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Vaidya (Sanskrit: वैद्य), or vaid is a Sanskrit word meaning "doctor, physician".[1] Vaidyan or Vaidyar is a similar term used in the southern region of India to denote a physician, particularly in Kerala.Today it is used to refer to traditional practitionerers of Ayurveda", an indigenous Indian system of alternative medicine.[2] Senior practitioners or teachers were called Vaidyarāja ("physician-king") as a mark of respect. Some practitioners who had complete knowledge of the texts and were excellent at their practices were known as Pranaacharya. Some royal families in India had a personal vaidya in attendance and these people were referred to as Rāja Vaidya ("the king's physician").[3][4]

In Maharashtra, like many other last names, the last name "Vaidya" is linked to the profession that the family followed.[5]

Vaidya as a surname[edit]

As a last name in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, Vaidya Vaidyar or Vaidyan are usually found in several communities like the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu, Billava,Ezhava[6][7][8][9][10][11] as well as Sonar (goldsmith).[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Online Edition".
  2. ^ Ember, Carol R. (31 December 2003). Encyclopedia of medical anthropology: health and illness in the ... Vol. 2. Springer. ISBN 9780306477546.
  3. ^ Hutchison, Rose (1996). Gazetteer of the Chamba State. Indus. ISBN 9788173870415.
  4. ^ Agrawal, S. P. (1993). Development/digression diary of India: 3D companion volume to Information ... Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 9788170223054.
  5. ^ R. G. Harshé (1974). Observations on the Life and Works of Bhavabhūti. p. 2. It is so in Maharashtra at least . Thus, the surnames Deshmukh, Desai, etc., indicate the title that the family possessed; Joshi, Vaidya, Purohit are derived from the professions.
  6. ^ Thurston, Edgar (28 September 2020). Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume I of VII. Library of Alexandria. ISBN 9781465582362.
  7. ^ Gerritsen, Anne; Cleetus, Burton (12 January 2023). Histories of Health and Materiality in the Indian Ocean World: Medicine, Material Culture and Trade, 1600-2000. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350195905.
  8. ^ Mrudula Verma; Sarjerao Bhamare; Shripad Nandedkar; Mokashi (2015). Sanshodhak. Historian V.K.Rajwade Research center(mandal), Dhule, India. pp. 1–14. quote on page 1; Not much information is available about the early life of Narayan Jagannatha Vaidya. Narayan Jagannatha Vaidya belonged to the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu(CKP) community of Maharashtra. His brother was the Diwan of Baroda state
  9. ^ "Book on Thackerays traces ghar vapasi, rivalry between brothers". DNA India. Sep 17, 2019. Like the Thackerays, Vaidya also belonged to the Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP) community. The CKPs are a small but literate and influential caste, with a high occupational status that equals the Brahmins.
  10. ^ "DnaIndia mumbai report (Dec 2013)".
  11. ^ Organiser, Volume 32. Bharat Prakashan. 1980. p. 6.
  12. ^ Ganesh Ramrao Bhatkal (1998). Contemporary India: G.R. Bhatkal Memorial Lectures, 1975-1995. Popular Prakashan. pp. 186–. ISBN 9788171545599.