Kshatriya


Kshatriya
/ksha"tree euh/, n.
a member of the Hindu royal and warrior class above the Vaisyas and below the Brahmans. Cf. Shudra.
[1775-85; < Skt ksatriya]

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or Ksatriya

In Hindu India, the second-highest of the four varnas, or social classes, traditionally the military or ruling class.

In ancient times before the caste system was completely defined, they were considered first in rank, placed higher than the Brahmans, or priestly class. The legend that they were degraded by an incarnation of Vishnu as a punishment for their tyranny may reflect a historical struggle for supremacy between priests and rulers. In modern times the Kshatriya varna includes members from a variety of castes, united by their status in government or the military or their land ownership.

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▪ Hindu caste
also spelled  Kshattriya , or  Ksatriya 

      second highest in ritual status of the four varnas, or social classes, of Hindu (Hinduism) India, traditionally the military or ruling class.

      The earliest Vedic texts listed the Kshatriya (holders of kshatra, or authority) as first in rank, then the Brahmans (priests and teachers of law), next the Vaishya (merchant-traders), and finally the Sudra (artisans and labourers). Movements of individuals and groups from one class to another, both upward and downward, were not uncommon; a rise in status even to the rank of Kshatriya was a recognized reward for outstanding service to the rulers of the day. The legend that the Kshatriya were destroyed by Parasurama (Paraśurāma), the sixth avatar of Vishnu, as a punishment for their tyranny is thought by some scholars to reflect a long struggle for supremacy between priests and rulers. Brahmanic texts such as the Manu-smrti (Manu-smṛti) (a book of Hindu law) and most other dharmashastras (works of jurisprudence) report a Brahman victory, but epic texts often offer a different account, and it is likely that in social reality rulers have usually ranked first. The persistent representation of deities (especially Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama) as rulers underscores the point, as does the elaborate series of ritual roles and privileges pertaining to kings through most of Hindu history. These largely buttress the image of a ruler as preserver of dharma (religious and moral law) and auspicious wealth. In modern times, the Kshatriya varna includes a broad class of caste groups, differing considerably in status and function but united by their claims to rulership, the pursuit of war, or the possession of land.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kshatriya — (Sanskrit, m., क्षत्रिय kṣatriya, Krieger) ist im indischen Kastensystem die Bezeichnung für die Mitglieder des zweiten Standes (Varna), der ursprünglich hauptsächlich aus Kriegern, Fürsten und Königen (Raja) bestand. Ihre Aufgabe war es, die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kshatriya — Ksha tri*ya (ksh[.a] tr[ e]*y[.a]), Kshatruya Ksha tru*ya, n. [Skr. kshatriya one belonging to the military caste.] The military caste, the second of the four great Hindu castes; also, a member of that caste. See {Caste}. [India] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kshatriya — ► NOUN ▪ a member of the second highest Hindu caste, that of the military. ORIGIN Sanskrit, rule, authority …   English terms dictionary

  • Kshatriya — [kə shat′rē yə] n. [Sans ḳṣatriya < kṣatra, rule] a member of the military Hindu caste, next below the Brahmans …   English World dictionary

  • Kshatriya — An article related to Hinduism …   Wikipedia

  • Kshatriya — Le kshatriya (kṣatriya, क्षत्रिय, qui a le pouvoir temporel, aussi râjanya) ou kashtriya désigne un membre d une des quatre varna (varṇa, वर्ण, « couleur ») : Rois, Nobles/Seigneurs, Chefs de guerre. Les Kshatriyas sont les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kshatriya —    The Kshatriyas are the warrior/kingly class in the ancient fourfold class system of India. They are second in the hierarchy beneath the BRAHMINS. Their duty was to protect and rule. They were always allied with Brahmins in their role as kings… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • kshatriya — noun /ˈkʃat.ɹi.ə/ a) The second highest of the four castes or varnas in traditional Indian society: the warrior or military caste. (Plural: kshatriya.) The kshatriya could only hope to become a monk in his next life, but given the nature of his… …   Wiktionary

  • Kshatriya — n. member of a Kshatriya caste n. Hindu caste which was originally a royal and warrior caste but now days is a caste of administrators or governing and military personnel adj. of or pertaining to a Kshatriya caste …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Kshatriya — noun Etymology: Sanskrit kṣatriya, from kṣatra dominion more at check Date: 1794 a Hindu of an upper caste traditionally assigned to governing and military occupations …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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