“James” Theerapatr Sakulkiatpotchana
Mr. Jeffrey Steers
16 May 2013
The Caste System
The Caste system is “Social hierarchy distinguishing India’s social structure from any other nation”(mtholyoke.edu, epandit). The caste system was used to control people and separate them from each other. Date back to 1200 BCE, caste is used to identify a group of people having a specific social rank. Most of the history seemed to disappear and change through time and generations. The history was transmitted orally by speeches. The caste system affected the status of people, meaning who you can talk with, what you can do, and what you must not do. After each life, the soul does not disappear but it just goes back to a spiritual world, a soul gets reborn into a new life and into a different form. Virtuousness is the main factor of reincarnation. Each soul had different behavior from their previous life, each good and bad actions also called karma. The highest souls can become the lowest forms as the lowest forms can become the best forms in the human world. Shudra caste could be rewarded with rebirth as a Brahmin, if Shudra persevere for the virtuousness. Not just the human society that the soul can transfer to, they can also be formed as animals, vegetables, or even some material forms such as rocks. Within a lifecycle, people had to
strive for virtue, diligent for good morals to attain a higher class the next life.
Reincarnation led people to do good in present time for beneficial of next life. Powerful warriors were the most important factor to conquer all the nations at that time. Nomadic warriors known as Aryans, with fair skin, arrived in India from south Europe and North Asia. Before their arrival there were other origin communities. The Negrito have similar features to people in Africa and the Mongoloid have Chinese features. The Australoids have features similar the aboriginals of Australia, and the Dravidians which originate from the Mediterranean. Aryans arrived in India and came in contact with the Dravidians and the Australoids. The Aryans disregarded the local cultures of the Dravidians. The Aryans started conquering the native people with their skills on horseback riding. The Aryan invasion started the history of caste system. They created their own society, they refer to themselves as high class because of their skin color. They didn’t want other people with darker skin to become the same class as them. The darkest skin color people were known as the outcasts. The Aryans refer to themselves in three classes, Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya and they made the native people become peasants and servants.
The Caste system exists by the Aryans’ written books. The Aryans wrote songs about their gods. These songs were called The Vedas, earliest written evidence about the caste system. one of India’s vast bodies of religious scripture in Sanskritlanguage texts from early 1500 BCE. Arrangement of the time is under debate. The history was transmitted orally for many generations before being written down and no one was able to find the evidence to find which centuries they were committed to writing. After they learned how to write, the first of the four basic Vedic book is The Rig Veda; a collection
of over 1,000 hymns with the Aryans god mythology. The most famous sections in ancient Indian literature, The Rig Veda, was created by a man by the name of “Purusa”. He was sacrificed in order to give rise to the four varnas: ...
Cited: History of the Caste system in India. Moutholyoke by epandit, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
Caste in Modern India. Moutholyoke by epandit, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
The Caste System. Victorianweb, Desmond Kuah ‘04, Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
History of the Indian caste system, Wikipedia, Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
Bowden, Rob, and Darryl Humble. India: Changing World. Mankato: Arcturus
Publishing, 2013. Print.
Years in a North Indian Village. London: University of California Press,
LTD, 1963, 1971, 2000. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document