Depressed Castes In Medieval Mithila: An Analytical Study


  • Dr. Kamal Deo


Pre-vedic period, Depressed castes in medieval, System of social stratification, social phenomenon, formation of Jatis


Towards the end of the later vedic period the varna tended to became hereditary, endogamous and birth based, leading to the formation of Jatis. The term Jati is derived from the Sanskrit root jan, meaning to be born, and is first applied by pre-Panianian yaska in his Nirukta to a woman of the black or Sudra caste (Krishnajatiya).[1] That birth was slowly becoming an important factor of social ranking. Till the end of the later vedic period, however, interdining among the four varnas was not prohibited, intervarna did take place, and there was no untouchability.[2] So far as early India is concerned, the expansion of caste and untouchability from A.D. 200 to A.D. 1200 was an uninterrupted and continuous process. After the decline of Guptas, Mithila witnessed a continuous political instability and constant warfare, coincided with a far dominating process of feudalization. During this period of chaos and confusion, Mithila became an easy shelter of various Rajput clans and other militant tribes. Frequent migration, settlements and usuruption in different localities by these clans and tribes as well as by some aboriginal castes of sudras created commotion in social structure of Mithila. For the protection of the orthodox social set-up in Mithila, books on Smrti and Nibandh were written and compiled during the region of Hari Simhadev. In these books the duties of the four castes was clearly defined, and viewed from the modern stand point it can be said that old rules were thrashed more and more and the people were advised to abide by the traditional rules and customs. The social structure as envisaged in the smriti works of Chandesnwara, Vidyapati and Vachaspati of Mithila consist of the four primary castes viz. Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras and an indefinite number of despised castes.


Dr. Vivekand Jha Caste, untouchability and social jusice, Symposia: 15 IHC Delhi 1997, P 4.

Ibid, P-6.

Dr. Vivekand Jha Caste, untouchability and social jusice, Symposia : 15 IHC Delhi 1997, P 1-2.

Ibid, P-15.

D. Kumar, Mithila Miscellany, Darbhanga, 2005, P 57.

Danvakyavali, PP.- 10-11 fc. PP. tables 1317 E.P.- 111-336.

Parijatharana (Grierson’s edited) P. 30.

Varnratnakar of Jyotirishvara, edited and transiated by Prof. Anand Mishra and Pandit Govind Jha, Maithili, Acadami, Patna, 1990, PP 79-80.

Likhnavali of Vidyapati Edited and translated by Dr. Indra Kant Jha. Indraliya Prakashan, Rajenera Nagar, Patna, 1969, pp. 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61 etc.

Upendra Thakur, History of Mithila, Mithila Institute, Darbhanga, 1988, P.- 342.

Varnratnakara of Jyotirishvara, is divided into 8 chapters i.e. – (i) Nagara Varnana, (ii) Nayaka Varnana, (iii) Asthana Varnana, (iv) Ritu Varnana, (v) Prayanka Varnana, (vi) Bhattadi Varnana, (vii) Shamshan Varnana and (viii) Raiya Varnana.

Ibid, P. 19.

Ibid, P. 55.

Ibid, P. 60.

Ibid, P. 26.

Ibid, P. 19.

Ibid, P. 20.

Upendra Thakur, op. cit. p. 342.

Upendra Thakur, op. cit. p. 342.

Varnratnakara of op.cit. p. 20.

The comprehensive History of Bihar, Kashi Prasad jaiswal Researc Institute, Patna, 1983, p. 330.

Biography of Dharmasvamin, pp. – 85-86.

The comprechensive History of Bihar, op. cit. p.-331.

Vivadchintamani (GOS), English, Translation. P-138-139.

Dandaviveka, quo. Katyayana. Pp.-58-59.

The comprehensive History of Bihar. Op. cit. p.- 331.

Biography of Dharmasvamin, pp.-58.

Griharatrakar of Chandeshwara. P.- 249.

Ibid p. 479-80.

Ibid p. 34-37.




How to Cite

Dr. Kamal Deo. (2020). Depressed Castes In Medieval Mithila: An Analytical Study. Research Inspiration: An International Multidisciplinary E-Journal, 5(IV), 20–25. Retrieved from