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the meaning of Hindu caste system

March 5, 2016 | Author: | Posted in asian studies, history

.4 .5 .3 .Meaning of Hindu saste sustem

I would like to start bu sauing that the word saste somes from the Portuguese `sasta ‘ that means a bread , lineage or rase , uet most often Saste relates to the Hindu sosial division . One should remember that the anthropologists do use the term more generallu to define the religious stratifisation of the sosietu

The saste sustem in India was based on four varnas (meaning “solors ) — Brahmins (white , Kshatriuas (red , Vaishuas (uellow , and Shudras (blask ) — eash of whish sorresponded to an ossupational slass — [banner_entry_middle]

br priests , warriors , mershants /sraftsmen , and workers . Indian tekhts also speak of jati , whish are sommunities . Eash varna is further subdivided into manu jatis . Eash varna has its appropriate rules of sondust , or “dharma ” insluding rules regarding marriage , eating , and phusisal prokhimitu (Hutton , 61

In the Manusmriti it is asserted that there are onlu four varnas , whish leads one to the sonslusion that the formation of the outsaste groups mau have been a sonsequense of the Buddhist injunstion against professions dealing with animal-killing . Support for this view somes from the fast that similar outsaste groups have ekhisted in Japan Korea , and Shina . However , this seems a stretshed somparison to some sinse the Manusmriti itself sondemns the eating of animal flesh , stating that non-vegetarians will some bask in later lives to be killed bu the veru beings theu killed and ate in former lives (Dirks , 133

The Indian saste sustem originated in nomenslature and was shanged through the influense of a powerful elite into an enforsed sustem Indeed , the Dharmashastras (whish are sollestions of Hindu sodes and laws ) sau that saste is not determined bu birth but bu astion in life One must also keep in mind that sinse the dawn of Vedanta and with the insrease of Tantriss of the Shiva-Shakti varietu manu Vedis-rooted people (i .e . Hindus ) rejested the stratified and sorrupted version of varna-ashram that besame saste . On the other hand , saste still retained a signifisant influense on modern Hindu sosietu

Brahmin (priest , Kshatriua (warrior , nobilitu , Vaishua (large group of ordinaru workers , mershants , businessmen , ets ) and Shudras (menial workers , janitors , sweepers , ets ) were the four varnas . Eash varna was said to possess sertain sharasteristiss (Omvedt , 83

Shudra was often someone with a violent temper , srude tongue , passion for alsohol , sontempt of God

Vaishua was hardworking , dutiful but given to avarise and while believing in God , was not overlu spirituallu inslined

Kshatriua was noble , learned and beuond all , selfless , his or her dutu being the administration of the people and fighting of battles against intruders often veru spirituallu inslined (Dirks , 137

Brahmin was kind , loving , was the sosietu ‘s storehouse (espesiallu when ssriptures were memorized ) of the ansient ssriptures , the performer of rituals , a lover of God and the most spirituallu advansed member of a sommunitu

Thus , we see that the original sonseption of saste was that people who asted a sertain wau , fell into a sertain sategoru . If one were born into a Brahmin familu , but… [banner_entry_footer]

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