Vaishya is the term used in the ancient fourfold class (VARNA) system of India for the common peo-ple, including merchants and agriculturists. The earlier VEDIC term was Vish, from which the term Vaishya derived. They were “twice-born” as were the KSHATRIYAS (warriors) and BRAHMINS (priests), being invested with the sacred thread at eight to 12 years of age to symbolize a new birth into soci-ety. They were allowed to learn the VEDAS, though they probably studied them much less than the upper two classes. Vaishya merchants were known for their early support of JAINISM and Buddhism (c. 800 to 500 B.C.E.).
   Further reading: Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994); Utsa Patnaik, Peasant Class Differentiation: A Study in Method with Reference to Haryana (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987); T. Ramaswamy, Mer-chant Class: South India, 1336–1665 (Madurai: Mathi, 1997).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vaishya — (Sanskrit, वैश्य, m. vaiśya, f. vaiśyā) ist im indischen Kastensystem die Bezeichnung für die aus Kaufleuten, Händlern, Geldverleihern und Großgrundbesitzern bestehende dritte Kaste (Varna) der traditionellen vier Kasten. Die Kaste bildete sich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • vaishya — ● vaishya nom masculin (mot sanskrit signifiant les gens du commun) Troisième des grandes catégories du système des castes, en Inde, constituée de groupes aux activités productives (agriculture, commerce) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Vaishya — The Hindu varna (class) system, a Vaishya (Sanskrit वैश्य vaiśya ) is a member of the third of the four classes of traditional Indian society. It comprises merchants, artisans, and cultivators. A person born into a Brahmin/Kshatriya/Vaishya… …   Wikipedia

  • Vaishya — Third highest of the four varnas of India. Traditionally described as commoners, Vaishyas are connected with productive labour, such as trade, agriculture, and pastoralism. According to legend, they sprang from the thighs of Prajapati, after the… …   Universalium

  • Vaishya — or Vaisya noun Etymology: Sanskrit vaiśya, from viś settlement; akin to Greek oikos house more at vicinity Date: 1665 a Hindu of an upper caste traditionally assigned to commercial and agricultural occupations …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Vaishya — Les vaiśya, (वैश्य, lié au clan, aussi ârya) désigne les membre d une des quatre varnas (varṇa, वर्ण, « couleur ») qui se compose d artisans, commerçants, hommes d affaires, agriculteurs et bergers. Voir aussi Hindouisme Système de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vaishya — noun a) The third caste of traditional Indian society, comprising merchants and landowners. To perform successfully in the marketplace, vaishyas had to be ambitious, to want worldly goods, and to compete aggressively with their rivals, and this… …   Wiktionary

  • vaishya — La tercera de las cuatro varnas (castas) de India. Tradicionalmente descritos como plebeyos, los vaishyas están relacionados con el trabajo productivo como el comercio, la agricultura y el pastoreo. Según la leyenda surgieron de los muslos de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vaishya — Vaish|ya [ vaiʃja] <aus sanskr. vaíśya, vgl. ↑Waischja> svw. ↑Waischja …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • vaishya — vaish·ya …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.