Sunday, January 19, 2014

Varna - Hindu Caste System

Jawaharlal Nehru (Left) and Gadhi (Right)
Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. It spread across the subcontinent of India, making it one of the major religions in the world. The religion hosted many Gods like Shiva and Vishnu. It is also includes a set of social caste system known as the Varna.

The Varna system or better known as the caste system of Hinduism is a hierarchical division of labor which includes the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. Each one of the ranks has a corresponding duty known as the dharma. The dharma assigned to the Varna should be done until death and should be done well. If a person done his dharma well he would advance, otherwise he would be demoted. But there are usual exemptions, such as, if a member of a Varna is in trouble of finding a job suitable for his/her Varna, the person is allowed to do the job of a lower Varna, but the members of the lower Varna is not allowed to do the job of the higher Varna. A person is a part of a specific Varna since birth until death also.

The Brahmins are those that have the duty of teaching and studying. There are the teachers, priests and intellectuals. Among the prominent Brahmins is the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Kshatriyas are those that have the duty of maintaining order and protecting the people. There are rulers, administrators, and soldiers.

The Vaishyas are those that have the duty of crafting and trading. There are usually farmers, artisans, and merchants. One of the famous Vaishya is the father of Indian Independence, Mahatma Gandhi.

The Sudras are those that have the duty of servitude. There are usually the laborers and the common people.

Many considered the existence of a fifth Varna. This fifth Varna is known as the Dalit or known as the untouchables. Their considered as the lowest caste and had the uty of cleaning and doing dirty jobs. They receive jobs of leathering, cleaning, and other messy jobs. They are subject to discrimination and segregation as the Hindus thought that dirty jobs corrupts the spirit. And because of this corruption, mingling will cause the corruption of the soul of those who come close to them. Fortunately many fight for the rights of the Dalit and to fight against untouchability. One good signal of the advance of their rights is when the tenth President of India, Kocheril Raman Narayanan, is a Dalit.

See Also: 
The Economy of Mauryan Empire

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