Difference Between Caste and Religion (With Table)

Every human being on Earth belongs to a particular caste and a particular religion. Especially, in a country like India where every people living have a caste system and a religion they follow and they are judged based on that.

Many people often get confused between caste and religion. Caste can also be called ‘jati’ in the Indian Hindi language, and it means our hereditary transmission. Well, the hereditary transmission of a person is observed and then his/her caste is decided. This includes occupation, the ritual status, and many such things.

The belief in religion, on the other hand, means the worship of a god. It is a social-cultural system that includes social practices, worshipping places, morals, and other things that relate humanity to the spiritual elements.

Caste vs Religion

The difference between caste and religion is that dealing with the social structures within the physical world means a caste system whereas a religion explains more on the metaphysical world. However, this is just one of the main points that differentiate these two terms.

Comparison Table Between Caste and Religion

Parameters of ComparisonCasteReligion
OriginCaste is originated from religionA religion precedes the caste system
Realm of focusSocial and physicalMetaphysical and philosophical
Focuses onRank on the hierarchyWorship, morals, ethics
EnforcementHigher ranking membersDivine deity and personal reflection
JustificationJustified through the highest ranks in the hierarchyJustified by divine or by holy scriptures
RegionRegion-or-culture specificNot limited to a geographical area or region

What is Caste?

Caste is a system where every people living are classified based on their income, wealth, their status, and other such things. You can find several types of caste in the Indian country where caste plays an important role.

The differentiating people by their caste has been in our history and this can never be stopped. Say suppose taking the example of the Hinduism society where the Hindus are can be recognised by their ritual purity and of their status.

Every individual gets their caste from birth and the caste cannot be changed because that is where they belong to. The particular caste becomes their history and could say their family background. Judgements are done because of this matter.

Even today people judge others because of their caste and it often becomes unfair because there is a thought that if a person is from a poor class or stands low in the hierarchy then he/she will remain there forever.

However, the government is taking steps to encourage the lower castes of India. You see that most examination cut-offs are quite less for the lower caste people while the cut-offs for higher caste people is higher than the lower ones.

The Hindus in the Indian society are divided into four main categories and they are the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and the Shudras. The Brahmins are considered to have the highest status in the society and therefore those people rank high in the hierarchy.

The lowest caste includes the servants also called the ‘untouchables’ as they were not allowed to do most things that the Brahmins were allowed to do. The Brahmins considered it to be a sin if they even looked at the untouchables and if they saw them then they would take a bath.

However, in today’s world, there are not just four castes in our country. Surprisingly, there are more than 5,000 castes in India based on the different type of social status and traditions. Well, other than India the caste system can be found in other countries too like Nepal, China, Japan, and some parts of Africa.

The history of the caste system is quite strong and cannot be abolished because people belonging to the highest rank in the caste system might get disappointed and will not want to see their prestigious history go down the drain just like that.

What is Religion?

Religion, on the other hand, is quite different from a caste. Religion means belief or worship in a particular God or a superhuman. This too is a social-cultural system where people have got morals, holy practices, sanctified places, places of worship, ethics, and such things.

Now, a country like India where people worship idols of every kind has got a history of religions. Most religions has a belief that there is an afterlife where miracles happen. These type of beliefs and things deals with concepts that are way off natural and therefore considered to be supernatural.

Well, believing the supernatural does not mean that people believe in ghosts, vampires, or any kind of stuff like that. Religion can be distinguished by an individual’s lifestyle, prayer, tradition, and practices. Say suppose a person going to the temple for his daily prayer then it is pretty common to understand that the person is a Hindu.

To be more specific there are thousands of religions in the world and the most common ones are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. The practice of religion has an aim and that aim is to achieve the goals of preservation for oneself. However, different religions will have different understandings of preservation and God.

To understand the Islamic religion study the book Quran, to understand the Hinduism religion read the Bhagavad Gita. These all are religious or holy scriptures that will tell you the purpose of life. Both the names of these books are taken as an example and they will teach you different things.

Conclusion

Caste and religion are two things that will remain forever. There are several types of caste and religion in our country and the caste and religion are linked with the tradition, culture of a person. One thing that every religion or caste can say that no religion or caste will teach you to cause harm to others and this is one thing that is told and taught by every religion in the world.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25764242
  2. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/id/eprint/19832