The caste system formed the basis of the society as in earlier periods but now the kshatriyas and the Brahmins were given more privileges while more and more social and religious disabilities were placed on the sudras and other lower castes. A large number of sub castes such as potters, weavers, goldsmiths, musicians etc proliferated. They were classified as jatis now. Most of the workers were classified as untouchables. Women continued to be denied the right to education. The age of marriage for girls was further lowered. They were kept in seclusion and their lives were regulated by the male relations –fathers, brothers and husbands. The practice of sati seems to have spread widely and was made even obligatory at some places. The custom of sati was widespread in the higher castes.

The attitude of higher classes became very rigid. They tended to isolate themselves from all scientific thought. Buddhism almost disappeared from the land of its origin. There was a marked revival and expansion of Hindusim.There was a growing popularity of Shiva and Vishnu cults. A number of popular movements arose around the worship of these gods. In the eastern India, a new form of worship arose. This was the worship of Sakti or female creator of the universe.