- Aug 2015
Castes (endogamous groups) are defined in Manusmrithi, and there are only four of them. Jatis (Sub-castes) developed later.For once I agree with Aatreya. Varna is not caste, it is a group, a group of castes. And Jati means caste. A sub-caste would be like Kashmiri brahmin, Bengali brahmin, Sarayuvparee brahmin, Kanyakubja brahmin, Gaur brahmin, Maithil brahmin, Goan brahmin, Tamil brahmin, Andhra brahmin, Odia brahmin, Gujarati brahmin, Rajasthani brahmin, Deshastha, Chitpavan and so on and so forth.
The different Brahmins you have noted are not Jatis, but based on where they are located geographically. There are Jatis within the Brahmin groups, based on the worship rituals they perform, and each are endogamous. This varies based on locality.