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The Caste System of Ancient India

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Hana Doggett

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of The Caste System of Ancient India

The Caste System
of Ancient India What Jati am I? Sudras workers and servants Vaishyas merchants and farmers Kashatriyas warriors and rulers Brahmins Priests Below the castes, not even considered to be members of a caste, lived certain despised people. These people were thought to be dirty and not worthy of being touched. They were called “untouchables”. (In modern times, such people are usually called Dalits.) According to Vedic beliefs, untouchables were people who had committed bad acts in a previous life. These people were being punished in their present life. People who violated caste rules often became untouchables.
The Untouchables Indo-Aryan workers and servants often labored for members of higher castes. Merchants and farmers made food, clothing, and merchandise Indo-Aryan warriors protected kingdoms from invaders The Brahmins became the most valued members of Indo-Aryan society.

Indo-Aryan priests performed rituals, made offerings to the gods, and taught texts of sacred religious books. The word "Caste" is actually a Portuguese word. Jati is the original Indian word for Caste. Jati means “origin” or “birth,” suggesting that a person is born into a specific caste. Jati??? What in the world is a Jati? The caste system started in India
when the Indo-Aryans arrived in India in 1500 B.C.
A caste was a type of social level or class. These social classes, orvarnas, served a purpose. The classes were meant to give people a group to belong to. Members of each class took care of others from the same class. Class members also provided services for the larger community.

There were originally 4 main caste systems that you could be born into.
Later thousands of "mini castes" or castes within a caste were created.
What is the Caste System? Rule #1 The 2 Big Rules Rule #2 people are born into specific castes. The caste a person is born into is also the caste that he or she should belong to for life. One way to be removed from a caste is to break caste rules. In such a case, a person might become an untouchable. The individual would no longer be a member of his or her original caste. that individuals must follow caste rules. Examples of caste rules include: a person should have a specific occupation; a person should marry within caste guidelines; and a person should refrain from eating certain foods. What happens if I break the caste rules? Well I don't like those 2 rules... Rule #1 If you break rule #1 and try and move to a different caste - you are thrown out of all society and become an Untouchable. So you can forget about fighting in the next war - now you are cleaning toilets for life. Rule #2 If you break rule #2 and break the caste rules - you are thrown out of all society and become an untouchable. So you can forget about marrying that cute girl next door... you now are despised.
Good decision my friend. Wow... okay I'll follow the rules Since you have decided to follow the 2 Rules of the caste system there are 2 words you will need to know and love. dharma Karma :a person’s religious duty that includes following the rules of their caste :could be interpreted to mean “what goes around comes around.” Many Hindus believe that if a person does something bad in one life, that person may be punished in the next. However, if a person lives a life of good deeds, he or she will be rewarded in the next life. I have kept both caste rules all my life...
I never tried to leave the caste I was born into
and I kept all the rules for my specific caste

so what now? I think I did it.... This is the cool part... because you lived a good life and you kept the 2 rules - after you die you will be born again, only this time into a higher caste! This idea that after you die you will be born again into a new life is called reincarnation Reincarnation :the idea that a person can die and be reborn into another form. (Rebirth may be in the form of an animal, a human, or even an insect.) For example: lets say in my current life I am a farmer. Now I dont like working outside all day in the dirt but I will do my best. I will live all the rules and be a good person - kind to others. Well after I die I may get to be reborn as a ruler with servants! Before we start with the 4 main Castes, we must start with the social class that is so low and so despised it isn't even considered part of the caste system. These are the "Untouchables". The government of India, due in part to the efforts of a man named Mohandas Ghandi, decided that the practice of discriminating against people (like the untouchables) should not continue. Such discrimination was outlawed in 1950. The government created a welfare system to help members of lower castes. Citizen reforms had also been undertaken to help rid India of the caste system. However, many people in India still follow the caste system, largely because of the caste system’s association with traditional Hinduism. The Caste System Today in India a great Indian leader, believed that the caste system was unfair. He also taught that India should be a free nation. He believed that all people should be equal, and that the caste system bred inequality. Mohandas Gandhi Gandhi is famous because he was responsible for freeing Indian from British rule. He lead this revolution WITHOUT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE This is a short YouTube
video about Gandhi.
If you ever have time you NEED
to watch the 3 hour movie they made
about him. It is extremely inspirational. The ideas in this Prezi are to help students understand their social studies lessons on Compass Learning Odyssey. Mohandas Ghandi (a great modern Indian leader), named the untouchables “Harijan,” which means “Children of God.”
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