Sudra is a Sanskrit word that is
associated with meaning “not knowledgeable.” Unlike the members of the
three higher varnas, the Sudra are prevented from performing
upanayana, a rite that begins the study of the sacred Vedas.
The Sudra, therefore, lack this religious education.
The Sudra comprise the largest caste,
which has evolved to include everyone from small landowners on one
end of the scale to scavengers on the lower end. Sudra jobs include
maids, street sweepers, janitors, unskilled laborers, barbers and waiters. The
traditional castes include:
- Brahmin –
the priestly and teacher caste.
- Kshatriya –
the ruler and public service caste.
- Vaishya –
the business and merchant caste.
- Sudra/Dalit –
the semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Hinduism offers a path to moving up the
caste system via reincarnation. Someone who fulfills his/her duty
(dharma) in one life may improve his/her social position in the