History: Who are Kshatriyas?
The history of Kshatriyas in general is a brilliant record of philosophers, scholars and statesmen in India. The known history of ancient and medieval periods of India is more or less the history of Kshatriyas.
The epics of Ramayana and Mahabhratha reflect the most glorious chapters of Indian history.
The rulers RAMA and KRISHNA who established Dharma on earth, were Kshatriyas. Millenniums passed after their life time, and even now they are regarded as AVATHARA PURUSHAS in the minds of the people.
Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism are the major religions originated in India.
The ethical codes for regulating the human conduct and character which are mentioned in all the three religions were formulated by the great philosophers and statesmen namely Mahaveera, Buddha and Manu. They were unparalleled philosophers in the history of India. The ethical values of their teachings are influencing in the minds of the people for thousands of years.
Guru Nanak the founder of Sikhism was also a kshatriya.
In general, kshatriyas are considered as a ruling class. In the past, they were also warriors who defended the people in distress. They even died for the cause of the common people with very high degree of sacrificing spirit.
Example are innumerable in the History.
Some of the luminous Kshatriya families in the past history of Kshatriyas are Nandhas, Mauryas, Satavahanas, Bhoja, Rajputs of Rajasthan, Kakthiyas, Hoysalas, the rulers of Kashmir and Nepal etc.
Baktha Meera, Rudhramma of Kakatiya empire, Rani Lakshmibai of Jansi were some of the Kshatriya Women who gave their contribution to the history of kshatriya.
Moreover, there are so many great personalities who can be added in the list of Kshatriyas in modern times. For example Swami Vivekanandha and Subhash Chandra Bose.
What Contributed To Their Greatness?
Their greatness is the combination of their strength of mind, character, uprightness, steadfastness, dedication to work, willpower, establishing Justice in the socieity and sacrificing qualities.
Bagawat Gita lays down the following six qualities for Kshatriyas such as courage, perseverance, endurance, refusal to flee from the battle field, generosity and leadership temperament.
The quality of Kshatriyas protecting the weak from the exploiter gave them a great status in the minds of the people as the leaders. In the past, people believed that only Kshatriyas can enforce law and order in the society. Moreover the generosity and tradition while helping the fellow beings endorsed the Kshatriyas as rulers and this aspect helped them for their upliftment.
Thus the word Kshatriya denotes a group of qualities and not an accident by birth. Every Kshatriya should ask himself whether he is a true kshatriya !
Krishna told Arjuna in Gita –
He says. ‘UDDHARET ATMANAM’ meaning – ‘one should lift himself by himself’.
‘If the right effort is there, there will no failure’.
Therefore be a true Kshatriya first, by imbibing and cultivating the qualities of a Kshatriya and strive hard to be on the top, first and best, of whatever you are.
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