|Part of a series on|
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. 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. Indian traders were widely credited for the spread of Indian culture to regions as far as southeast Asia.
Historically, Vaishyas have been involved in roles other than their traditional pastoralism, trade and commerce. According to historian Ram Sharan Sharma, the Gupta Empire was a Vaishya dynasty that "may have appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers".
The Vaishya community consists of several jāti or subcastes, notably the Agrahari, Agrawals, Barnwals, Gahois, Kasuadhans, Khandelwals, Lohanas, Oswals, Roniaurs, the Arya Vaishyas, the Vaishya Vanis of Konkan and Goa, Modh of the west and the Chettiar of Tamil Nadu
- Boesche, Roger (1 March 2003). The First Great Political Realist. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-73910-607-5.
- Madan, Gurmukh Ram (1979). Western Sociologists on Indian Society: Marx, Spencer, Weber, Durkheim, Pareto. Taylor & Francis. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-71008-782-9.
- Embree, Ainslie Thomas; Gluck, Carol (1 January 1997). Asia in western and world history. p. 361. ISBN 978-1-56324-265-6.
- Sharma, Ram Sharan (2003) . Early medieval Indian society: a study in feudalisation. Orient Blackswan. p. 69. ISBN 978-8-12502-523-8. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- 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.
- 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 25 April 2012.