Who was the first śūdra (or the śūdra-couple) to be born?

Likewise, who was the first brāhmaṇa, the first kṣatriya and vaiśya to be born?

Some might argue, the first śūdra could not have been born because that would make his/her parents also śūdra and then they would become the first śūdras. So we end up with an infinite regress. To avoid this problem, assume the first śūdra (or the śūdra-couple) just appeared on Earth and were not borne of a womb, then the question becomes: Who was the first śūdra (brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, etc.) to appear on Earth?

Note: This question assumes the caste-system to be birth-based, so I'm not looking for answers/comments that argue that varṇa is guṇa-based or varṇa is independent of birth.

  • Who as in by name? – Ikshvaku Jan 10 at 0:47
  • 1
    Yes, by name. Imagine a śūdra drawing his genealogy/ancestry chart, who's the first person on this chart? – sv. Jan 10 at 2:08
  • 1
    I don't even think the scripture records such a fact. – Ikshvaku Jan 10 at 2:38
  • your question also assumes that whatever is the birth-based varna, that remains the same throughout his life. It is possible to downgrade very easily i.e lose Brahmana-tvam. That's why we repeatedly say 'birth' is necessary but not sufficient, guna & karma are also necessary (for 99.99% of cases, rare exceptions of upgrading varna by tapa/guna/karma do exist). So, a brahmana (or kshatryia/vaishya) who fell down from his path and became Sudra, may have been the first Sudra and then sired the first 'birth-Sudra', starting off the chain. You need not assume that they were not born of a womb. – ram Jan 10 at 5:49
  • @ram The only assumption I'm making is that the first few people in each varṇa are born without any intermixing/loss of castes (they just appeared). But if you think the first śūdra was not born but a brāhmaṇa became one because he lost his caste, that's a valid answer if you can find a source. Then the question becomes: Who is the first of the brāhmaṇas and who was the first that became a śūdra? – sv. Jan 10 at 21:19

The first Shudras were created in the beginning of Treta yuga based on their quality of Tamas.

The Vayu Purana says:

"The Váyu goes farther than this, and states that the castes were now first divided according to their occupations; having, indeed, previously stated that there was no such distinction in the Krita age: 'Brahmá now appointed those who were robust and violent to be Kshetriyas, to protect the rest; those who were pure and pious he made Brahmans; those who were of less power, but industrious, and addicted to cultivate the ground, he made Vaisyas; whilst the feeble and poor of spirit were constituted Śúdras: and he assigned them their several occupations, to prevent that interference with one another which had occurred as long as they recognised no duties peculiar to castes."

So, there was no caste division in Krta Yuga because everyone was pure, and then by the beginning of Treta yuga, humans underwent changes and started exhibiting different tendencies, so Brahma divided humanity based on their inherent guna.

  • 2
    Can you also add the link to the source from which you're quoting? "so Brahma divided humanity based on their inherent guna" - so suddenly a group of people all became śūdras? How big was this group? And the rest (brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, etc.) suddenly started wearing yajñopavītas and came to be identified as dvijas? Was each of the śūdra told in person by Brahma that he/she was a śūdra? – sv. Jan 10 at 2:20
  • @sv. On this page under footnote number 9: sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp040.htm – Ikshvaku Jan 10 at 2:44
  • 2
    Manu Smriti the Smriti to be particularly applicable in Krita clearly talks about caste system.. so what's up? @Ikshvaku – Rickross Jan 10 at 6:38
  • @Ikshvaku for me all castes are equally divine. I meditate on Shivji, and I would never think of differentiating between his legs or head. He's pure everywhere, everything comes from him and is destined to go in him. Therefore, it is human duty to serve all beings, since they come from the most divine source and have the divine in them. – Random-15 Aug 20 at 1:51
  • based on their guna--- but you say in ur other posts that it's based on birth.. – YDS Aug 20 at 2:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .