The Caste System?

Caste Mark

The “four careers” are four social roles based on four personality types: (1) Rare people are philosophical and intellectual, and they function as the thinkers and guides of society – “brāhmaṇa.” (2) A few people are unusually powerful, they function as rulers, leaders and enforcers – “kṣatriya.” (3) Some people are very resourceful and entrepreneurial, they function in business to generate wealth and social resources – “vaiṣya.” (4) Most people are simply obsessed with making ends meet, yet don’t possess much personal talent. They function as employees – “śūdra.”

These terms may ring an unfriendly bell, sounding a lot like the deplorable, debilitating “caste system.”  The clear and all-important difference between the original system and its ruined pre-modern farce, however, is that one’s position in the original is based on practical qualifications (“guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśa”) while in the modern farce it is based solely on birth (“janma-vibhāgaśa”).


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