Brahmins were part of the caste system, the top they mainly consisted of priests, but sometimes they were the advisors of kings. Brahmins could become anything they wanted to be, but only Brahmin could become priests.The Brahmin priests are responsible for the religious rituals in temples and other religious places. The soon to be priests had rigorous training to become actual priests. The kids of priests were taught to become a priest just like their parent or parents. Brahmin had very strict rules; they couldn’t perform many tasks of everyday life such as they couldn’t get their own food, or use violence to defend themselves.
The kshatriyas were made of soldiers, generals, and kings. This class ran the government. They had to defend the society from invasions and robbers. They also had to be brave and high-minded. They had to study the ancient Hindu scriptures under a Brahman teacher and were expected to follow rules of ritual purity that the brahman caste observes. Kshatriya is derived from the words for “power” and “ruler.” Members of this caste have traditionally ruled over communities and Indian society. This caste retained many privileges including special forms of marriage. They possessed most of the power but it could be overrun by the Brahmans.
The Vaishya caste was for the commoners and they did jobs like farming, cattle raising, metal work, and baking. The Vaishyas also carried on trading activities for example, they brought farm products to the market and lent money to keep various businesses and shop going. They also ending up owning land and lending money. Every person in this class possessed a different important skill. Like the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas are a twice-born caste, which means that they were reincarnated into this caste. This class also did sacrifices.
The Sudras were often considered the bottom class due to many not classifying the untouchables as part of the caste system. The Sudras were the laboring class of peasants, servants, and artisans. The jobs they did included leather working, disposing of garbage, laundering, and agricultural labor. They served the three higher twice-born castes The Sudras were often considered as bad as the Untouchables and were able to be exiled or slain at will. They did any types of work that the three upper classes refused to do.
The Dalits (Untouchables)
The Untouchables were the lowest level of the caste system, often not even considered part of it. The weren’t really considered human and they had a hard life. They performed the tasks that no other citizens would accept. Some jobs that they had were collecting trash and handling dead bodies. People didn’t consider the untouchables apart of the caste system. They believed being around an untouchable was harmful to other classes. Because of this the untouchables had limited rights. They were not allowed in Hindu temples. The other Castes ignored the untouchables and acted like they didn’t exist. Dalit, the formal name for Untouchables, translates to “oppressed” which perfectly describes the Untouchables.