Vaishya

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A Vaishya

Vaishya is one of the four varnas of the Hindu social order.

Traditional duties[edit]

Hindu religious texts assigned Vaishyas to traditional roles in agriculture and cattle-rearing but over time they came to be landowners, traders and money-lenders.[1] The Vaishyas, along with members of the Brahmin and Kshatriya varnas, claim dvija status ("twice born", a second or spiritual birth) after sacrament of initiation as in Hindu theology.[2] Indian traders were widely credited for the spread of Indian culture to regions as far as southeast Asia.[3]

Historically, Vaishyas have been involved in roles other than their traditional pastoralism, trade and commerce. According to Ram Sharan Sharma, a historian, the Gupta Empire was a Vaishya dynasty that "may have appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers".[4]

Modern communities[edit]

The Vaishya community consist of several jāti or subcastes, notably the Agrahari,[5] Agrawals,[6] Barnwals, Gahois, Kasuadhans, Khandelwals, Lohanas and Maheshwaris of the north; Oswals, Roniaurs, the Arya Vaishyas of Tamli Nadu,[7] the Vaishya Vanis of Konkan and Goa, and the Modh and Patidars of the west.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Boesche, Roger (2003-03-01). The First Great Political Realist. p. 24. ISBN 9780739106075. 
  2. ^ Madan, Gurmukh Ram (1979). Western Sociologists on Indian Society: Marx, Spencer, Weber, Durkheim, Pareto. Taylor & Francis. p. 112. ISBN 9780710087829. 
  3. ^ Embree, Ainslie Thomas; Gluck, Carol (1997-01-01). Asia in western and world history. p. 361. ISBN 9781563242656. 
  4. ^ Sharma, Ram Sharan (2003) [2001]. Early medieval Indian society: a study in feudalisation. Orient Blackswan. p. 69. ISBN 9788125025238. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  5. ^ Kumar Suresh Singh, Amir Hasan, Hasan, Baqr Raza Rizvi, J. C. Das (2005). People of India: Uttar Pradesh , Voume 42, Part (illustrated ed.). Anthropological Survey of India. p. 66. ISBN 978-81-73041-14-3. 
  6. ^ Bhanu, B. V.; Kulkarni, V. S. (2004). Singh, Kumar Suresh, ed. People of India: Maharashtra, Part One XXX. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan, for Anthropological Survey of India. p. 46. ISBN 81-7991-100-4. OCLC 58037479. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  7. ^ The New Wind: Changing Identities in South Asia - Google Books

External links[edit]