In ancient times, switching between castes was possible.

There are many Kshatriyas who became Brahmin. For example, the elder brother of King Shantanu of Mahabharata became a brahmin. In fact, he became a Rishi. His name was Devapi. Maudgalya Brahmins have Kshatriya ancestor, actually. Also, we all know the famous example of Vishwamitra.

The opposite was also not uncommon. The great King Bharata adopted a Brahmin and made him his successor. Bharata had sons, but he did not think them fit to rule the country. So he did that.

But in Dharmasutras, we do not find any provision for changing caste.


  • Manusmriti 10.65 (not dharmasutra) has a provision. Read my answer here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/39863/20129
    – Adiyarkku
    May 4 at 17:04
  • What is dharmsutra? Did u mean dharmshastra i.e. Smritis?
    – YDS
    May 4 at 17:10
  • 3
    Caste change is extremely rare in hindu scriptures. These were the miraculous exceptions, not the norm. "In fact, he became a Rishi." - kshatriyas and vaishyas can become rishis, it's not limited to brahmins. So rishi doesn't mean "brahmin". Cases like Vishwamitra, etc. are exceptional, fantastic cases.
    – Ikshvaku
    May 4 at 17:18
  • @YDS yes. Manu Smriti etc. May 4 at 17:19
  • 1
    Some rcas of the vedas were even revealed by some vaishyas.
    – Ikshvaku
    May 4 at 17:19

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