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Srivastava (Hindi pronunciation: [ʃɾiːʋaːstəʋ]; Śrīvāstava), also spelled variously as Shrivastava, Shrivastav or Srivastav, is a common surname found amongst the Chitraguptavanshi Kayastha community of upper caste Hindus[1][2][3][4] particularly in the Hindi-speaking regions of India.[5][6]


Srivastavas are one of the twelve sub-clans of the Chitraguptvanshi Kayasthas that were traditionally involved in record-keeping, administration and military services.

They regard themselves as a de facto varna that arose to keep records of the four varnas that came before them. Traditions and occupations associated with them, and their belief in the mythical roles assigned to Chitragupta, their progenitor, partly support this claim.[7][8][9]

Most of the recorded history, after the 10th century AD, of this clan is centred around Varanasi and present day eastern Uttar Pradesh[10] and central India, as being influential during Ancient empires and Mughal empire in the Indian subcontinent, earning such titles as Pandit, Thakur and Lala.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]


The title Śrīvāstava is the shortened form of Śrīvāstavya[19][20] and thus derived directly from the Sanskrit root words Sri (श्री) "God" and vas (वस्) "to dwell" by adding the primary suffix tavyat which denotes an agent and causes the lengthening of the radical vowel. While the word Sri is used in Sanskrit as honorific prefix to the names of deities [21] and vāstavya means "a resident, inhabitant";[22] thereby the whole meaning "in whom God dwells". Note, however, that a word's meaning is derived from its use in sentence, not from its etymology.[23]

According to another explanation, the name "Srivastava" originates from "Srivastu/Suvastu", the former name of the Swat River, which is said to be the place of origin of this clan.[24]

Notable people with this name[edit]

Notable people named Srivastava (or its variations) include:

Notable Srivastavas who changed their name


  1. ^ Srivastava, Vinay Kumar (September 2016). "Speaking of Caste: Merit of the Principle of Segmentation". Sociological Bulletin. 65 (3): 317–338. doi:10.1177/0038022920160302. ISSN 0038-0229. S2CID 158426264.
  2. ^ "Caste and the Power Elite in Allahabad". Economic and Political Weekly. 50 (6): 7–8. 2015-06-05.
  3. ^ Shibu Thomas (Dec 19, 2009). "woman: HC to decide woman's caste abuse case against husband | Mumbai News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  4. ^ "Kayasth". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 28 June 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Lucy Carroll (1977). "Caste, Community and Caste(s) Association: A Note on the Organization of the Kayastha Conference and the Definition of a Kayastha Community". Contributions to Asian studies, Volume 10. Brill Archive. p. 3. ISBN 978-90-04-04926-0.
  6. ^ Hayden J. Bellenoit (17 February 2017). The Formation of the Colonial State in India: Scribes, Paper and Taxes, 1760–1860. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-134-49429-3.
  7. ^ Sinha, Gopal Sharan; Sinha, Ramesh Chandra (1967). "Exploration in Caste Stereotypes". Social Forces. 46 (1): 42–47. doi:10.2307/2575319. ISSN 0037-7732. JSTOR 2575319 – via JSTOR. The Kayastha were not included in the original four divisions of Hindu society, viz.,Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Sudra, but they claim to be one of the most important functionary and ancient castes of Hindu society. Traditions and occupations associated with the Kayastha partly support this contention....The Kayasthas' strong belief in the story of the causation of Shri Chitragupta Maharaj and mythical roles assigned to Him at least corroborate the above contention.
  8. ^ Davidson, Ronald M. (2005). Tibetan renaissance : Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan culture. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 178–180. ISBN 978-0-231-50889-6. OCLC 808346313. This North Indian branch regards itself as really a fifth varna, different from the creator Brahma's mouth (Brahmans), his arms (Kshatriyas), his thighs (Vaishyas) or his feet (Sudras), North Indian Kayasthas maintain that they were formed from the body of the creator and therefore are grounded (stha) in Brahma's body (kaya)
  9. ^ Leonard, Karen (2006). Wolpert, Stanley (ed.). Encyclopedia of India. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 22. ISBN 0-684-31349-9. OCLC 60856154. The most common Kayastha myth of origin avoided this problem of varna classification by cleverly postulating the creation of a fifth varna, the Kayasthas, to keep records concerning the other four. Brahma, they say, after creating the four varnas, created the first Kayastha, pen and inkpot in hand.
  10. ^ Sinha, Bindeshwari Prasad (2003). Kayasthas in making of modern Bihar. Impression Publication. p. 13. Banaras plate of Govinchandra refers to Vastavya Kayastha.
  11. ^ Gupta, Chitrarekha (1996). The Kāyasthas: a study in the formation and early history of a caste. K.P. Bagchi & Co. p. 117. ISBN 9788170741565. This love and respect for knowledge were nothing special with the line of Jajuka. Rather, these were general features of the characters of the Sri-Vastavyas
  12. ^ SHAH, K.K. (1993). "Self Legitimation and Social Primacy: A Case Study of Some Kayastha Inscriptions From Central India". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 54: 860–861. ISSN 2249-1937. JSTOR 44143088. Vastavya, therefore, will have to be taken as a sub-caste a few members of which rose to very high positions in the administrative hierarchy of the Chandella kingdom. Two families from this branch of the Kayasthas have left three inscriptions for us containing an account of the mythical origin as also genealogical tree in order to establish their high Brahminic credentials...It is also noteworthy that both Jajuka and Maheshvara have remarkable military achievements to their credit which could put them on par with the Kshatriyas.
  13. ^ Dikshit, R. K. (1976). The Candellas of Jejākabhukti. Abhinav Publications. pp. 71, 173–175, 190. ISBN 978-81-7017-046-4.
  14. ^ Mitra, Sisir Kumar (1977). The Early Rulers of Khajuraho (Second Revised ed.). Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 180. ISBN 978-81-208-1997-9.
  15. ^ Mazumdar, Bhakat Prasad (1960). "Castes and Professions". Socio-economic History of Northern India: (1030 - 1194 A.D.). Mukhopadhyay. pp. 101–103. Members of Vastavya community rose to very high positions. They enjoyed the feudatory status of Thakkura under the Gahadavala Kings under Govindachandra and Jayachandra, and the Chandela King Bhojavarman...It is possible that because of their services, the king raised them to a higher status...His brothers, Jaundhara and Maladhara were valiant warriors...The history of these two families show that the Vastavyas could become valiant soldiers.
  16. ^ Mazumdar, Bhakat Prasad (1960). Socio-economic History of Northern India: (1030 - 1194 A.D.). Mukhopadhyay. p. 100. Three inscriptions written by these Vastavya Kayasthas for the Gahadavala kings Govindachandra and Jayachandra and also the Sahet Mahet inscription dated 1276 VS/1219-29 A.D....Nana's ancestors were inhabitants of Kausamyapura or Kosam in the Allahabad district originally.
  17. ^ Sinha, Bindeshwari Prasad (2003). Kayasthas in making of modern Bihar. Impression Publication. p. 13. Banaras plate of Govinchandra refers to Vastavya Kayastha.
  18. ^ Niyogi, Roma (1959). The History of the Gāhaḍavāla Dynasty. Oriental Book Agency. p. 212. It also contains a statue of Vastavya-Kayastha Thakkura Sri-Ranapala (in a soldier's outfit) who appears to have built...
  19. ^ Bose, Mainak Kumar (1988). Late classical India. A. Mukherjee & Co.
  20. ^ Cunningham, Sir Alexander (1873). Report for the Year 1871-72. Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing.
  21. ^ Apte, Vaman Shivaram (1957–59). Revised and enlarged edition of Prin. V. S. Apte's The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary. Prasad Prakashan. p. 1575. The word श्री is often used as an honorific prefix to the names of deities and eminent persons; श्रीकृष्णः, श्रीरामः, श्रिवाल्मीकिः, श्रीजयदेवः; also celebrated works, generally of a sacred character; श्रीभागवत, श्रीरामायण)&c.; it is also used as an auspicious sign at the commencement of letters, manuscripts &c
  22. ^ Bhāratīya Vidyā. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 1987.
  23. ^ Skeat, Walter W. (Walter William) (1888). An etymological dictionary of the English language. Robarts - University of Toronto. Oxford Clarendon Press. p. 1, rule 2.
  24. ^ S. S. Shashi, ed. (1996). Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh: Volume 100. Anmol. p. 117. ISBN 978-81-7041-859-7.