Definition - What does Kshatriya mean?

Kshatriya, meaning "ruler" or "warrior" in Sanskrit, is the ruling caste in traditional Hindu society. Outlined in the Vedic texts, Kshatriya is one of the four classes (or varna) and is second to the Brahmin caste. Hindus of the Kshatriya caste were often in ruling governmental or military positions within society, and were considered elite.

Yogapedia explains Kshatriya

According to Hindu scriptures, the varna that an individual is a part of is based on their qualities or characteristics. Varna is classified into four types: brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shudra. According to the popular belief that exists about varna classification, brahmins are considered the supreme, in which class priests and preachers reside; kshatriyas are kings and warriors; vaishyas are traders and agriculturists; and shudras are considered laborers who provide service to those who belong to other types of varna.

Historically, individuals belonging to the Kshatriya caste were expected to protect others during times of war and to govern, although not all members served in military roles.

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