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 and overlords, but they vied for control of the top of the social hierarchy. In the sixth century B.C.E. the heterodox movements of Buddhism and JAIN-ISM, which opposed Brahminical orthodoxy, were founded by men of Kshatriya lineage, respectively, Siddhartha Gautama (later, BUDDHA) and Vardha-mana (later, MAHAVIRA).
   As do Brahmins, Kshatriyas receive the SACRED THREAD, making them “twice-born.” Up to the GUPTA era (c. 600 C.E.) they learned SANSKRIT and to some degree the scriptures. The UPANISHADS give examples of Kshatriya kings who teach Brah-mins the highest wisdom.
   Kshatriyas play a significant role in Indian lit-erature, along with the Brahmins. Both the RAMA-YANA and MAHABHARATA are essentially Kshatriya epics dealing with issues of kingly succession. They also, of course, highlight the two Kshatriya heroes RAMA and KRISHNA, both recognized as ava-tars of Lord VISHNU.
   Further reading: Shanta Anand, Ksatriyas in Ancient India: A Socio-Economic and Religious Study (Delhi: Atma Ram, 1985); Bimla C. Law, Ancient Mid-Indian Ksatriya Tribes (Varanasi: Bharatiy Publishing House, 1975); C. T. Metcalfe, The Rajpoot Tribes (New Delhi: Cosmo, 1982).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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  • 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

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  • 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] * * * or Ksatriya In Hindu India, the second highest of the four varnas, or social classes,… …   Universalium

  • 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

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  • 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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