Kosambi was an important city in ancient India. It was located on the Yamuna about 56 kilometres southwest of Prayaga, renamed Ilahabad, Kosambi was one of the greatest cities in India from the late Vedic period until the end of Maurya Empire with occupation continuing until the Gupta Empire. As a small town, it was established in the late Vedic period, during the Shunga Empire, Kosambi was the capital of Vatsa, a vassal state of the Shungas. After their decline, Vatsa became an independent kingdom, ) one of the Mahajanapadas, Kosambi was a very prosperous city by the time of Gautama Buddha, where a large number of wealthy merchants resided. It was an important entrepôt of goods and passengers from north-west and it figures very prominently in the accounts of the life of Buddha. The excavations of the site of Kosambi was done by G. R. Sharma of Allahabad University in 1949. Carbon dating of charcoal and Northern Black Polished Ware have historically dated its continued occupation from 390 BC to 600 A. D.
Kosambi was a town with an irregular oblong plan. Excavations of the ruins revealed the existence of gates on three sides-east and north, the location of the southern gate can not be precisely determined due to water erosion. Besides the bastions and sub-gates, the city was encircled on three sides by a moat, though filled up at places, it still discernible on the northern side, at some points, there is evidence of more than one moat. The city extended to an area of approximately 6.5 km, the city shows a large extent of brickworks indicating the density of structures in the city. The Buddhist commentarial scriptures give two reasons for the name Kausambi/Kosambī, the more favoured is that the city was so called because it was founded in or near the site of the hermitage once occupied by the sage Kusumba. Another explanation is that large and stately neem trees or Kosammarukkhā grew in numbers in. In the time of the Buddha its king was Parantapa, Kosambī was evidently a city of great importance at the time of the Buddha for we find Ananda mentioning it as one of the places suitable for the Buddhas Parinibbāna.
It was the most important halt for traffic coming to Kosala and Magadha from the south, the city was thirty leagues by river from Benares. The usual route from Rājagaha to Kosambī was up the river, though seems to have been a land route passing through Anupiya. Near Kosambī, by the river, was Udayana/Udenas park, the Udakavana, the Buddha is mentioned as having once stayed in the Simsapāvana in Kosambī. Mahā Kaccāna lived in a woodland near Kosambī after the holding of the First Buddhist Council, already in the Buddhas time there were four establishments of the Order in Kosambī - the Kukkutārāma, the Ghositārāma, the Pāvārika-ambavana, and the Badarikārāma. The Buddha visited Kosambī on several occasions, stopping at one or other of these residences, the circumstances are narrated in connection with the Māgandiya Sutta
Vikram Samvat Nepali, नेपाली पात्रो, Listen ) is an era used in India and Nepal, just like the Christian era started in 1 CE. The Vikram Samvat started in 58/57 BCE in southern and 57/56 BCE in northern systems of Hindu calendar, the era is named after king Vikramaditya. The Vikram Samvat calendar is 56.7 years ahead of the solar Gregorian calendar, for example, the year 2073 BS began in 2016 CE and will end in 2017 CE. The new year begins with the first day of month Baishakh, the first day of the new year is passionately celebrated in a historical carnival that takes place every year in Bhaktapur, called Bisket Jatra. The Rana rulers of Nepal made it their official calendar, there have been calls for the Vikram Samvat to replace Saka as Indias official calendar. The classical Vikram Samvat uses lunar months and solar sidereal years, because 12 months do not match a sidereal year exactly, correctional months are added or occasionally subtracted. A Tithi or lunar day is defined as the time it takes for the angle between the moon and the Sun to increase by 12°.
Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours, a Paksa or lunar fortnight consists of 15 tithis. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas. Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the account, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan, despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated, although Gandharvasena himself was forgiven, the defeated king retired to the forest, where he was killed by a tiger. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana, on, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the Vikrama era, the Ujjain calendar started around 56-58 BCE, and the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana.
The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE, the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or simply, Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era Vikrama is from 842 CE and this inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, and is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE, the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. It has a population of approximately 32 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in the north and its territory covers 652,000 km2, making it the 41st largest country in the world. The land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khiljis, Hotaks, the political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a state in the Great Game between British India and the Russian Empire. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country and it remained peaceful during Zahir Shahs forty years of monarchy. A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of wars that devastated much of Afghanistan.
The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, the root name Afghan was used historically in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, and the suffix -stan means place of in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. An important site of historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites. The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and it has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, and the Islamic Empire.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, and the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, in more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well, after 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.
These tribes migrated further into South Asia, Western Asia, the region at the time was referred to as Ariana
Joe Cribb is a numismatist, specialising in Asian coinages, and in particular on coins of the Kushan Empire. His catalogues of Chinese silver currency ingots, and of ritual coins of Southeast Asia were the first detailed works on subjects in English. Cribb joined the Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum, in the early 1970s, Cribb has specialist knowledge of all Asian coinages. He is particularly renowned for his research on the coins of the Kushan kings of ancient South, in addition to his work at the British Museum, Cribb was President of the Royal Numismatic Society and is Secretary General of the Oriental Numismatic Society. He is a Trustee of the Ditchling Museum, where his grandfather Joseph Cribb was a sculptor, Cribb was presented with the Award of the Hirayama Silk Road Institute, the Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society, and the Huntington Medal of the American Numismatic Society. A volume of papers in his honour was presented to him upon his retirement from the British Museum, a selection of his publications are given below, from Cowrie Shells to Credit Cards, BM Press, London,1986.
Money Fun Book, BM Press, London,1986, the Coin Atlas, Macdonald, London,1990. Eyewitness Guide, Dorling Kindersley, London,1990, 83–96,4, Money is Power, Numismatic Chronicle pp. 461–529, pl. 49–56. Money in the Bank, an Illustrated Introduction to the Money Collection of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, a Catalogue of Sycee in the British Museum, Chinese Silver Currency Ingots, c. 1750–1933, British Museum Press, London 1992. Metallurgical Analysis of Chinese Coins at the British Museum, British Museum Research Publication 152,2005, crossroads of Asia, Transformation in Image and Symbol in the Art of Ancient Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge,1992. Studies in Silk Road Coins and Culture, Papers in Honour of Professor Ikuo Hirayama on his 65th Birthday, Institute of Silk Road Studies, Kamakura,1997. The end of Greek coinage in Bactria and India and its evidence for the Kushan coinage system, in R. Ashton and S. Hurter Studies in Greek Numismatics in Memory of Martin Jessop Price, London,1998, pp. 83–98, plates 21–23.
The early Kushan kings, new evidence for chronology – Evidence from the Rabatak inscription of Kanishka I, in M. Alram, klimburg-Salter Coins and Chronology, Essays on the pre-Islamic History of the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, Vienna 1999, pp. 177–205. Kanishka I’s Buddha image coins revisited, in Silk Road Art and Archaeology, Coins from Kashmir Smast – New Numismatic Evidence, Peshawar,2008. Eric Gill and Ditchling, The Workshop Tradition, Ditchling,2007, dating and locating Mujatria and the two Kharahostes, Journal of the Oriental Numismatics Society,2015, p. 26-47
Pataliputra, adjacent to modern-day Patna, was a city in ancient India, originally built by Magadha ruler Ajatashatru in 490 BCE as a small fort near the Ganges river. Extensive archaeological excavations have been made in the vicinity of modern Patna, excavations early in the 20th century around Patna revealed clear evidence of large fortification walls, including reinforcing wooden trusses. The etymology of Pataliputra is unclear, putra means son, and pāţali is a species of rice or the plant Bignonia suaveolens. One traditional etymology holds that the city was named after the plant, another tradition says that Pāṭaliputra means the son of Pāṭali, who was the daughter of Raja Sudarshan. As it was known as Pāṭali-grāma originally, some believe that Pāṭaliputra is a transformation of Pāṭalipura. There is no mention of Pataliputra in written sources prior to the early Buddhist texts, in 303 BCE, Greek historian and ambassador Megasthenes mentioned Pataliputra as a city in his work Indika. The city of Pataliputra was formed by fortification of a village by Haryanka ruler Bimbisara and its central location in north eastern India led rulers of successive dynasties to base their administrative capital here, from the Nandas, Mauryans and the Guptas down to the Palas.
Situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Son rivers, Pataliputra formed a water fort and its position helped it dominate the riverine trade of the Indo-Gangetic plains during Magadhas early imperial period. It was a centre of trade and commerce and attracted merchants and intellectuals, such as the famed Chanakya. Jain and Brahmanical sources identify Udayabhadra, son of Ajatashatru, as the king who first established Pataliputra as the capital of Magadha. During the reign of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, it was one of the worlds largest cities, with a population of 150, 000–400,000. The city is estimated to have had a surface of 25.5 square kilometers, and a circumference of 33.8 kilometers, Pataliputra reached the pinnacle of prosperity when it was the capital of the great Mauryan Emperors, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka. Arrian, The Indica Strabo in his Geographia adds that the city walls were made of wood and these are thought to be the wooden palisades identified during the excavation of Patna.
At the confluence of the Ganges and of another river is situated Palibothra, in length 80 and it is in the shape of a parallelogram, surrounded by a wooden wall pierced with openings through which arrows may be discharged. In front is a ditch, which serves the purpose of defence, in the parks, tame peacocks and pheasants are kept. Aelian, Characteristics of animals Ashokas Palace in Pataliputra and the monument columns everywhere in India were built to imitate the Achaemenid palaces, the architecture of Pataliputras enclosures and the monumental columns of Ashoka had been affected by Persian Achaemenid architecture. The design of the Pataliputra palace capital has been described as Perso-Iionic, with a strong late-archaic Greek stylistic influence, including volute and reel, the city became a flourishing Buddhist centre boasting a number of important monasteries. It remained the capital of the Gupta dynasty and the Pala Dynasty, the city was largely in ruins when visited by Xuanzang, and suffered further damage at the hands of Muslim raiders in the 12th century
The Kushan Empire was a syncretic empire, formed by Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century. Emperor Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism, however, as Kushans expanded southward. The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, the Kushans possibly used the Greek language initially for administrative purposes, but soon began to use Bactrian language. Kanishka sent his armies north of the Karakoram mountains, capturing territories as far as Kashgar and Yarkant, in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. A direct road from Gandhara to China remained under Kushan control for more than a century, encouraging travel across the Karakoram, the Kushan dynasty had diplomatic contacts with the Roman Empire, Sasanian Persia, Aksumite Empire and Han China. The Kushan empire fragmented into semi-independent kingdoms in the 3rd century AD, in the 4th century, the Guptas, an Indian dynasty pressed from the east. The last of the Kushan and Sasanian kingdoms were overwhelmed by invaders from the north.
Historian H. G. Rawlinson states that the Kushana Period is a prelude to the age of Guptas. Chinese sources describe the Guishuang, i. e, as the historian John E. Hill has put it, For well over a century. There have been arguments about the ethnic and linguistic origins of the Da Yuezhi and the Tochari. The five tribes constituting the Yuezhi are known in Chinese history as Xiūmì, Guìshuāng, Shuāngmǐ, Xìdùn, the Yuezhi reached the Hellenic kingdom of Greco-Bactria around 135 BC. The displaced Greek dynasties resettled to the southeast in areas of the Hindu Kush, some traces remain of the presence of the Kushans in the area of Bactria and Sogdiana. Archaeological structures are known in Takht-I-Sangin, Surkh Kotal, and in the palace of Khalchayan, various sculptures and friezes are known, representing horse-riding archers, and significantly men with artificially deformed skulls, such as the Kushan prince of Khalchayan. The Chinese first referred to people as the Yuezhi and said they established the Kushan Empire.
On the ruins of ancient Hellenistic cities such as Ai-Khanoum, the Kushans are known to have built fortresses, the earliest documented ruler, and the first one to proclaim himself as a Kushan ruler, was Heraios. He calls himself a tyrant on his coins, and exhibits skull deformation and he may have been an ally of the Greeks, and he shared the same style of coinage. Heraios may have been the father of the first Kushan emperor Kujula Kadphises, Ban Gus Book of Han tells us the Kushans divided up Bactria in 128 BC. He invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region and he defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin
Kujula Kadphises was a Kushan prince who united the Yuezhi confederation during the 1st century CE, and became the first Kushan emperor. According to the Rabatak inscription, he was the grandfather of the great Kushan king Kanishka I. He is considered as the founder of the Kushan Empire, the origins of Kujula Kadphises are quite obscure, and it is usually considered he was a descendant of the Kushan ruler Heraios, or possibly identical with him. Interestingly however, Kujula shares his name some of the last Indo-Scythian rulers, such as Liaka Kusulaka, or his son Patika Kusulaka. He established himself as king, and his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang King and he invaded Anxi, and took the Gaofu region. He defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda and Jibin, qiujiuque was more than eighty years old when he died. He defeated Tianzhu and installed Generals to supervise and lead it, the Yuezhi became extremely rich. All the kingdoms call the Guishuang king, but the Han call them by their original name and this invasion of Kujula Kadphises is thought to have occurred during the reign of Abdagases and Sases, the successors of Gondophares, after 45 CE.
The connection of Kujula with other Kushan rulers is described in the Rabatak inscription, discovered in Rbatak, Afghanistan some years ago, most of Kujulas coins were Hellenic or Roman in inspiration. Some coins used the portrait and title of the Indo-Greek king Hermaeus on the obverse, indicating Kujulas wish to relate himself to the Indo-Greek king. These coins bear the name of Kujula Kadphises in Kharoṣṭhī, with representations of the Greek demi-god Heracles on the back, and titles presenting Kujula as a ruler, Later coins, possibly posthumous, did describe Kujula as Maharajasa, or Great King. The Greek script on the coins of Kujula is barbarized, for example, ΣΤΗΡΟΣΣΥ on his Hermaeus coins is thought to be a deformation of ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ, the traditional title of Hermaeus on his coins. The Greek word for king is written ΒΑϹΙΛΕΩΣ, with both a lunate sigma and a normal sigma in the same word, the Kushans added one character to the Greek script, it is the letter Ϸ, corresponding to the sound Sh, as in Kushan.
Some coins of Kujula represent a seated figure, formerly said to be one of the first known representations of the Buddha on a coin. Unfortunately, Whiteheads attribution of this coin to Kujula, and the claim that the figure on the obverse represents the Buddha, is now known to be incorrect. The correct attribution of this coin is to the Kushan king Huvishka, the obverse shows Huvishka seated on a couch. The first known coins carrying a representation of the Buddha were issued by Kujulas Great-grandson Kanishka I, some fewer coins of Kujula Kadphises adopted a Roman style, with effigies closely resembling Caesar Augustus, although all the legends were associated with Kujula himself. Such influences are linked to exchanges with the Roman Empire around that date, catalogue of coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore
Sims-Williams is a scholar who specializes in Central Asian history, particularly the study of Sogdian and Bactrian languages. He is a member of the council of the Iranian Studies Journal. Sims-Williams recently worked on a dedicatory Sogdian inscription, dated to the 1st-3rd centuries CE and it alludes to military operations of the principal towns of Sogdiana against the nomads in the north. The inscription tends to confirm the confederational organization of the Kangju state, Nicholas Sims-Williams and other Christian Sogdian texts from the Turfan Collection, Brepols,2014. Bactrian documents from Ancient Afghanistan Nicholas Sims-Williams profile Nicholas Sims-Williams MAHRS Profile
Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic Divinity of Covenant and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is a figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle. The Romans attributed their Mithraic mysteries to Persian sources relating to Mithra, since the early 1970s the dominant scholarship has noted dissimilarities, and the mysteries are now considered a distinct Roman product formed, at most, by Roman perceptions of Zoroastrian ideas. Together with the Vedic common noun mitra, the Avestan common noun miθra derives from proto-Indo-Iranian *mitra, from the root mi- to bind, etymologically mitra/miθra means that which causes binding, preserved in the Avestan word for Covenant, Oath. In Middle Iranian languages, miθra became mihr, from which New Persian مهر mihr and Wazirwola mērə/myer, as a member of the Iranian ahuric triad, a feature that only Ahura Mazda and Ahura Berezaiti have, Mithra is an exalted figure. Together with Rashnu Justice and Sraosha Obedience, Mithra is one of the three judges at the Chinvat Bridge, the Bridge of Separation that all Souls must cross, unlike Sraosha, Mithra is not however a Psychopomp, a guide of souls to the place of the dead.
Should the Good Thoughts and Deeds outweigh the Bad, as the Divinity of Contract, Mithra is undeceivable, eternally watchful, and never-resting. Mithra is additionally the protector of cattle, and his epithet is of Wide Pastures. He is Guardian of the waters and ensures that those pastures receive enough of it, the lack of Mithras presence in the texts was once a cause of some consternation amongst Iranists. An often repeated speculation of the first half of the 20th century was that the lack of any mention of Mithra in these texts implied that Zoroaster had rejected Mithra and this ex silentio speculation is no longer followed. The Avestan Hymn to Mithra is the longest, and one of the best preserved, Mithra is described in the Zoroastrian Avesta scriptures as Mithra of Wide Pastures, of the Thousand Ears, and of the Myriad Eyes, the Lofty, and the Everlasting. We sacrifice to Mithra, The Lord of all countries, Whom Ahura Mazda created the most glorious, Of the Supernatural Yazads. So may there come to us for Aid, Both Mithra and Ahura, Mithra is invoked in the inscriptions of two Achaemenid emperors.
Boyce suggests that the reason for this was that Artaxerxes had chosen Anahita, Mithra is invoked again in the single known inscription of Artaxerxes III, A3Pa, found at Persepolis. In that inscription, that emperor too appeals to Ahuramazda and the God Mithra preserve me, my country, in the Zoroastrian calendar, the sixteenth day of the month and the seventh month of the year are dedicated to, and under the protection of, Mithra. The day on which the day-name and month-name dedications intersect is dedicated to the divinity of that day/month, in the case of Mithra, this was Jashan-e Mihragan, or just Mihragan in short. In Zoroastrian scripture, Mithra is distinct from the divinity of the Sun, however, in Zoroastrian tradition, Mithra evolved from being an all-seeing figure into a divinity co-identified with the Sun itself, effectively taking over Hvare. khshaetas role. How or when or why this occurred is uncertain, but it is attributed to conflation with Babylonian Shamash and/or Greek Apollo
The HALO Trust is a non-political and non-religious registered British charity and American non-profit organization which removes debris left behind by war, in particular land mines. With about 6,000 deminers worldwide, HALOs largest operation is in Afghanistan, HALOs global headquarters are located in Thornhill and Galloway, Scotland. HALO has US offices located in Washington, D. C. and San Francisco, the organization was founded in 1988 by Guy Willoughby and Colin Campbell Mitchell, a British member of Parliament and former colonel in the British Army. Guy Willoughby won the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award in 2009, HALO is a contrived acronym for Hazardous Area Life-support Organization. In terms of removing landmines and Unexploded ordnance, the HALO Trust has destroyed over 1.5 million landmines, over 11 million pieces of large calibre ordnance and over 200,000 cluster munitions. Around 10,800 minefields have been cleared and 87,316 acres have been safe from landmines. In December 2015 The HALO Trust announced that it had cleared 200,000 landmines in Sri Lanka.
James Cowan, CEO said Whilst we have much progress to celebrate in Sri Lanka today, there are still many landmines posing a threat to the most disadvantaged. The Sri Lankan government has set a target of 2020 for Sri Lanka to be mine-impact free, the trust has a budget of approximately £25m. It receives support from the UK government and other governments around the world including Finland, Germany, Ireland, in 2014, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office supported HALO with £2. 8m. HALO has won awards for its work including the Overall Winner at the Charity Awards in 2012, in February 2015, James Cowan was appointed HALOs chief executive officer. Cowan is a British Army officer who commanded the 3rd UK Division after a 33-year army career and his appointment will ensure that HALO continues to achieve the best possible outcomes for people living in post-conflict countries. Cowan replaced Guy Willoughby who resigned from his role as executive of the trust on 11 August 2014. He had been suspended in the wake of an investigation into his pay package and he has helped to make mine clearance an issue that is now taken seriously throughout the world.
HALOs largest operation is in Afghanistan, one of the most mined countries in the world, upwards of 6.2 million Afghans were reported as having left Afghanistan for Pakistan and Iran alone during the various phases of conflict. However, since the fall of the Taliban over five million refugees have returned to their homes, since 1988, HALO Afghanistan has destroyed over 692,000 mines, nine million items of large calibre ammunition and 45.4 million bullets. HALOs current area of operations is in nine provinces of the Northern and Central regions. The organisation operates by building a local capacity, Afghan staff are managed by Afghans, HALO is the largest implementing agency of the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan
Kshatriya is one of the four varna of the Hindu society. The Sanskrit term kshatriya is used in the context of Vedic society wherein members organised themselves into four classes, kshatriya, traditionally, the kshatriya constituted the ruling and military elite. Their role was to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime, the Prakrit derivative of Kshatriya is Khatri. The administrative machinery in the Rig Vedic period functioned with a chief called Rajan whose position was not hereditary. The king was elected in an assembly, which included women. The Rajan protected the tribe and cattle, was assisted by a priest, the concept of fourfold varna system was non-existent. The hymn Purusha Sukta to the Rigveda describes the history of the four varna. Since not all dark-skinned Indians was fully regulated under the varna in the vedic society, the term rajanya unlike the word kshatriya essentially denoted the status within a lineage. Whereas kshatra, means ruling, one of the ruling order, jaiswal points out the term Brahman rarely occurs in the Rig-veda with the exception of the Purusha Sukta and may not have been used for the priestly class.
Based on the authority of Panini, Patanjali and the Mahabharata, Jayaswal believes that Rajanya was the name of a people and that the Rajanyas were, therefore. Some examples were the Andhaka and Vrsni Rajanyas who followed the system of elected rulers and this gave rise to the idea of kingship. In the period of the Brahmanas there was ambiguity in the position of the varna, in the Panchavimsha Brahmana, the Rajanya are placed first, followed by Brahmana Vaishya. In Shatapatha Brahmana 184.108.40.206, the Kshatriya are placed second, in Shatapatha Brahmana 220.127.116.11 the order is—Brahmana, Rajanya, Shudra. The order of the brahmanical tradition—Brahmana, Vaishya, Shudra—became fixed from the time of dharmasutras, the kshatriya were often considered pre-eminent in Buddhist circles. Even among Hindu societies they were sometimes at rivalry with the Brahmins, the kshatriya caste constituted an aristocracy but were not always necessarily wealthy. Kings usually belonged to this caste and it was considered their duty to acquire a knowledge of weapons in addition to cultivating their aptitude for command, the science of weaponry was one of the 13 branches of learning which every educated kshatriya male was expected to study.
Both the kings suite and the army were recruited from among this caste. Many kshatriya were authorised to take up a craft or trade rather than gaining their living as professional warriors and these families still retained the privileges accorded to their caste however, which included special forms of marriage which were their prerogative