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Sudra is the third of four Hindu social categories, or varna. The origin of the term is uncertain, but is
regarded in the Rg Veda. The Sudras included the menials that were
assumed already present, at least within the Vedic
community, but not being "twice-born" or totally integrated. Their
emergence from under the feet of Purusa summarizes their social position.
Manasmrti states that a sudra's name should combine a note of his
low status with a description of his work, and that when dead, his body
should be carried out of the south gate, the penalty being, while the bodies
of the "twice-born" are taken out of any of the others. Some include
the Harijans or untouchables within
this category. A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,
New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 925