Questions tagged [caste-system]

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

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18
votes
8answers
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 ...
10
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2answers
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 ...
16
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4answers
7k 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 ...
8
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0answers
560 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
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8answers
3k 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
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
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7answers
1k views

Examples of Varna migration in Hindu mythology?

Is migration between Varna really allowed in Hinduism? If yes, please give examples along with reference.
12
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4answers
5k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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
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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 ...
18
votes
2answers
831 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
914 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 ...
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 ...
6
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3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
26k 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
558 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 ...
5
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3answers
5k 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
826 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
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 ...
5
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0answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
262 views

Is there any writing in the scriptures that tell us how the caste system went from fluid to rigid?

As I had read in books on Indian History (which certainly do not discuss ideas in detail), the caste system as had been originally devised was not rigid; in other words, a person 'born into' a caste ...
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?
8
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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?
2
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3answers
447 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 ...
10
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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 ...
8
votes
2answers
893 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 ...
5
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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 ?
4
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2answers
811 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
1answer
677 views

Duty of a Shudra

Duty of a Shudra is not giving alms to Brahmins, as they are prohibited from having wealth. Mahabharata Santi Parva chapter 59: A Sudra should never amass wealth, lest, by his wealth, he makes the ...
3
votes
1answer
446 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?...
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?
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 ...
5
votes
7answers
416 views

Can the lower borns enter varna system?

Ambaṣṭha, Niṣāda, Pārośora, Ugra, Sūta, Māgadha, Vaideha, Āyogava, Kṣattṛ, Caṇḍāla, Āvṛta, Ābhīra, Dhigvaṇa, Pukkasa, Kukkaṭaka, Śvapāka, Veṇa Manusmriti (10.5) onwards gives names of mixed varna ...
7
votes
1answer
323 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
2answers
722 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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
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2answers
11k 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 ...
9
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2answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
905 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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?
6
votes
1answer
424 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
932 views

Can't Shudras read the Bhagavad Gita?

It is well known that Vedanta Sutras prohibit Shudras from Jnana by saying Smritis prohibit them from having Upanayana. But Bhagavad Gita is a book which contains Vedantic statements. As Vedanta ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Mentions of intercaste marriage in ManuSmriti or Manu Dharma

Trying to study ManuSmriti. 1) What does Manusmriti say about inter-caste marriages? 2) Are there any punishments given for inter-caste marriages? 3) Are there any mentions of inter-caste marriages ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the Bhagavad Gita declare that caste is based on birth?

Does the Bhagavad Gita declare that caste is based on birth? If so, which verses from the Gita declare that caste is based on birth? What do ancient, Vedantic commentators say?
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Is hiding one's caste a punishable offense?

From this article: Although the first Maratha ruler, Shivaji, freely recruited Mahars in his army, two centuries later, by the time of the Peshwas, the status of Mahars was lower than ever. The ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

How does Swami Vivekananda's psychological theory of Varna interpret Gita verses 4.13, 18.41-47?

Gita verses 4.13 and 18.41-47 have been traditionally interpreted in terms of birth into endogamous groups called castes. Swami Vivekananda has provided us with an alternative interpretation many ...
1
vote
3answers
2k 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 ...