(Last Updated on : 22-05-2018)
Kshatriya ranks the second highest position among four Varnas in Indian Hindu caste system
. This caste is responsible for upholding justice and social harmony. Under the Indian Varna system
, Kshatriyas are rulers and warriors.
Etymology of Kshatriya
Kshatriya, the term is derived from the Sanskrit
word 'Ksatra' which means "roof, umbrella, dominion, power, government". The Kshatriya caste members have held power for centuries in India.
Origin of Kshatriya
were the earliest warrior classes whose reference is found in the Rig Veda
. The Kshatriya dharma
propagates that it is the duty of every Kshatriya to fight against injustice. Their origin can be traced back to the Vedic Civilization
. According to the Hindu Mythology
, while Lord Brahma
was creating the universe it was decided that a special kind of human race would have to be created to save and protect the humans. Thus the Kshatriyas came into existence.
History of Kshatriya
According to the earliest Vedas
, the Kshatriyas rank the highest in position. But they were given punishment by Parashurama
, the 6th incarnation
of Lord Vishnu
for their tyranny and the caste had fallen to the second position at the end of the Vedic era
. They were the ruling class and often by collaborating with the Brahmins
they reigned over their kingdom. In ancient India
, the rulers were bound by Holy Scriptures to govern their kingdoms with justice. A Hindu
ruler was the protector of his subjects.
Mythological References of Kshatriya
According to the doctrine the Lords 4 body parts make up the 4 classes of the society. Thus in Rig Veda, it is stated that the Kshatriyas are made up of God
s arms. According to Manu
, the Vedic theologist, it was due to different occupations that the people were divided. Those who practiced martial arts
Kshatriyas were considered to be the descendents of Lord Surya
, Lord Agni
. For instance Lord Rama
was Suryavanshi or the descendent of Sun Dynasty while Lord Krishna
belonged to the Lunar Dynasty or Chandravanshi. Owing to different reasons these were not considered as a part of the warrior class.
Qualities of Kshatriya
are considered to be most revered and persistent Kshatriyas. The Rajputs were known to make deft political channelizes to consolidate their kingdom or to defeat an enemy. They are also known to follow certain codes of war to fight. They are legendarily said to have untiring persistence to attain their goal as in the case of Maharana Pratap Singh
. Legendary Rajputs are Rana Kumbha
, Rana Sanga
, Raja Bhoja, Rana Mokal, Prithiviraj Chauhan
, Rana Hamir, Hadi ke Rani, etc.
The Kshatriyas were specialized in guerrilla warfare. History said that the Maratha
warrior and emperor, Shivaji
Bhonsle had his own army specialized in guerrilla warfare. The Kshatriyas were unsparing in their attack on whatever obstructed the growth of the nation. They respect people with courage and intelligence. Almost all the aggressive virtues were imbibed in them. The spirit of soaring idealism, bold creation, fearless resistance and courageous attack made them perfect rulers.
Set of Laws for Kshatriya
In the Kshatriya caste, there were certain rules that a Kshatriya required to follow. In this caste, a male child is considered as a symbol of masculinity where a female child needs to be gentle and well behaved. He was not allowed to marry outside his class; joint family
system was to be followed strictly and several other traditions were pre-eminent in the society.