(redirected from Kshatriyas)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Kshatriyas: Shudras, Sudras, Vaishyas
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Sanskrit, from kshatra, “dominion,” “rule”), one of the four main varnas, or social estates of ancient India.

The Kshatriya varna originated among Aryan tribes in the pre-Indian period as a result of the separation of military and government functions from productive labor when the primitive society was in the stage of decay. In the ancient Indian states, the Kshatriyas, who constituted the military and tribal aristocracy, assumed the ruling political and economic position; they were the rulers of states, officials, landowners, and professional soldiers. By the middle of the first millennium A.D. membership in the Kshatriya varna had ceased to determine the composition of the ruling class. In the Middle Ages it existed only as a traditional idea; for example, members of the military feudal Rajput caste, who had no hereditary link with the ancient varna, were called Kshatriyas.


Kane, P. V. History of Dharmasastra, vol. 2, part 1. Poona, 1941. Chapter 2.
Law, B. C. Ancient Mid-Indian Kshatriya Tribes. Calcutta, 1924.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Vedic orthodoxy of the caste system based on varna-ashrama was rejected, and the alliance of the Brahmans and the Kshatriya, which underpinned the structure of authority in the kingdoms, did not hold well in the clan states.
that, they say, is divine speech (8.103); when telling the truth will result in the execution of a shudra, vaishya, kshatriya, or a Brahmin, a man may tell a lie.
The Rai Kshatriyas, being Hindus, could possibly have been influenced by this Ayurvedic tradition.
As the nobility of Kerala, the Nayars enjoyed the symbols of royalty, conquest, and wealth, wearing the fine silks and jewels that bedeck the Kshatriyas and the maharajahs.
There are four main castes: Brahman (priests, officers of state); Kshatriya (rulers, warriors, landlords); Vaisiya (traders, artisans, cultivators); Sudra (menial workers).
Traditional Manuvadi Hinduism included only the 'savarna' castes of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, while the Shudras were considered 'antyajas' or literally 'born outside the fold' and therefore untouchable.
As per caste equation, there are about 42,000 Kadwa Patels, 33,000 Leuvva Patels, 25,000 Brahmins, 35,000 Kshatriyas, 25,000 Baniyas and around 10,000 Jains.
Referring to nose chopping in the epic Ramayana , Karni Sena leader Mahipal Singh Makrana said that while Kshatriyas respected women, if the film was not banned and Padukone does not stop inciting sentiments with her provocative language, the Rajputs will not lag behind in acting.
Manoj Kumar Singh, an observer who has been studying the Naath sect's rise, said while its gurus till 19th Century belonged to underprivileged castes, it became a seat of Kshatriyas in the 20th Century.
As to the origin of the Palas, the Ballala-Carita says that "The Palas were low-born Kshatriyas", a claim reiterated by the historian Taranatha in his "History of Buddhism in India" and Ghanaram Chakrabarty in his Dharmamangala (both written in the 16th century CE).
Next came Kshatriyas, the warriors, then the Vaisyas, farmers and traders, and the Sudras, laborers and servants.
Brahmin myth-makers would take over next, tracing back the ancestry of the more successful Kshatriyas to epic heroes and ancient deities.