The Origin Of The Caste System In India

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Almost every society in the world has a form of social classification or division. In India, the most prominent division is the caste system. The caste system is mainly associated with Hindus but many social scientists claim that this system exists in other religions within different parts of India. There are two parts to the caste system. The first are Varnas and the second are Jatis. Varnas are social classes which divided the population into groups based on their main occupations. The Jatis or Jats on the other hand, divided the people in each Varna into sub- groups. The origins of the caste system is much debated. There are religious and socio-historic theories. Whatever the theory might be, the consequences of the caste system over history has been detrimental.

Origin of the Caste System

The religious-mystical theory is mentioned in the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is the oldest Hindu ancient text. A section in this text explains the formation of the Varnas. Varnas are the social classes into which people were divided. According to the Rig Veda, the Varnas were created from the body of the first man on Earth. The Brahmanas, Kshatrias, Vaishias, and the Sudras were created from his head, hands, thighs and feet respectively. The hierarchy of the Varnas follow the location of these organs of the body from top to bottom. Other theories claim that the Varnas were created from the organs of Lord Brahma who is also considered the creator of all life according to
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