Four Hindu Castes in Arabic and Persian (Post No.11,893)


Post No. 11,893

Date uploaded in London – –  11 APRIL 2023                  

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Four Hindu castes are found for the first time in the very late portion of the Rig Veda (RV). We come across Brahmana, Kshatria, Vaisya and Shudra in the Purushasuktam Hymn of the Tenth Mandala ( RV10-90).

Islamic- Arabic- Persian names for the four groups are

1.Ul-ul-ilm or ul-ul-albaab




First four occur in Quran.

Simpler and most commonly used forms are


2.Aamil(amiir, aamir from amr)




Abul- Fazl, famous minister of Akbar, in introduction to his great book Aain-i- Akbarii (Laws of Akbar) names the four as

1.Ahl-i-qulam- Men of Pen, the learned

2.Mubaarizdaan – warriors (from burz valour, battle)

3.Peshaa-waraan wa Baazar-gaanaan- Men of Trade, Commerce, Business, Men of Bazaar/market place

4.Barza-garaan –  wa Kishaa or Kushaa warzaan(artisans, peasants, tillers of soil.


He also expressly recognises and asserts the universal character of this four -fold vocational classification. Thus:

Jahaaniaan az chahaar garoh berun na baashand

(No human being in all the world,

Falls outside the Four)


Parsee Religion

Zoroastrian names for the four castes are




4.Go- vaastra

Akhyaa chaa khaetush yaasat; ahyaa

Verejenem mat airyamnaa (Z.Gaathaa 32-1)

Khaeteush chaa taremaitiim verejenekhyaa

Chaa najadhishtaam drujem, airyamanas

Chaa nadento , geuush chaa vastraat

Achishtem mantuum (38-4)

Ke airyamnaa ke khaetus faata is a amhat

Ye verejenaai vam-uhiim frasastiim (49-7)


The khaetus, the airyamnaa, also

The verejen, runs seeking after this

(The easy pleasures of the world)

Be not our khaetus renunciant

Do -nothing, ildolent; our verejen

Be not too violent ; our airyamnaa

Be he not ignorant , lacking in knowledge

Nor our go vaastraa, who serves all the world,

Be ever downcast in spirit. In bad times

When foes attack, what can th’ airyamnaa do?


1.Airyamnaa – learned (Brahmins)

2.Verejenem — Viiryavaan (virile, mighty), raajanya – (Kshatriya)- Veera Janam

3.Khaetush – kshetri – owner of fields- Vaisya

4.Go Vaasi, go-veshi- dweller among cattle;  keeper of domestic animals – Shudras

Purusha sukta hymn of RV 10-90 also described the four castes on the basis of their work and not on heredity or birth .

What was the Head of this Great Cosmic Man?

Humanity ? what were its arms, its trunk

And thighs, and what did constitute its legs?

The man who had Brahmin wisdom as Head

Who shone with guarding valour was its arms;

The settler and food grower was the trunk ;

Why ran at bidding, docilely, was legs


Head power/ brain= brahmins

Shoulder power / strength= kshatrias

Roaming power /travel= vaisyas

Leg power/ manual work = Shudras/ peasants


Chatur varnyam

Lord Krishna also made it very clear in Bhagavad Gita that the Four fold caste system is NOT on birth but on the basis of their aptitude:

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश|
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् || 4-13||

chātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛiṣhṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśhaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ viddhyakartāram avyayam 4-13

BG 4.13: The four categories of occupations were created by Me according to people’s qualities and activities. Although I am the Creator of this system, know Me to be the Non-doer and Eternal.

The Vedas classify people into four categories of occupations, not according to their birth, but according to their natures. Such varieties of occupations exist in every society.


tags- Zoroaster, Gatha, Parsee, Four Castes, Bhagavad Gita, Aini Akbai, Arabic, Persian, Rig Veda, Purushasuktam

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