The Caste System - Hinduism

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The Caste System - Hinduism by Mind Map: The Caste System - Hinduism

1. Occupations

1.1. General rules

1.1.1. Occupations believed to be divinely ordained and determined in previous lives

1.1.2. Passed down through the generations

1.1.3. Marriage within the same caste is required

1.1.4. Each caste has a certain type of diet that must be adhered to

1.1.5. Impossible to change occupations within castes without reincarnation

1.2. Different castes

1.2.1. Brahmins

1.2.1.1. The people interested in knowledge

1.2.1.2. Ancient Times - the priests, teachers, counselors, philosophers, and scholars of the society

1.2.1.3. Modern Times - the political leaders, business administrators, doctors, and nurses of the society

1.2.2. Kshatrias

1.2.2.1. The people interested in power

1.2.2.2. Ancient Times - the kings, queens, dukes, princesses, and warriors of the society

1.2.2.3. Modern Times - the business executives, military personnel, and the powerful people of the society

1.2.3. Vaishias

1.2.3.1. The people interested in material things

1.2.3.2. Ancient Times - the artisans, craftsmen, farmers, traders, and merchants of the society

1.2.3.3. Modern Times - the businessmen, stock brokers, bankers, and skilled workers of the society

1.2.4. Sudras

1.2.4.1. The people who are not really motivated by much at all

1.2.4.2. Ancient Times - the low-skilled workers and peasants of the society

1.2.4.3. Modern Times - the construction workers, harvesters, janitors, and low-skilled workers of the society

2. The Untouchables

2.1. History

2.1.1. Started with people who did not have any purpose in Hindu life, meaning they had no Dharma to follow (the foreigners and non-Hindus)

2.1.2. People who did unclean jobs also were not allowed to be "touched" (for fear of contamination) and were therefore deemed "untouchable"

2.2. Restrictions

2.2.1. How untouchables were discriminated against in ancient times

2.2.1.1. Did not posses any rights in society

2.2.1.1.1. Prohibited from going into the temples

2.2.1.1.2. Could not use public resources, such as wells

2.2.1.2. Not allowed to have any form of contact with the four Varnas

2.2.2. How untouchables (Dalits) are discriminated against today

2.2.2.1. Basically the same restrictions as in ancient times, yet almost worse

2.2.2.2. Have horrible, unclean, and dangerous jobs

2.2.2.3. Not welcome in the company of people in higher castes

2.3. Occupations and Habits

2.3.1. Jobs that involved the ending of a life, such as slaughtering animals, fishing, etc.

2.3.2. Jobs that involved the killing, disposing, or hurting of cattle, which are considered to be sacred by the Hindus

2.3.3. Jobs that involved dealing with unclean items, especially human waste

2.3.4. Meat eating people, which would imply that they had no respect for the belief in reincarnation

3. Non-Hindus in the Caste System

3.1. Judaism

3.1.1. Main Jewish communities

3.1.1.1. Baghdadis

3.1.1.1.1. Strictly kept the religious laws

3.1.1.2. Bene Israels

3.1.1.3. Cochinis

3.1.2. Jews were split into different communities because of the influence of the Indian caste system as well as the Jewish Halacha laws

3.1.3. Many of the same restrictions applied, such as marriage within the community

3.2. Islam

3.2.1. Two classes

3.2.1.1. Sharif Jat

3.2.1.2. Ajlaf Jat

3.2.2. Muslims did not let themselves be treated as untouchables

3.2.3. Attempted to convert Hindus to Islam

3.3. Christianity

3.3.1. Split into two main classes

3.3.2. Indians who converted to Christianity usually stayed part of the same caste as they had always been a part of

3.4. Sikhism

3.4.1. Opposed to the caste system

3.4.2. Still had certain groups of people that tend to restrict marriage and job occupations

3.5. Jainism

3.5.1. Had separate communities that restricted marriage

3.6. Buddhism

3.6.1. Had a two level system

3.6.2. Usually Indians who converted to Buddhism remained within their same caste

4. Beginnings and Origins of the Caste System

4.1. Different Theories

4.1.1. Religious Theory

4.1.1.1. Purush destroyed himself, creating a human society with the four different varnas

4.1.1.1.1. Brahmans came from his head

4.1.1.1.2. Kshatrias came from his hands

4.1.1.1.3. Vaishias came from his thighs

4.1.1.1.4. Sudras came from his feet

4.1.1.2. The order of the castes are demonstrated by Purush's body, the higher casts being at the top of his body, and the lower casts being his thighs and feet.

4.1.1.3. Does not explain the untouchables or the Jats within the varnas, but only the origin of the four main varnas

4.1.2. Biological Theory

4.1.2.1. Three qualities are possesed in different amounts among all things that exist

4.1.2.1.1. Sattva - good characteristics, such as wisdom and honesty

4.1.2.1.2. Rajas - passionate characteristics, such as pride

4.1.2.1.3. Tamas - negative characteristics, such as laziness

4.1.2.2. Food affects the qualities as well

4.1.2.3. Four Varnas:

4.1.2.3.1. Brahmans have Sattva characteristics

4.1.2.3.2. Kshatrias have Rajas characteristics

4.1.2.3.3. Vaishias have Rajas characteristics

4.1.2.3.4. Sudras have Tamas characteristics

4.2. Aryan Rule

4.2.1. Started with the arrival of the fair-skinned Aryans from the north part of Asia and Europe

4.2.2. Aryans completely took over and organized themselves into three groups

4.2.2.1. Rajayana (name was later changed to Kshatria) - the warriors

4.2.2.2. Brahmans - priests (eventually became the leaders of the society, and the highest level of the caste)

4.2.2.3. Vaisia - farmers and craftsmen (later became the landlords and businessmen)

4.2.3. Skin color played a role in determining the castes - the lighter the skin, the higher the caste

4.3. Hindu Rule

4.3.1. Adopted the Caste System from the Aryans

4.3.2. Changed it slightly (the order, etc.)

4.3.3. Added the untouchables

4.4. Goal of the caste system

4.4.1. For one to fulfill their Dahrma (their purpose, or spiritual and moral duty) by following the rules of their caste

4.4.2. To have a good Karma, because one's Karma determines how their next life will be

4.4.2.1. Karma is the average of all the good and bad actions that a person has done in his or her life

5. Caste System in Modern India

5.1. The legality of the caste system

5.1.1. Illegal today (made illegal by the Indian government in 1949)

5.1.2. Politically, all Hindus have equal rights in India

5.1.3. Positive discrimination is practiced in different forms by the various state governments

5.2. The social situation of the caste system

5.2.1. The caste system is deeply ingrained in all Hindu's minds

5.2.2. People in separate castes treat each other differently than they treat people in their own castes

5.2.3. Higher castes

5.2.3.1. Usually rich, because they work in more profitable job areas

5.2.3.2. Must work to obtain the good jobs, nevertheless

5.2.4. Lower castes

5.2.4.1. Roughly 56% of the population

5.2.4.2. Usually poor, because they get the undesirable jobs

5.2.4.3. Now are able, with an extreme amount of effort, to get a good education and work profitable jobs (a rare occurrence)

6. Women in the Caste System

6.1. Purpose

6.1.1. To fulfill their Dharma

6.1.1.1. Run the household

6.1.1.2. Serve her husband

6.1.1.3. Bear children

6.1.2. The same in all different castes

6.2. Limitations

6.2.1. Typically not allowed to be spiritual leaders or teachers, such as priests

6.2.2. Were not permitted to have the same place in the workforce as men

6.2.3. Have more equal roles in today's society, but still are somewhat inferior

7. Bibliography