My understanding is that caste is not a legitimate Hindu concept and that it is varna instead. From what I’ve read, varna is like the division of labour within society, but my question is, why was varna a formal system? Surely if we let people go about their business they will sort themselves out in each category? (the religious/intelligent become brahmin, etc).

I remember in the Bhagavad Gita that Sri Krishna had said he had split society in its 4 (I think) divisions.

Was there any benefits to formalising it? Is my assumption of it being a formal system even correct? Why was it formalised and why is it a necessary thing?


  • if it was not formalized, people who had a natural inclination/ability towards one skill may abandon it and want to experiment with another occupation where they did not have the innate strengths, thus failing in both their original ordained duty, and being mediocre in the new one - this benefits neither them nor the society e.g. imagine a puny school teacher wanting to fight on front lines in army, or a 6'3" broad shouldered man sitting behind the cash register trying to build a business. simpler put, imagine sachin tendulkar trying to teach math, or vishvanathan anand trying to shoot ak-47 – ram Apr 6 at 0:23
  • the reason behind confusion nowadays is that some people decided to experiment, and also inter-marriage between varnas, so the progeny would have a mix of blood of different inclinations and hence be confused as to which line to follow. this is based on facts that your current birth in a particular family is based on your past karmas & gunas, and that the current family's work is the most suited one according to your vasanas. – ram Apr 6 at 0:24
  • Varna division is present in nature. It was a greatest discovery of Rishis. Soils, Grahas (planets), Stones (Silas) and humans too have their division. It was created by Brahman (which means present in nature) based on Guna and Karma. – The Destroyer Apr 6 at 3:18
  • Ohhhhh , thank you guys ! – aayuuush Apr 6 at 8:10

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