Questions tagged [caste-system]

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

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21
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

Why casteism (varṇa system) is based on birth instead of present guṇa-s & karma-s?

I've witnessed many Dwija-s behaving in lowly manner resorting to material pleasures, cruelty, ignorance, etc. & bereft of dhārmic conscience. On the other hand, I have witnessed many Śūdra-s ...
15
votes
4answers
740 views

What are the counter-arguments within Hinduism(scriptures) against the Birth based Varna and Caste system?

Even if earlier Varna was not birth based, and later it degenerated into birth base Varna and even later into birth based caste system. But whether there are counter arguments within Hinduism(esp. ...
14
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2answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
13
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
12
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7answers
2k views

Examples of Varna migration in Hindu mythology?

Is migration between Varna really allowed in Hinduism? If yes, please give examples along with reference.
11
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3answers
3k 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 ...
11
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3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
28k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
938 views

Where does Periyavachan Pillai discuss Mleccha devotees of Vishnu?

Mlecchas refer to people who are foreign to India and the Vedic tradition, in contrast to Nastikas who are from India but reject the Vedic tradition. In this excerpt from his Rahasyatraya Sara, the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
140 views

Do any other scriptures mention Brahma Tirtha, bathing where non-Brahmins become Brahmins?

Mahabharat, Vana parva, tirtha-yatra parva https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-mahabharata-third-book/d/doc7362.html. Says: One should next proceed to the excellent tirtha of Brahma. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
457 views

Does progeny born out of varNa-SaMkara (intermixing of classes) also derive gotra from father?

There was an episode where SatyakAma Jabala of unknown lineage was accepted as a disciple. Similarly, the recent, there happened another incident where King Prasenadi from the lineage of shAkhya was ...
9
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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 ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Is the Manusmriti written to favor a particular class of the society?

Critics say the Manusmriti is pro-Brahmin, and written by casteist Brahmins by favoring particular section of society and thereby oppressing Shudras, women, and other lower castes. Is this argument ...
9
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2answers
3k 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 ...
9
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4answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Can a Sudra attain higher caste according to Manusmriti?

Manusmriti Verse 9.335 says: शुचिरुत्कृष्टशुश्रूषुर्मृदुवागनहङ्कृतः । ब्राह्मणाद्याश्रयो नित्यमुत्कृष्टां जातिमश्नुते ॥ ३३५ ॥ śucirutkṛṣṭaśuśrūṣurmṛduvāganahaṅkṛtaḥ | ...
9
votes
2answers
963 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
624 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Can a Kshatriya man marry Vaishya woman?

I have heard from my friend that Kshatriya man can marry Vaishya woman. Is it true? What do our scriptures say on this?
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Why Gayatri mantra is widely recited by non-bramhins nowadays which was once the stronghold of only the brahmins?

Is there any reason for release of Gayatri mantra to non brahmins and even to women? I think such practice is irregular. Who is responsible for deviation from very ancient practice and making it ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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?
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
819 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
4answers
3k views

What is dharma for Mlecchas according to Hinduism?

Dharma is eternal and fixed. Each varna in Hinduism has its own dharma, which is defined by the Vedas. What is the dharma for Mlecchas?
8
votes
1answer
757 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
636 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Are Sudras not allowed to study any scriptures of Hindusim?

O Adi shankaracharya and Acharya Ramanuja commenting on Brahmasutras said Sudras are not allowed to study or hear any Vedas. If a sudra studies or hears Vedas he should be punished. Reading or ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of the term “Svadharma”?

What does the term "Svadharma" mean? What do the scriptures say about the term? Is Varna exclusive of "Svadharma"?
7
votes
2answers
2k 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
4answers
2k views

Did Satyavati and Shantanu belong to same caste?

Shantanu was king of Hastinapura. So, clearly he is Kshatriya by both caste and Varna. Coming to Satyavati, she was daughter of Chedi king Vasu and cursed apsara-turned-fish Adrika and brought up ...
7
votes
2answers
525 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
948 views

What is the criteria for being a dvija? Is anyone who has undergone upanayana a dvija?

Nowadays only the Brahmin caste undergoes upanayana. For example, we are Kshatriya Varna (by birth) but we have not undergone upnayana. Question- Is anyone who has not undergone the upanayana ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why low-caste people are not allowed inside some temples and homes?

In most temples and homes, especially in villages, low-caste people are not allowed. These regulations are being followed for thousands of years now. What is the reason behind such practice? What do ...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

Has any Hindu scholar who upheld birth based Varna system refuted Assalayana Sutta?

In the Assalayana Sutta, it is written that Buddha visited Sàvatthi. There around 500 Brahmins lived in Sàvatthi. As Buddha preached purity of all four Varnas, Brahmins decided to send a boy named ...
7
votes
2answers
242 views

According to guṇa-based varṇa system, at what age can one be certified a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, etc?

According to proponents of guṇa-based varṇa system (i.e., those that do not believe you are born into one specific Hindu varṇa), at what age can a person be certified as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, etc? ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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?
7
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the current status of the four varnas created by God?

We all know that four varnas — Brahmana, Vysya, Kshatriya and Sudra — were created by God, and each varna’s people would mutually help each other, through the jobs assigned to them. But as of now in ...
7
votes
3answers
322 views

What does the Bhagavad Gita mean when it says caste is based on Gunas? Does it mean trained, external behavior, or genetic predisposition?

What does the Bhagavad Gita mean when it says caste is based on Gunas? Does it mean trained, external behavior, or genetic predisposition? For reference, this verse says, 4.13 - The [social] ...
7
votes
1answer
775 views

Where in the Padma Purana are these verses located?

Where in the Padma Purana are the following verses located? Na śūdrā bhagavad-bhaktās te tu bhāgavatā matāḥ Sarva-varṇeṣu te śūdrā ye na bhaktā janārdane A devotee should never be considered ...

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