. How easy it is to loose caste? - Very easy.. How difficult/cumbersome are the remedial measures for recovering lost caste? - Very difficult... So, it's not tht simple..@ram
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 6:26

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