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the lowest of the four ancient Indian varnas.

The Sudra varna, which became established during the formation of a class society in India, was made up of conquered tribes and of outsiders who were admitted into the community; the latter included persons who had become separated from their own tribes and persons whose tribes had broken up. In the ancient Indian slaveholding society, the Sudras were servants, artisans, and dependent and subordinate workers. In confirmation of their lowly status, they were forbidden to undergo the initiatory rite (”second birth”) that would entitle them to full civil rights; as a result, the Sudras, unlike the three higher varnas, were “once born.”

The Sudras were subject to many social restrictions: they were forbidden to own land, hold priestly or governmental office, or take part in politics or religious ceremonies. Their unequal status was reflected in various practices; for example, if convicted of a crime, Sudras were punished more severely than members of the higher varnas would be in similar circumstances, and money could be lent to them at unusually high rates of interest.

In the first centuries of the Common Era, the Sudras achieved higher status, and many restrictions disappeared; their social position came to resemble that of the Vaisyas. In various parts of India, castes were classified as Sudra regardless of their actual status, and the term lost a fixed meaning for India as a whole.


References in periodicals archive ?
Yesterday, after a helter-skelter opening period in which Cardiff seemed keen to rumble at every stoppage, Blaze pulled away after Shudra's opener.
The RSS functionary took exception to the fact that "Shudras" were Dalits.
GB equalised when Shudra scored his third goal of the tournament as he bundled the puck past Chun from a goalmouth scramble (27:03) but Korea went back in front 47 seconds later when Hun Park netted from the slot (27:50).
Tu eres un shudra, no importa lo grande que puedas ser, tendras que tocar el polvo de mis pies.
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As the Stars forwards attemptied to break through, the Steeldogs got their fourth in the 31st minute when Cole Shudra bagged his first senior goal.
The Buddhists were finally absorbed into the caste system, mainly as Sudras (also spelled Shudra) and 'Untouchables', and with that the Buddhist presence was obliterated from the land of its birth.
We can answer these questions through an understanding of the classification of human beings according to their worth and merit because in the Hindu system of chaturvarnashrama a person can be classified as a Brahmana, a Kshyatriya, a Vysya, and as a Shudra based on religious hierarchy (see Klostermaier, 1989, pp.
Brahman, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra are the four basic classes of society under which religion?