buddha caste system
The Buddhist position regarding racism and racial discrimination made explicit at such an early age is one reflected in the moral and scientific standpoint adopted by UNESCO in the present century (Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, UNESCO 1978). n40
Caste, which was a matter of vital importance to the brahmins of India, was one of utter indifference to the Buddha, who strongly condemned the debasing caste system. In his Order of Monks all castes unite as do the rivers in the sea. They lose their former names, castes, and clans, and become known as members of one community,the Sangha.
(Part Two) 24. The Buddha on the Caste System
The Buddha condemned the caste system, which he considered unjust. He pointed out that there existed wicked and cruel people as well as virtuous and kind people in every caste. Any person who had committed a crime would be punished accordingly by his karma no matter what caste he belonged to. He said a person may be considered to have come from a high or low caste according to his good and bad deeds. Therefore, according to the Buddha it is the good and bad actions of a person and not his birth that should determine his caste.
Kawasaki, Ken and Visakha Kawasaki. “Buddhism in India: Lifting the Curse of Untouchability.” 2011. Home. Web. 18 November 2011 .
hotathrandom.com. “Indian Caste System.” 2011. hotathrandom.com. Web. 18 November 2011 .
It was declared the Buddha “does not seek any harm for the line of brahmins” (MN 95).
Actually, Gautama Buddha was not against the caste system in mainstream non-Buddhist Indian society however he did emphasize social status (‘caste’/’jati’) was dependent upon here-&-now kamma rather than on physical & social birth (refer to MN 93, MN 98 and other suttas in the Brāhmaṇa Vagga). For example, he often emphasized a Brahman priest or caste member that does not adhere to the five moral precepts is not a Brahmana or Holy Man.
And do you know if the father who sired you went only with a brahmin woman, and not with a non-brahmin woman?
But, Assalayana, the brahmins’ brahmin-women are plainly seen having their periods, becoming pregnant, giving birth, and nursing [their children]. And yet the brahmins, being born through the birth canal, say, “Brahmins are the superior caste . . .”