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Kshatriya (Devanagari: क्षत्रिय; Gurmukhi: ਖੱਤਰੀ; from Sanskrit kṣatra, "rule, authority") is one of the four varna (social orders) of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term kṣatriyaḥ is used in the context of Vedic society wherein members were organised into four classes: Kshatriya, Brahmin, Vaishya and Shudra.


  • Rajput is a corrupt form of the Vedic word Rajputra. It occurs in Rigveda, Yajurvedic Kaphak Samhita, and Aitareya Bramana of the Rigveda as a synonym for Râjanya. ...In Mahabharata also the word Rajputra has been used in the sense of nobles and chiefs, as well as ordinary Kshatriyas. The literal meaning of Kshatriya again is the son of a Kshatra. ... So the primary meaning of Rajanya and Kshatriya is the same and Rajputra is used for either of the two words though its meaning becomes distinct as we proceed on the long road of time... As pointed out by G.H. Ojha in Rajputane ka Itihasa Vol. I, Rajputras have been referred to in Kautilya’s Arthasastra, Kalidasa’s Malvikagnimitra, Asvaghosha’s Saundarananda and Banabhatta’s Harshacharita and Kadambari. The word has been used with different connotations by these authors. In Kautilya’s work it implies sons of the king while by Kalidasa and Asvaghosha it is used for nobles. Banabhatta in the first work uses it in the sense of nobles and in the latter work as sons of the nobles”
    • J.N. Asopa, Origin of the Rajputs, Delhi, 1976, pp.4-5. [1]
  • The Kshatriya was a Kshatriya not merely because he was the son of warriors and princes, but because he discharged the duty of protecting the country and preserving the high courage and manhood of the nation, and he had to cultivate the princely temperament and acquire the strong and lofty Samurai training which alone fitted him for his duties.
    • Sri Aurobindo: Ghose, A., Nahar, S., & Institut de recherches évolutives. (2000). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de recherches évolutives, also quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Politics is the work of the Kshatriya and it is the virtues of the Kshatriya we must develop if we are to be morally fit for freedom.
    • Sri Aurobindo, Bande Mataram, 1907, quoted from Sri Aurobindo, ., Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). [1]
  • "Whatever the provocation, the shrine, the Brahman and the cow were sacrosanct.... War being a special privilege of the martial classes, harassment of the civilian population during military operations was considered a serious lapse from the code of honour. The high regard which all Kshatriyas had for the chastity of women, also ruled out abduction as an incident of war."
    • K.M. Munshi, 'End of Ancient India' in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Journal, vol. IV, no. II, December 29, 1959, pp. 8, 14. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 1
  • When Alexander had asked a Brahmin as to what they taught which inspired Hindu warriors to such high heroism, the Brahmin had replied in one sentence – “We teach our people to live with honour.”
    • S.R. Goel in The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • The most curious thing was the code of war of those days; as soon as the battle for the day ceased and evening came, the opposing parties were good friends, even going to each other's tents; however, when the morning came, again they proceeded to fight each other. That was the strange trait that the Hindus carried down to the time of the Mohammedan invasion. Then again, a man on horseback must not strike one on foot; must not poison the weapon; must not vanquish the enemy in any unequal fight, or by dishonesty; and must never take undue advantage of another, and so on. If any deviated from these rules he would be covered with dishonour and shunned. The Kshatriyas were trained in that way. And when the foreign invasion came from Central Asia, the Hindus treated the invaders in the selfsame way. They defeated them several times, and on as many occasions sent them back to their homes with presents etc. The code laid down was that they must not usurp anybody's country; and when a man was beaten, he must be sent back to his country with due regard to his position. The Mohammedan conquerors treated the Hindu kings differently, and when they got them once, they destroyed them without remorse.
    • Vivekananda, CW 4, THE MAHABHARATA (Delivered at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California, February 1, 1900) quoted in in Shourie, Arun (1993). A secular agenda: For saving our country, for welding it. New Delhi, India: Rupa
  • Where are all the ksatriyas, are they all dead, burnt out, where have they fallen down?
    • Bharatendu Harishchandra, quoted in Jain, M. (2010). Parallel pathways: Essays on Hindu-Muslim relations, 1707-1857. chapter V.
  • Looking at your own svadharma you ought not waver, for there is nothing higher for a Kshatriya than a righteous war. … Happy indeed are the Kshatriyas, who are called to fight in a righteous battle… But if you will not fight this righteous war, then having abandoned your own duty and fame, you shall incur demerit.
    • —Shri Krishna, Shri Krishna to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita 2.3, 2.31, 2.32, 2.33, 2.38: Swami Chinmayananda, The Holy Geeta, 58, 107-109, 114. quoted from Malhotra, R. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of power: 5 battlegrounds. New Delhi : Rupa, 2021.
  • Swami Vivekananda said that the four castes, by turn, governed human society. The brahmin dominated the thought-current of the world during the glorious days of the ancient Hindu civilization. Then came the rule of the kshattriya, the military as manifested through the supremacy of Europe from the time of the Roman Empire to the middle of the seventeenth century. Next followed the rule of the vaisya, marked by the rise of America. The Swami prophesied the coming supremacy of the sudra class. After the completion of the cycle, he said, the spiritual culture would again assert itself and influence human civilization through the power of the brahmin. Swami Vivekananda often spoke of the future greatness of India as surpassing all her glories of the past.
    • Swami Nikhilananda, Swami Vivekânanda : A Biography (1975); the "vaisya" represent those primarily living at the mercantile levels of human motivation, and the sudra represent the working class, or laborers.
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  1. A History of Rajasthan Rima Hooja,pg-271