There are three main religions in India, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. The time of the Aryan invasion and the adoption of the caste system marked the beginning of modern Hinduism.
Shiva <ul><li>Shi·va n. Hinduism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the principal Hindu deities, worshiped as the destroyer and restorer of worlds and in numerous other forms. Shiva is often conceived as a member of the triad also including Brahma and Vishnu. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Rigid, hereditary membership into birth caste </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage only among member of same caste </li></ul><ul><li>Occupation choices restricted </li></ul><ul><li>Personal contact with other castes restricted </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of fixed place in society </li></ul>How Caste Shapes Society
<ul><li>Members of a caste rely on each other for support </li></ul>Caste Systems Benefits <ul><li>Each caste has an occupation(s) and contributes to the good of the whole </li></ul>
Caste Systems Benefits Each caste is born out of Brahma (the creator) Brahmins—thinkers/knowers Vaisya—provide food for the belly Sudra—do the work Ksatriya—doers
Traditional Village System Today…more of a market system Landholder gives grain to… Barber Potter Blacksmith Carpenter Priest
At the top of the caste system were the Brahmans , or the priests and leaders. These individuals we few in number. They were the only ones who were allowed to teach in schools and go to school, however the Brahman women could do neither.
Underneath the Brahmans was the Kshatriya , or the warriors. This group was not large in number. The Kshatriya were in the army or leaders in a way different from that of the Brahmans. Women could not be warriors but they could belong to this class.
Under the warriors were the vaishyas , these individuals were traders or farmers who owned their businesses or farming land. This group was made up of a great deal of people in India. Vaisyas – Skilled Traders, Merchants
<ul><li>Below these four castes are people who belong to no caste </li></ul><ul><li>Untouchables – Outcastes, Children of God </li></ul><ul><li>Concept of pollution …the most pure at the top (Brahmins) and the most polluted at the bottom (Untouchables) </li></ul>
Second to last were the shudras , who were servants and farmhands who did not own their own land or businesses and who were employed by other people in a higher class. Jobs include gardeners, potters, and clothes washers
At the very bottom of the caste system, technically not belonging to a class at all, were the untouchables . The untouchables held the worst jobs in society, usually collecting garbage and cleaning up human waste…
The slaves in India were thought to be below the untouchables and were not classified at all. They were not even seen as human but rather as property.
<ul><li>Belong to no caste </li></ul><ul><li>Expected to do the “dirty” jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Come in contact with animal skins, dead bodies and human feces </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid contact with “caste” Indians for fear of “pollution” </li></ul>Untouchables - The Outcastes
Living in ancient India, you were defined by your caste. There was no way for an individual or their children in India to escape their caste and move up. Not even death could break the cycle.
There were extremely strict rules surrounding the caste system in India. People from different castes could certainly not marry each other or even become friends and they were not even allowed to eat in the presence of another class.
caste Any of the hereditary, endogamous social classes or subclasses of traditional Hindu society, stratified according to Hindu ritual purity, especially the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra castes. Su·dra (Untouchable) A member of the lowest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, comprising artisans, laborers, and menials. How would it feel to be untouchable?
Hindus bathe in the sacred Ganges River. Untouchables are discouraged to bathe there.