Caste system in medieval India

Caste system in medieval India

Even the oldest Indians were divided into four Varna: brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Everyone was respected depending on which of the varna he belonged to. The one who did not belong to any of the varnas was considered “untouchable” and treated worse than with the cattle.

In the Middle Ages, varna began to split into Castes, the number of which increased. Members of the caste were united primarily by a common profession, which was inherited by children from their father. Convictions from one caste to another were condemned, and marriages between representatives of different castes.

What was the difference between castes and varnas? Each caste was guided by its religious law, lived by its customs and traditions. There was no equality between castes. The

most humiliated was the caste of the “untouchables”), to which servants, cleaners, slaughterhouses and other “laborers” belonged. How did the new castes arise? First of all, due to mixed marriages. When the couple belonged to different castes, they formed a new caste. The new castes were those forest tribes who moved to the city or village. With the advent of caste, the division of the population into varnas remained, the castes co-existed with them.

VII century. Chinese traveler Xuan Zang about the Indian varnas and castes

Families in India are divided into four varnas.

The first varna belongs to the brahmanas. They are people of pure conduct, they strictly adhere to the laws of religion, morality and are guided by the most correct principles.

To the second varna belong the ksatriyas. For centuries, they are the ruling group. Kshatriyas care for integrity and charity.

The people of the third varna are called vaisyas. They are engaged in cakes and are looking for profits…

The people of the fourth varna are called sudras… The sudras are engaged in agriculture… Having married, a person occupies a higher or a lower position, depending on the new relationship. Indians do not allow indiscriminate confusion through marriages between relatives. A married woman will never have a second husband. But, except for the counted varnas, there are many other groups in which marriages are allowed only between members of the same profession.

Varna – in ancient India, one of four large social groups: brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, sudras.

Castes are closed groups of people, each of which takes its place in society and differs primarily in the hereditary profession.


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Caste system in medieval India