Vaisya

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Related to Vaisyas: Vaishyas, Sudras

Vaisya

 

(Sanskrit), the members of one of the four castes in ancient India. In the period before the emergence of class society, the Vaisyas enjoyed full legal rights along with the Kshatriya and Brahman castes. In the class society of ancient India, the Vaisyas included free members of a community who enjoyed full legal rights: farmers, livestock raisers, and certain artisans and traders in cities and villages. Beginning in the first centuries of the Common Era, as feudal relations developed and communal dwellers became dependent peasants, farmers (and also the majority of artisans) began to be regarded as Sudras (a caste that did not enjoy full legal rights), but the term “Vaisya” continued to be applied mainly to traders.

G. F. IL’IN

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It explains how the world is fonned "Purusa" with each class representing a part of the body described as follows: "The Brahmin was his mouth, his two anns became the rajanya (Kshatriyas), his thighs arc what the Vaisya are.
The author is free to interpret castes as "types" rejecting the Brahmanic caste division into four categories Brahmana (priestly class), Ksatriya (warrior class), Vaisya (business and cultivators' community) and Sudra (community of servants in general).
The Vaisyas are in finance, logistics and trade-related operations.
catvaoa varna brahmanaksatriyavaisadrah [4] tesam parvah purvah janmatah sreyan [5] asadranam adustakarmanam upayanam vedadhyayanam agnyadheyam phalavanti ca karmani [6] susrusa sudrasyetaresam varnanam [7] parvasmin purvasmin varne nihsreyasam bhuyah [8] (Apastamba 1.1.4-8) The four Social Orders are brahmins, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras.
It is thus an idealized, systematized version of the practices of "good" Brahmins--the default legal subject--expanded to include a version for Ksatriyas (and, one should add, Vaisyas), and a general acknowledgement of the agreed-upon norms of other groups and regions.
According to Jaini, "it is small wonder that the Hindu nation was never able to win a single decisive victory over its invaders, since ksatriyas, who were supposedly responsible for the fighting, vaisyas who bore the burden of financing the wars, and sudras (as well as the untouchables) who offered their slave labor for the rest of society, did not willingly and spontaneously participate in fulfilling their alleged svadharma'" (p.
(36) They should compassionately support ksatriyas and vaisyas, and make it possible for them to continue living by the activities that are appropriate for their varnas; (37) under no circumstances should they subject ksatriyas or vaisyas to dasya.
For example, Agni, Brhaspati, Vac, and Mitra were brahmanas; Varuna, Rudra, Vayu, Yama, and Visnu were ksatriyas; multiple deities such as the Visve Devas, Adityas, Maruts, Vasus, and Rhus were vaisyas or sudras; Savitr and Soma could be either brahmanas or ksatriyas; Sarasvati could be either brahmana or vaisya; and Prajapati could be of any varna.
There are many mythic Events recounted in the brahmanas, the dharmasastras, the epics and puranas(2) which explain how one particular person or group came to be (sudras (see the lists of "lapsed" ksatriyas who became sudras in Manusmarti(3), or vaisyas (see the history of the Vaisya Agrawals(4), or even brahmans (see Devapi, Visvamitra, also his sons(5).