Caste System

By: Julie Dembek

Brahmans

The Brahmins were the highest level in the caste system. Brahmins were priests and academics. They were considered basically holy. They had all the privileges available. In order to be a Brahmin, there were five requirements.

1. Must be of Brahmin descent on both sides of the family.

2. Must be a Yati.

3. Mantra

4. Virtue

5. Knowledge

Kshatriyas

Kshatriyas were the warriors and kings in the social placement. They were like the protectors. The root word Kshatra translates to rule, authority. Symbols often used to address the Kshatriyas was two swords through a shield. Their job was to protect the people, they were like a police force.

Vaisyas

Vaisyas are the third highest of 4 categories of the Hindu society. They are traditionally described as commoners. If someone was a Vaisya they were commonly a merchant, trader, or farmer. They were usually responsible for gathering and distributing food.
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Sudras

The fourth and “lowest” place on the caste system, the peasant. Traditionally artisans and laborers, but also worked as servants to the higher castes. They started off working the jobs that now belong to the untouchables. However Sudra’s began to get more farming and labor jobs, and they were no longer required to do the untouchables work.

Untouchable

You could become an untouchable if you married outside of your caste of violated laws. Considered to be out of the caste system. They had the jobs no one else wanted, like disposing with dead cattle and their hide, working with human feces, urine, spit, and sweat, and taking lives for a living (fisherman, ect.). Depending on where untouchables had to eat the flesh of cattle, pigs and chickens.