Sudra


Sudra
/sooh"dreuh/, n.
Shudra.
[ < Skt sudra]

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▪ Hindu class
also spelled  Shudra,  Sanskrit  Śūdra 

      the fourth and lowest of the traditional varnas, or social classes, of Hindu India, traditionally artisans and labourers. The term does not appear in the earliest Vedic literature. In its first application it probably included all conquered peoples of the Indus civilization as they were assimilated as menials to the three-class society of the Brahmans (priests and teachers), Kshatriya (nobles and warriors), and Vaishya (merchants). Sudras are not permitted to perform the upanayana initiatory rite, which introduces members of the three upper classes to the study of the Vedas (earliest sacred literature) and gives them their status as dvija (“twice-born”).

      The Sudra varna includes a wide spectrum of endogamous status groups with dominant, landowning groups at one end of the scale and near-untouchables at the other. These variations derive from the Hindu belief that certain behaviour patterns and occupations are polluting, a concept that gave rise to a distinction between “clean” and “unclean” Sudra groups; for example, washers, tanners, shoemakers, sweepers, and scavengers were once relegated to untouchability (see untouchable). As evidence of group mobility in the caste system, some observers have pointed out that many castes claiming Kshatriya and Vaishya status gradually emerged from the Sudra class. See also varna.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Sudra — [so͞o′drə] n. [Sans śūdra] a member of the fourth and lowest Hindu caste, that of menial laborers …   English World dictionary

  • Sudra — Su dra (s[=oo] dr[.a]), n. [Skr. [,c][=u]dra.] The lowest of the four great castes among the Hindoos. See {Caste}. [Written also {Soorah}, {Soodra}, and {Sooder}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sudra — u. Sudras, so v.w. Schudra …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sudra — Sudra, ind. Kaste, s. Çudra …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sudra — Sudra, andere Schreibung für Çūdra (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • sudra — s. f. 1. Casta inferior da Índia. • s. m. 2. Indivíduo dessa casta e que geralmente se emprega nos trabalhos mais rudes …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Sudra — noun Etymology: Sanskrit śūdra Date: 1630 a Hindu of a lower caste traditionally assigned to menial occupations • Sudra adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sudra — Shudra (Sanskrit, शूद्र, m., śūdra, f., śūdrā) ist im indischen Kastensystem die Bezeichnung für die vierte Kaste (Varna) der traditionellen vier Kasten. Sie stellen (abgesehen von den Unberührbaren, die außerhalb des Kastensystems stehen) die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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