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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Rank in society of an exclusive nature due to birth or origin, such as prevails among the Hindus especially. Among them there are originally two great classes, the twice-born and the once-born, i. e . those who have passed through a second birth, and those who have not; of the former there are three grades, Brahmans, or the priestly caste, from the mouth of Brahma; Kshatriyas, or the soldier caste, from the hands of Brahma; and Vaisyas, or the agricultural caste, from the feet of Brahma; while the latter are of one rank and are menial to the other, called Sudras, earth-born all; notwithstanding which distinction often members of the highest class sink socially to the lowest level, and members of the lowest rise socially to the highest.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Caste'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/c/caste.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.