The Caste system is the social hierarchy in India. It represents a division of labor based on birth right justified by moral and religious concepts. The Brahmins held the most power in Hindu society as priests, otherwise known as the spiritual and intellectual leaders of the society. They devoted their time to studying, teaching, performing sacrifices, and officiating religious services. The second Varna in the social hierarchy is the Kshatriyas who are the rulers and warriors of the society. Their job is to protect, administer, and promote material welfare within the society. The third in the social hierarchy is the Vaishyas who are the farmers, merchants, and traders who really contribute to the economy of India. The fourth and last of the Varnas are known as the Sudras who are laborers that supply the manual labor needed for the economic well-being of India.
Varna is a system that existed in the Vedic Society that divided the society into four classes Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (skilled traders, merchants), and Shudras (unskilled workers). Varna literally translates to color, but the system has nothing to do with an individual’s skin color, but has everything to do with classifying individuals based on their characteristics and attributes. The Varna system was originally created to give structure to Indian society based on each individual’s qualities, not based on one’s birth right which is what it has developed into.
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