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The caste system was a system of social stratification in India andsome areas connected with Hindu culture such as Nepal that dividedpeople on the basis of inherited social status It was a division inthe society that was arranged in a hierarchy according to occupationsand family lineages Hindu caste system recognized four differentclasses among people based on these criteria and rigidly enforced itthrough a code of conduct that was specific for each class A personscaste or class was inherited from the parents and passed on tooffspring It dictated the occupation choice of partner or spouse andmany other aspects of a person life People within a specific caste wereexpected to interact with people of the same social class and movementinto different caste was not allowed There were four main castes into which every single one was categorizedAt the top of the hierarchy were the Brahmins which comprised thepriests scholars and the philosophers They were the people who studiedthe Vedas book of knowledge in ancient India performed rites andrituals and spent their lives pursuing knowledge and preserving theirtraditions They were the elite people in the Hindu society and acted asthe middlemen between gods and men Next to the Brahmins were theKshatriyas They were the ruler and warrior class and traditionallyacted as the protector of the people They also studied the Vedas andthey dispensed justice to the entire Hindu community They wereconcerned with the defense and overall administration of their society The third highest caste was the Vaishyas These were the tradersmerchants and people involved in agricultural production They studiedthe Vedas and were allowed to perform and participate in certain vedicrituals but they were not allowed to marry people of higher caste Thelowest caste was the Shudras They were the labor class whose onlyfunction in the Hindu society was to serve the other three castes There was one other group of people below the Shudras with no caste atall and they were called the Chandalas or
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