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If you look into the history of the India, then the existence of the classism can be noticed prominently. The existence of the caste system in the society of India is since the age of the Rig Veda. The people in the society were divided into four classes, and these were Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra. According to the Veda, Varna means the color of the skin and the people of the society were divided into different classes according to their skin color as well in the historic age. The white skin tone is referred to the Aryans, and others are referred as Dravidian.

There is another explanation of the existence of the castes in the society, and that is occupational division. People in India were divided into the classes according to their occupations. According to the historic explanation, there are different classes of people who are distinguished according to their skin colors and the occupations.

Caste photo

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Explanation about caste in the classical literature

Purusha Sukta is a part of Rig Veda where you get an explanation about the caste system in India. According to this part of classical literature, Brahmin Varna is the referred as the mouth of the Universal man, Kshatriya Varna represents the arms of the man and the Vaishyas are explained as his thighs, and the Sudras are referred as the feet. This explanation of the caste system in Rig Veda is something different from the today’s reflection and what we think of the cast system.

At that time the cast system was completely open, and there was no restriction in inter-caste marriage and choosing occupation. Their preferences used to get the priority in choosing the occupation or practicing an occupation. There was no boundary in drinking, taking foods among the different casts. They were free to live their lives as they wanted and their cast used to depend on the individual traits they were not identified depending on their birth.

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Difference between the Varnas

Though there were no restrictions among the different casts but there were some different living pattern among the classes, and that was their identification. There were some restrictions for the different casts since the historic age. The differences were in their lifestyles, like the right of reading the Gayatri Mantra was given to the Brahmins only. Their welcoming patterns of the Varnas were different since the historic age.

But the maximum liberties were given to the Brahmins, and that was the starting of the transformation of Rig Vedic age to the Samhitas and then Brahminic age to the Upanishad. These transformations of the society left the caste system more prominent, and the reflection of this system can be noticed in today’s Indian society as well.

Different explanations

If you are thinking of what are the origins of the cast system? Then you may get numerous answers as there are different kinds of explanations on the subject of Cast in the Indian society. Apart from the historic explanation, you get other elaboration on this topic.

Caste photo

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Parasara theory

According to the Parasara theory, the source of the entire mankind is the Brahmins. According to Parasara, the mankind formed from different body parts of the Brahmins and they reflect their positions accordingly. This explanation can make people understand about the discrimination of the different castes and the sub-castes as well.

Mahabharata theory

Mahabharata is one of the most popular religious books which reflect the history of the country. In this theory, the origins of the mankind are not the Brahmins, but the Brahmins emerged from the mouth of the mankind creator. The roles of the different castes were also defined in theory and, the classifications came accordingly. In the theory of the Mahabharata, you get to know that the mankind emerged purposefully and they have some important roles to save the world and run the country.

Theory of Manu

In this theory, different castes were emerged from different body parts of the mankind creator, and he had sent the mankind to fulfill different duties and distinguished among the castes come accordingly.

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The difference in culture

You may notice the difference in the cultures of the castes and sub-castes. The traditional beliefs and the living styles of the several castes are different. You can identify the prominent difference among the castes. Brahmins were engaged in mainly worships, so their clothes were related to their religious beliefs. In the other hand, the Kshatriyas were engaged in battles to save the country, so their appearances were as a fighter.

There are different lifestyles among the several castes and their communities. If you look into their cultures, you may get to notice the difference there as well. The rituals and the celebrations of the people depend on their origins, and they have different cultural aspects as well. Their several cultures and lifestyles can e enjoyed by people from other countries. The food habits of the communities depend on their living places, and their physical structure is grown up accordingly. People from different castes leave several impacts on the society and help it to run successfully.

The history of the ancient India is full of glory. If you have the interest in Mythology, then you can go through the religious history of the country to know about the historical origin of the castes. People believe in different theories and the viewpoints about the cast system.

If you want to know about these beliefs in detail, then the mythological books can help you in the best way. You need to know about the social structure of the country and how different castes run the society together. There are some effects of the castes on the modern world, and if you know the background of the beliefs of people about castes, then it can be understood by you easily.

Featured Photo by SMU Central University Libraries

Unknown Facts About The Varnas Or The Caste System Of India

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