The caste system is not equivalent to varna or jati. Caste is a made up concept, not mentioned in any scriptures whatsoever. Many people confuse Lord Krishna's words in the Bhagavad Gita regarding varna and jati to be caste. This is not true. Please read below what varna is, and what jati is. Bhagavad Gita 4.13 says, 'chaturvaranyam maya sristam, guna karma vibhagashaha tasya kartaramapi mam, vidya kartaram vyayam' "Sri Krishna says: The four varnas were established by me according to the principles of Guna (qualities, attitudes), and Karma (action)." Varna is NOT equivalent to caste, nor is jati. Varna, in fact, does not have anything to do with birth. It is determined by your actions and the guna you choose to live in. A Brahmin is not a Brahmin because his father was. He must be Brahmin by his own Karma as well. There are three modes of material nature. 1) Satva-guna, the mode of goodness. Pure, selfless Karma, no desire for the fruits of the actions. A Brahmin must be Satvik, in this guna. In order to be in this guna, one must also be a pure vegetarian, and not consume meat products, fish or eggs. 2) Rajo-guna, the mode of passion. Mostly auspicious Karma, but still holds desire for the fruits of their actions. Kshatriyas are Rajsik, along with some Vaishyas as well. Rajsik people are permitted to eat meat, but the flesh of a cow, horse or human are strictly forbidden for them. 3) Tamo-guna, the mode of ignorance. Bad Karma, deceives people, lazy, does not work, sleeps on average more than 10 hours a day, eats the most foul foods ever, and will eat anything, cow meat, and even human flesh. These gunas are clearly mentioned by Lord Krishna later on in Gita. However, the definitions are more precisely given in the Rig-veda. That is Varna, based on actions. Then what is Jati? Jati also has nothing to do with caste, or even varna for that matter. It is determined through the family clan you were born into, otherwise known as gotra. It is your kula, the unique Dharma of your ancestors which you must obey. It is not intended to be a segregation system as many Indians blindly believe. Where did caste come from? That, I cannot tell you, as I do not know myself. However, there is no mention of it in any scriptures, look at the Vedas, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Upanishads, Manu Smriti etc, it is not there. However, by confusing caste with varna and jati, one is corrupting the true Vedic essence of this term. Lord Krishna goes on to say in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4, verse 35: 'yaj gyatva na punar moham evam yasyasi pandava yena bhutany asesani draksyasy atmany atho mayi' "And when you have learned the ultimate truth, you will know that all living entities are My extension, they are within Me, and they are Mine." So who are we to discriminate against any living being if Krishna himself and said last living entities belong to him?