Termo

Tibetano:

རིགས་བཞི་

rigs bzhi

Sânscrito:

Português:

quatro castas

English:

four castes

The traditional class distinctions of Indian society associated with different psychological types and the kind of work or social function deemed appropriate to them. Over the centuries the caste system developed and is now extremely complex. Buddhist texts refer only to the original fourfold system and repudiate it in the sense of rejecting the idea, still current in Indian society, that such distinctions are immutable and are dictated by the circumstances of birth. The four types or classes are the royal or ruling class (kshatriya, rgyal rigs), the priestly class (brahmin, bram ze rigs), the merchant class (vaishya, rje 'u rigs), and the menial class (shudra, dmangs rigs). [TPQ]