Questions tagged [caste-system]

For the questions about caste-system based on varna namely Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudras.

17
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8answers
3k views

What is the purpose of the caste system? How has it changed?

I understand there is a caste system on the basis of occupation. What is the reason for having such a classification system? Has the original concept stayed the same or has it evolved over time (if ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Converting to Hinduism and Caste

I have read that people who convert to Hinduism do not belong to any specific caste. If the concept of no caste (or Jati, Varna) exists, and we are willing to allow people to be free of the caste ...
8
votes
0answers
445 views

Do characters in the same Brahmavidya always have the same caste?

As I discuss in the this answer, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Can a Sudra become a Brahmin in 'this' birth?

Scriptures have remedy for everything. Various mantras various austerities can give us miraculous position. For eg. It is possible to become Indra (who is King of Heaven) by performing 100 Ashwamedha ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Why casteism is based on birth rather than present Gunas & Karmas?

I've seen many Brahmins & Kshatriyas (called) behaving like Shudras (called). Being wallowed in material pleasures,cruelty,ignorance etc. On the other hand we find many Shudras behaving like ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is Janeva (Yajñopavītam or sacred thread) limited to Brahmins only?

I heard a lot about the power of Janeva (Yajñopavītam or sacred thread), a small cloth string worn on the shoulders across the hands. When chatting with some Brahmins, I found them suggesting that it ...
8
votes
6answers
904 views

Examples of Varna migration in Hindu mythology?

Is migration between Varna really allowed in Hinduism? If yes, please give examples along with reference.
7
votes
2answers
624 views

Is it permissible to deny the authority of Manusmriti?

Is it permissible to deny the authority of Manusmriti considering that all the four major schools of Hinduism(Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smarta tradition) only consider Vedas and Upanishads ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the order & duties of the children born from intermixing/hybridisation of 4 classes?

There are 4 classes in descending order: BrAhmaNa Kshatriya Vaishya Shudra If a man of class X mates with a woman of class X, then definitely the child will inherit the class X. How the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did Hindus practice untouchability?

In various sub-castes, people used to practice untouchability i.e., some of the people who were considered lower castes, for example, sweepers, cleaners, etc. were ignored, and there were rules such ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

K.S. Bhagavan's critique of Adi Shankara

An Indian writer named K.S. Bhagavan published in 1982 a book entitled Shankaracharya and Reactionary Philosophy = ಶಂಕರಾಚಾರ್ಯ ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರತಿಗಾಮಿತನ. I heard that Bhagavan criticized Adi Shankara in ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Can a person change his caste in Hinduism?

Each person born as a Hindu has some caste attached to him. As per my understanding he remains in the same caste throughout his life. Currently, I don't think anybody can change his/her caste, but was ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

In which caste was Lord Krishna born into?

What is the caste that Lord Sri Krishna was born into? Was it kshatriya (warrior) or Yadava (shepherd)? People from the yadava community claim that Sri Krishna is a Yadava and was born into their ...
6
votes
1answer
508 views

Can Hinduism work in a classless society?

I'm not Hindu but it's my understanding that there are Hindu texts that specify a caste system. Must these systems be followed, or is something like a classless society as outlined by Marx (minus the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Kshatriyas and alcohol consumption

What are the alcoholic beverages suitable for consumption by a Kshatriya? What about other three varnas? Are they allowed to consume alcohol?
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Why Hinduism won't encourage inter-caste marriages?

What could be the religious reasons for avoiding inter-caste marriages? I read in a newspaper that even though the person was handsome, no one came forward to marry him as his parents are from two ...
17
votes
2answers
531 views

Can a Brahmana raise a war or kill someone?

As per Hinduism, Parashurama is widely known as a person who raised war against Kshatriyas. Now as per Vedas, whether a person is a Brahmana or a Kshatriya is based on his karmas only. If one kills ...
1
vote
3answers
625 views

Punishing a couple to stop intercaste marriage is of which Karma(Good Or Bad)?

Inter-caste marriage is not appreciated by our scriptures and also in practical life and Stopping a inter - caste marriage is dharma and is of good karma. Couples get killed or beated by their ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Colors of different varṇas: Is it their physical complexion or their qualities?

From here, is this Mahābhārata śloka and its translation really talking about (physical) complexion of people belonging to the four varṇas or just their outward behavior? If it's the latter, what does ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did Rāma kill Śambūka? And is Rāma justified in killing him without a second chance?

In Uttara-kāṇḍa of Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, we see Vālmīki narrate the story of Śambūka. Questions: Why did Rāma kill Śambūka? Is it because Śambūka was a śūdra or is it because he was doing tapasya for ...
6
votes
2answers
488 views

What do the Vedas say about caste?

What do the Vedas say about caste? For the purpose of this question you can take a broad approach of the definition of caste. Like if it is called varna in vedas, then I want to know what the vedas ...
2
votes
3answers
353 views

Does any Hindu scripture say anything to the effect “all men (and women) are created equal in dignity and rights”?

There are quotations to the effect that one's caste is not by birth - I don't mean that. Some sects may say all members of the sect are equal and I don't mean that either. Does it say anywhere in ...
5
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there any low-caste Vaikhanasa priests?

I recently learned that the priest of the Vishnu temple in my native village of Poondi is a low-caste person. The notion of a low-caste person serving in a temple didn't surprise me, since in the Sri ...
12
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2answers
7k views

Relevance of “Dhol Ganwar Shudra Pashu Nari, Sakal Taadana Ke Adhikari”

प्रभु भल कीन्ह मोहि सिख दीन्हीं। मरजादा पुनि तुम्हरी कीन्हीं॥ ढोल गवाँर शूद्र पशु नारी। सकल ताड़ना के अधिकारी॥ Drums, the illiterate, lower caste, animals and women deserve a beating to ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Is stopping an inter-caste between a Brahmin woman and a Shudra man – dharma or adharma?

Background: Although Hinduism does not recommend inter-caste marriages, in modern times, such marriages are at a high level. In my life I heard of a woman born into a Brahmin family, she loved & ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Can a Dalit caste person be a priest?

If a person belonging to the Dalit caste is chosen to be a priest, is that allowed? I do understand that Gita says varna is by actions and not by birth. Although, in practice, we see a lot of ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

Can the Guna-Karma classification of the Varna system be translated into profession?

What is the Varna of: an engineer a singer a doctor I have chosen a few random samples to understand the Varna system better. How would these be classified as - Brahmin, Vaishya, Sudra and Kshatriya?...
9
votes
3answers
717 views

Any references where varna/caste is determined independent of birth/parentage?

Is there any incidence or statement in the scriptures which shows that varna/caste was not deduced from birth/parentage, and was deduced only from "qualities independent of parentage"(without ...
7
votes
1answer
558 views

What were the set of rights, permissions, duties or rules prescribed for Kshatriya caste?

We have 4 major caste in Hinduism, ie Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. Is there any rulebook present in Hinduism (and I am sure there must be) which lays down the rights, permissions, rules and ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

What are the etymologies and literal meanings of the words (kṣatriya, śūdra, etc.) used to indicate one's varṇa?

For brāhmaṇa, there is already a question here: What is the etymology of brahman/brahmin? For śūdra, Monier Williams says "of doubtful derivation". Apte says: शूद्रः [शुच्-रक् पृषो˚ चस्य दः दी...
4
votes
1answer
462 views

What scriptures say that Prana Pratishtha is removed by a Chandala's touch?

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school. But there are five other Astika or orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy: Purva Mimamsa, Samkhya,...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is Karna's caste (varna)?

What is Karna's varna (caste)? A Kshatriya by birth, then assumed a different one after being raised by foster parents (belonging to a different varna) and finally reclaimed it? Who all (during the ...
6
votes
1answer
261 views

How to recover from lost caste status after crossing an ocean?

Based on what I know, the most loss of Hindutva that can happen is loss of caste (which would include the right to cremate one's parents), for example for crossing the ocean. From here: Baudhayana ...
4
votes
2answers
768 views

Why is Ravan considered a Rakshasa?

Ravana's father was a Brahmin while his mother a Rakshasi. Then why is he considered a Rakshasa, Rather than a Brahmin. Is it because of his actions?
4
votes
2answers
631 views

Are shudras allowed to wander near sacrifices?

This question is asked by the curiosity created by my previous question. Are shudras allowed to wander near sacrifices? Are they allowed to put a sight on a sacrifice? Are they allowed to touch ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What do holy books say about inter-caste marriages? [duplicate]

What do holy books say about inter-caste marriages? I heard somewhere that marriages between different castes causes वर्ण संकर (Varna Samkar) and our holy books don't support inter-caste marriages. ...
1
vote
1answer
482 views

What is the age limit of getting a yajnopavita for various castes?

What is the age limit as per the scriptures of getting a Yajnopavita for the various varnas?
1
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3answers
1k views

Is Raavana a rakshasa or a brahmin and how he can be a king too?

First, how is Raavana a rakshasa and a brahmin at the same time? Second, if Raavana is Brahmin, how is he the king of Lanka? Since one's caste was determined based on one's karma, I would think ...
-1
votes
1answer
141 views

Are there finer classifications than the 4-varna/guna classification in scripture?

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
854 views

Why is it forbidden to marry a person with the same Gotra?

In Hinduism, why is it forbidden to marry a person with the same Gotra? Is it mentioned in the scriptures somewhere? Does it make sense to overlook the restrictions in today's world?
8
votes
1answer
405 views

Who is the Vaishya Rishi Sankila?

As I discuss in this question, every Brahmana is a descendant of sages, which is why every Gotra or clan of Brahmins has an associated list of Pravaras, a list of the sages they're descended from. For ...
7
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1answer
439 views

Does a Sannyasi have a caste? Or it gets dissolved upon taking Sannyasa?

Usually, during taking Sannyasa, a Sannyasi discards his sacred thread by throwing it into the fire pit. Similarly, he discards his crown tuft (the Shikha). 1.Does that mean he has lost his caste (by ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What caste are foreigners?

If a person is born in hindu religion, he will have some caste. And is there anything that mentioned about foreigners? There are some civilizations like babylon that started in mesopotamia, along with ...
4
votes
0answers
325 views

What are the varnas (castes) of Lord Hanuman and Jambavan?

Hanuman was the child of Añjanā and Kesari. Both Anjana and Kesari belonged to the Vanara clan. Is the Varna System mentioned in our scriptures applicable only to human beings or is it applicable to ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is killing a brahmin considered sin while killing other caste people is not?

This question itself is motivated from this other question: What are different types of sins? Where the accepted answer cites some points from scriptures: Maha-pataka: Killing a Brahman, ...
8
votes
3answers
629 views

If a Brahmin doesn't perform duties as per his varna, is he still called as brahmin?

Normal duties of Brahmana varna are waking up early morning, learning and chanting Vedas, etc, But if a Brahmin doesn't perform these duties, is he still respected like other brahmins who perform ...
2
votes
1answer
547 views

What was the role of caste in the way Parshurama & Pandavas treated Karna?

I have this question troubling me since a long time, hence thought it may be a good platform to present it. On one Hand, we see Yudhishtra saying following lines towards Caste System. Yudhisthira ...
8
votes
3answers
645 views

What is dharma? [duplicate]

I have read the Geeta but I am unable to understand what exactly is someone's Dharma. If I am an established teacher from a kshatriya varna, is my dharma to teach or to protect/fight in a war? For ...
8
votes
2answers
793 views

Difference/Relation between Varna and Jati

We know that there are four Varna(वर्ण) called Brahmin, kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra. I found words/terms like Jati(जाति) and Jnati(ज्ञाति) are also used to convey similar meanings. One another ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Why are men who don't wear yajñopavītam asked to wear one during certain rituals?

I've seen this practice where the archaka or priest asks the person doing certain rituals like the Śrāddha to temporarily wear a yajñopavītam or something similar (quickly made out of a towel), I ...