The task as it presented itself may be analysed as follows: (r) to replace the caste system and especially the oppressive supremacy of the Brahmins by a spirit of universal brotherhood and the establishment of social and religious liberty; (2) to correct and raise the standard of conduct; (3) to attack polytheistic idolatry with its attendant immoralities; (4) to replace the pantheistic by a theistic standpoint; (5) to elevate woman and the pariah.
The two dominant sections of the population are the Namburi Brahmins and the Nairs or military caste.
Three hundred of the highest-caste Brahmins live with their families within the temple enclosure.
Megasthenes also describes the Jews as the philosophers of Syria and couples them with the Brahmins of India.
Shortly after the Buddha's time the Brahmins had their sutras in Sanskrit, already a dead language.
The Brahmins maintain that in the almost endless sculptures of that immemorial pagoda, all the trades and pursuits, every conceivable avocation of man, were prefigured ages before any of them actually came into being.
But Brahmins by birth (not necessarily sacrificial priests, for they followed all sorts of occupations) were trying to oust the nobles from the highest grade.
But the philhellenic Brahmins in Philostratus' life of Apollonius had no existence outside the world of romance, and the statement of Dio Chrysostom that the Indians were familiar with Homer in their own tongue (Or.
Buddhism arose in countries where Sanskrit was never more than a learned tongue, and where the exclusive claims of the Brahmins had never been universally admitted.