Caste System in Later Vedic Period

Caste System in Later Vedic Period: In the Later Vedic Period, the caste system became rigid and society came to be divided into four main castes. Brahmans occupied the top position and performed all the rituals. Kshatriyas were a warring class who occupied the second class and protected their kingdom from any external attacks. Vaishyas were farmers, traders, and businessmen. Shudras occupied the lowest strata of society and were supposed to do all the menial work.

The Brahmins and Kshatriyas enjoyed powers and privileges denied to the Vaisyas and the By this time, besides the four major Varnas, many other caste groups had come into being like – the merchants, the chariot-makers, the smiths, the carpenters, the tanners, the fishermen, etc. Membership of a caste had become hereditary’ and there was also a fixation of occupation on the basis of one’s caste grouping. The so-called untouchables were forced to live in separate settlements outside the village or the town boundaries.

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