Questions tagged [caste-system]

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

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17
votes
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
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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
466 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 ...
16
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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 ...
13
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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
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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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
10
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 ...
8
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6answers
967 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
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
673 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
560 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 ...
11
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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 ...
8
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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?
7
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5answers
18k 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
519 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
667 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
531 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 ...
5
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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 ...
4
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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3answers
813 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 ...
2
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3answers
374 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 ...
12
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2answers
8k 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 ...
7
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2answers
620 views

Which Śruti texts explicitly state that varna is based on birth? [duplicate]

Are there any instances in Śruti scriptures which explicitly support birth-based varna? Edit: I'm not looking for interpretations, please only cite those references which exactly say that Varna is ...
6
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5answers
3k views

Does Hinduism promotes violence against inter caste marriage

Background: Many violence are occuring in name of STOPPING INTER CASTE marriage. Question : - Is our scriptures promoting these or not ?
3
votes
1answer
355 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?...
8
votes
1answer
695 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
199 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
506 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,...
3
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3answers
2k views

Are children of Brahmin parents also Brahmin by caste?

Is caste based on birth? Is it inherited? Do any scriptures support birth based caste system?
10
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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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the Rig Veda Purusha Suktam hymn an interpolation?

Is the Rig Veda Purusha Suktam hymn an interpolation? Western scholars and Indologists think so, especially the part about caste. Here's what wikipedia says on Varna: This Purusha Sukta varna ...
6
votes
1answer
284 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
895 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
675 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
518 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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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
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
146 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
439 views

When did untouchability start?

Kalavai Venkat's "Caste: a HAF-baked Lamentation" tells that "untouchability started in 12th century" Can somebody provide any reference from any book/scripture/history etc for the statement that "...
9
votes
1answer
440 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
866 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?
9
votes
2answers
530 views

Can a Sudra attain higher caste according to Manusmriti?

Manusmriti Verse 9.335 says: शुचिरुत्कृष्टशुश्रूषुर्मृदुवागनहङ्कृतः । ब्राह्मणाद्याश्रयो नित्यमुत्कृष्टां जातिमश्नुते ॥ ३३५ ॥ śucirutkṛṣṭaśuśrūṣurmṛduvāganahaṅkṛtaḥ | ...
7
votes
1answer
466 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
337 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
665 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 ...