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Varna

Varna (Skt., perhaps from vṛ, ‘veil’, hence ‘colour’).
1. The four social orders, or categories, of Hindu society, Brahmans, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, and Śūdras. These divisions date from the time of the early Aryan settlement in N. India, and, according to the Ṛg Veda, were created by the gods from the body of Puruṣa, the first man. Into these four major divisions the castes (jāti) later fitted. Some maintain there is a fifth category, the Harijans, or untouchables, while others place them within the Śudra division, dividing this into two segments, ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’. The three upper varṇa are termed ‘twice-born’, since the male family members go through a thread ceremony (upanayana) which implies a spiritual rebirth, marking the transition into adulthood, and the student stage (āśrama) of life. Reading, writing, and the pursuit of knowledge were regarded as irrelevant for the Śūdra way of life, so that varna was excluded from the thread ceremonies.

The word varna means ‘colour’, hence the hypothesis that the system reflects an observed difference in appearance between the fair-skinned Aryan (‘noble’) invaders from the north and the darker skinned indigenous inhabitants (dāsas, ‘slaves’).

2. See BINDU.

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Varna

Varna (vär´nä), city (1993 pop. 307,200), E Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. It is a major port and an industrial center. Manufactures include ships and boats, chemicals, electrical equipment, and textiles. Varna is also an international summer resort. Significant artifacts discovered near Varna have been dated to second half of the 5th millennium BC, but the city itself was founded in 580 BC as the Greek colony of Odessus and passed to the Roman Empire in the 1st cent. AD The Bulgarians defeated Byzantine emperor Constantine IV at Varna in 679. The city passed to the second Bulgarian kingdom in 1201, was captured by the Turks in 1391, and became an active seaport under their rule. In 1444 the Turks under Murad II won a decisive victory over Crusader forces led by Ladislaus III of Poland and Hungary, who was killed. The battle of Varna was the last major attempt by Christian Europe to stem the Ottoman tide. Varna was (1854) the chief naval base of the British and French forces in the Crimean War. The city was liberated from Turkish rule in 1878 and ceded to newly independent Bulgaria. It now has a university (founded 1920), a polytechnic institute, a naval academy, a medical college, and an archaeological museum as well as the ruins of a 5th-century basilica and a 6th-century Byzantine fortress. From 1949 to 1956 the city was named Stalin.

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varna

varna each of the four Hindu castes, Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra. In the Vedic religion of the ancient Aryans, the first three classes of society were Brahman, Kshatriya, and Vaisya. The fourth class, Sudra, was probably added later after contact with the indigenous people of the subcontinent. Each class was considered equally necessary to the social order, the separate functions being complementary.

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varna

varnaAlana, Anna, bandanna, banner, Branagh, canna, canner, Diana, fanner, Fermanagh, Guyana, Hannah, Havana, hosanna, Indiana, Joanna, lanner, Louisiana, manna, manner, manor, Montana, nana, planner, Pollyanna, Rosanna, savannah, scanner, spanner, Susanna, tanner •Abner • Jaffna • Patna • caravanner •Africana, Afrikaner, Americana, ana, banana, Botswana, bwana, cabana, caragana, Christiana, Dana, darner, Edwardiana, garner, Georgiana, Ghana, Gloriana, Guiana, gymkhana, Haryana, iguana, Lana, lantana, liana, Lipizzaner, Ljubljana, Mahayana, mana, mañana, marijuana, nirvana, Oriana, pacarana, piranha, prana, Purana, Rosh Hashana, Santayana, Setswana, sultana, Tatiana, Tijuana, Tirana, tramontana, Tswana, varna, Victoriana, zenana •Gardner • partner •antenna, Avicenna, duenna, henna, Jenna, Jenner, Morwenna, Ravenna, senna, Siena, sienna, tenner, tenor, Vienna •Edna • interregna • Etna • Pevsner

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