Pañcamas

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pancamas, PaJcamas, Paycamas


pañcamas (‘[those who belong to] the fifth [caste]’)

The four varṇas (or castes) into which the Hindu society was (and is) divided is well-known. Certain castes which were considered as outside this category, were relegated to the ‘fifth’ (= pañcama) place.

Almost all those who have been listed among the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in modern India come under this category.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

pañcamas (‘[those who belong to] the fifth [caste]’) The four varṇas (or castes) into which the Hindu society was (and is) divided is well-known. Certain castes which were considered as outside this category, were relegated to the ‘fifth’ (= pañcama) place. Almost all those who have been listed among the Scheduled Castes and Tribes in modern India come under this category. See CASTE SYSTEM.