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In Hindu India, the second-highest of the four varnas, or social classes, traditionally the military or ruling class. In ancient times before the caste system was completely defined, they were considered first in rank, placed higher than the Brahmans, or priestly class. The legend that they were degraded by an incarnation of Vishnu as a punishment for their tyranny may reflect a historical struggle for supremacy between priests and rulers. In modern times the Kshatriya varna includes members from a variety of castes, united by their status in government or the military or their land ownership.
Variants of KSHATRIYA
Kshatriya or Ksatriya
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Kshatriya, visit Britannica.com.