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Kshatriya, from (holder of) Kshatra (rule or authority), is one of the four varnas (social orders) in Hinduism. Traditionally, Kshatriya constitute the ruling and military elite of the Vedic-Hindu social system, as outlined by the Vedas and the Laws of Manu. They were in charge of the protection of the Hindu society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.
Sanskrit akṣatra, ruling; one of the ruling order member of the Kṣhatriya caste is the derivation for Old Persian xšaθra ("realm, power"), xšaθrya ("royal"), and xšāyaθiya ("emperor") are related to it, as are the New Persian words šāh ("emperor") and šahr ("city", "realm"). Thai: กษัตริย์ (kasat), "king" or "monarch," and similar-sounding Malay kesatria or satria, "knight" or "warrior", are also derived from it. The term may also denote aristocratic status.
The situation has changed in modern times. Kshatriyas do not have much to gain or lose in status by their Kshatriya lineage. One area where the Kshatriya heritage has been prominent is the Indian Army.
In rituals, the nyagrodha (Ficus Indica or India fig or banyan tree) danda, or staff, is assigned to the Kshatriya class. Along with a mantra, intended to impart physical vitality or 'ojas'.
The major branches of Kshatriya varna are: Suryavanshi (solar line), claiming direct descent from Ramachandra, and descent from Surya; Chandravanshi (lunar line), claiming descent from Yadu, as Yadu was born in a Chandravanshi dynasty, and descent from Chandra; Agnivanshi, claiming descent from Agni; and Nagavanshi, claiming descent from the Nāgas.
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- ^ Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley; Dorothy Rivers Turner (January 2006) . A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages. (Accompanied by three supplementary volumes: indexes, compiled by Dorothy Rivers Turner: 1969. – Phonetic analysis: 1971. – Addenda et corrigenda: 1985. ed.). London: Oxford University Press,. pp. 189–190. Retrieved 23 October 2011. "kṣatríya 3649"
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