Vaishyas are given the third rank in the Hindu caste system. They are considered lower than the Brahmins and Kshatriyas while higher than the Shudras and Untouchables. Vaishyas mainly comprise of craftsmen, merchants, and traders. They have permission to study Vedas like Brahmins and Kshatriyas. They have the right to increase their wealth but only by doing business in a righteous manner. They were supposed to know many languages so that they can trade in any region easily. According to Hindu texts, all the castes are given a particular color. The Brahmins are given white color, the Kshatriyas are given red, and the Vaishyas are given yellow color while the Shudras were given black color. To get easily identified, all the castes were told to use a specific surname. Brahmins were told to use ‘Sharma’, Kshatriyas were told to use ‘Varma’, Vaishyas were told to use ‘Gupta’ while the Shudras were told to use ‘Dasa’ as their surnames respectively. Some people believe that the Vaishyas came from Lord Brahma’s thighs while some believe they came from his stomach.
Vysya/ Komati/ Gupta’s duties are:
- Lend money or expensive metals
- Trade, work as merchants and craftsmen
- Have cattle and cultivate the land. They can’t deny keeping cattle.
- They should know the value of everything like corals, pearls, expensive metals, etc. because it’ll help them in trading.
According to the Bhagavad Geeta, they are given the works such as protecting cows, farming and conducting business.
How were Vaishyas created in Hinduism?
According to the Rigveda, there was a cosmic primal human (Purusha). His body was asked to go through primordial sacrifice so that, men and women, different castes and the world could be created. The Brahmins were believed to have emerged from his mouth, Kshatriyas from his arms, Vaishyas from his thighs and Shudras from his feet. Not only the Brahmins but Lord Indra (the chief God of the Vedas) and Agni (the God of fire) was also believed to have emerged from his mouth. His skull made the heaven, his eyes made the sun and the moon was made from his spirit.
Around 1500 BC, the Aryans (Indo – European invaders) migrated to the Indian subcontinent. Aryans started taking control of the northern part of India. They maintained contacts only with the Austroloids and the Dravidians and not with the local people at all. To rule easily and in an organized way, the Aryans made three groups. The first group was called Kshatriyas, they were the warriors. The second group comprised of the priests and teachers who were given the name of Brahmins. The third group was of merchants and craftsmen, they were known as Vaishyas. All the people outside these three groups were put in the category of Shudras.
Vaishyas Food habits
Vaishyas generally used to eat sattvik or pure food. The food included vegetables, milk, wheat, rice, honey, and fruits. This kind of diet was followed because they believed it made them wiser and filled them with positive energy. They were allowed to eat meat so some Vaishyas also used to eat meat. Some people avoided eating meat because of its high price also. Most of the Vaishyas used to drink liquor.
Know more about the food in this article: https://www.hindusinfo.com/what-kind-of-food-is-forbidden-in-hinduism/
Do Vaishyas Wear the Sacred Thread?
Just like Brahmins and Kshatriyas, Vaishyas also wear the sacred thread known as ‘Janeu’ or ‘Janai’ after the Upanayana ceremony. It is related to the twin born concept known as the dvija concept. The Brahmins and Kshatriyas wear the sacred thread made up of cotton but the Vaishyas wear the sacred thread made up of some other material. It is made up of three threads in a loop form and they wear it over their one shoulder going across their chest and under the other arm. It is believed that the janeu wearer is born two times. First, by his mother and second, when he wears the janeu. Thus, after wearing the janeu, they are considered reborn. Only after wearing the janeu they get the right to start their studies. It is also a symbol of the transformation or development of a male, from a young boy to a mature man.
Responsibilities of the Vaishyas
Their responsibilities were to sacrifice, study and help the needy by giving them food and money. They were basically responsible for providing a good standard of living to all. They were advised to donate funds to the Brahmins also. They were supposed to know many different languages so as to make their trading ways more effective. They were allowed to make profits but in good ways only and they had to donate some portion of their profit to the poor.
Vaishya’s Education System
The basic study is the Vedic study. A Brahmin guru teaches them the Vedas. Besides Vedic knowledge, they should know about the art of purchasing and storing different kinds of goods. They should learn as many skills as possible to expand their business. They should also know about all kinds of duties as well as taxes so that they can earn high profits. They should know how to distinguish between different metals, precious stones, and jewels. They should be an expert in calculations.
Current Lifestyle of Vaishyas
They are now found all across the country and are not restricted to a definite region. Some Vaishyas have even migrated to other countries. Most of the Vaishyas own garment shops, ayurvedic or medicine factories, grocery stores, software companies, etc. They are not restricted to the business sector only; some Vaishyas are even doing jobs nowadays. Although the Vaishyas doing business are still getting more respect than the other Vaishyas who are doing jobs.
Sub-castes in Vaishyas
There are many sub-castes in Vaishya. These sub-casts were created on the basis of territorial/geographic division and occupation.
Some of the sub-castes in Vaishyas are:
- Roniaur Vaishya – Mainly found in the northern part of India
- Dosar Vaishya – They belong to Dosar region near Rewari
- Bhandari Vaishya – They are mainly from Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.
- Kalwar Vaishya – They belong to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and other northern parts of India.
- Patel Vaishya – Mainly from Gujarat but found in about 22 more Indian states.
- Ganiga Vaishya – They are from Karanataka.
- Maheshwari Vaishya – Mainly belong to Rajasthan.
- Chaurasia – Mainly from Uttar Pradesh.
- Porwal – Mainly from Rajasthan.
- Agrawal – Mainly from Haryana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab but found all over the country.
- Kapali Vaishya – Mainly belong to West Bengal.
- Chettiyar Vaishya – Mainly from Tamil Nadu
and many more.
Learn more about Hindu’s caste system in this post: https://www.hindusinfo.com/what-are-hindu-or-indias-caste-system-types-and-its-benefits/
Below are some of the related questions asked regarding Vysyas.
Who are Komati Vaishyas?
Komatis are the Vaishyas who belong to the Baniya community. They are mostly found in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Their primary language is Telugu while their secondary languages are Kannada, Konkani, and Marathi. Like other Baniyas, Komatis are also mostly in the business sector. Further, there are three sectors of the Komati community: – the Gavara, the Kalinga and the Thrivarnika.
Are the Arya and Komati Vaishyas the same?
Formerly known as Komati Chettiars, the Arya Vaishyas are a sub-caste of the Komati Vaishyas. Goddess Kanyaka Parameswari is the Kul Devi or the main Goddess of the Arya Vaishya community. The Arya Vaishyas are pure vegetarians that mean they eat only sattvik or pure food. They are mainly associated with trading, agriculture and doing business.
Are Baniya Vaishyas?
Yes, Baniyas are a part of the Vaishya community. Baniya came from the word Vanik which means merchants. Originally, Baniya was a title given to the Vaishyas who were merchants, money lenders and bankers but later, people started using the word ‘Baniya’ as if it is itself a caste. Baniyas are also known as Vaniya, Vani and Vanya. Baniyas are not only the followers of Hinduism, but some Baniyas are followers of Jainism also.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – Our Father of the Nation
- Lala Lajpat Rai – One of the greatest leaders, also known with two other leaders as Lal-Bal-Pal
- Narendra Damodardas Modi – Prime Minister of India
- Ram Manohar Lohia – General Secretary of Praja Socialist Party and one of the most important leaders during Quit India Movement
- Jamnalal Kaniram Bajaj – Founder of the Bajaj Group of Industries
- Ramanath Goenka – Most acclaimed publisher of the Indian Express newspaper
- Arvind Kejriwal – The Chief Minister of Delhi
- Kamal Mahendra Nath – Former Lok-Sabha speaker and former Union Minister
- Ashok Singhal – International President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad
- Lakshmi Mittal – the CEO of the world’s largest steel manufacturing company ‘ArcelorMittal’.
- Sachin Bansal – Co-founder of Flipkart
- Bookanakere Yeddyurappa – Chief Minister of Karanataka
- Guntur Shetti – Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, former governor of Karnataka and former governor of Tamil Nadu
- Singaravelu Chettiar – Leader of Labour Kisan Party of Hindustan
- Palaniappan Chettiar – Former Defence Minister and former Finance Minister of India
and many more.
- Esha Gupta
- Sayani Gupta
- Neena Gupta
- Kajal Agarwal
- Nidhhi Agerwal
- Sakshi Agarwal
- Ramesh Goyal
- Aarthi Agarwal
- Sidhant Gupta
- Aditti Gupta
- Meher Mittal
- Archana Gupta
and many more.
Chairman of Big Companies
- Anil Agarwal – Vedanta Resources Limited
- Naresh Goyal – Jet Airways
- Sunil Bharti Mittal – Bharti Enterprises
- Subhash Chandra – Essel Group
- Naveen Jindal – Jindal Steeland Power
- Anil Rai Gupta – Havells
- R.C. Agarwal – Dainik Bhaskar
- Desh Bandhu Gupta – Lupin Limited
- Neeraj Aggarwal – Synergy World
- Shashi Ruia – Essar Group
- Rahul Bajaj – Bajaj Group
- Vijaypat Singhania – Raymond Group
- R.P. Goenka – RPG Group
- Anand Jain – Jai Corp Limited
- Venugopal Dhoot – Videocon
and many more.
Writers and Poets
- Kaka Hathrasi – Humorist poet and writer
- Sita Ram Goel – Writer and publisher
- Vasudev Sharan Agrawal – Historian and Writer
- Ishwar Chandra Gupta – Bengali poet and writer
- Kedarnath Agrawal – Poet
- Bharatendu Harishchandra – Hindi Literature
- Babu Gulabrai – Hindi Literature
and many more.
- Harmeet Singh Bansal – Indian Cricketer
- S. K. Bansal – Cricket Umpire
- Pushpendra Kumar Garg – Yachting
- Manimala Singhal – Indian Cricketer
- Supra Singhal – Ugandan Swimmer
- Abhin Shyam Gupta – Indian Badminton Player
- Pankaj Gupta – Indian Sports Administrator
- Sandip Gupta – Kenyan Cricketer
- Abhijeet Gupta – Indian Chess Player
- Karan Goel – Ranji Indian Cricketer
- Malaika Goel – Indian Shooter
- Rajinder Goel – Cricketer
- Suresh Goel – Indian Badminton Player
and many more.
- Shri Bhagwan Das – Indian Theosophist and has also served in the Central Legislative Assembly of British India, got Bharat Ratan
- Badri Prasad Bajoria – honored with Padma Shri
- Ishwar Chandra Gupta – Bengali poet and writer, honored with Padmavibhushan
- Ramakrishna – Indian mystic and yogi, honored with Padmavibhushan
- Ram Narain Agarwal – Aerospace engineer, honored with Padmavibhushan
- Shreyans Prasad Jain – awarded with Padmavibhushan for social work
- B.K. Goyal – The recipient of the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan
- Gujarmal Modi – awarded with Innovative Science and Technology Award
- Janaki Devi Bajaj – Conferred Padma Vibhushan
- Kaka Hathrasi – Awarded with Padma Shri
- Narinder Kumar Gupta – Honored with Padma Shri
- Shree. Bharatendu Babu Harishchandra – Given the award ‘Personality with Important Role’.
- Jialalji Gupta – Wing Commander, honored with Veer Chakra
- M.K. Jain – Squardon Leader, honored with Veer Chakra
- M.P. Premi – Flight Lieutenant, honored with Veer Chakra
and many more.
- Ms. Shena Aggarwal – IAS Officer
- Mr. Naveen Aggarwal – IAS Officer
- Mrs. Neha Bansal – IAS Officer
- Mr. Praveen Kumar Gupta – IAS Officer
- Mr. Puneer Kumar Goyal – IAS Officer
- Mr. Prashant Goyal – IAS Officer
- Ms. Purva Garg – IAS Officer
- Mr. K.K. Jindal – IAS Officer
- Ms. Ira Singhal – IAS Officer
- Ms. Kriti Garg – IAS Officer
- Mr. Aman Gupta – IAS Officer
- Mr. Himanshu Gupta – IAS Officer
- Mr. Kapil Garg – IPS Officer
- Mr. Prashant Kumar Agrawal – IPS Officer
- Mr. Alok Mittal – IPS Officer
- Mr. Ajay Singhal – IPS Officer
- Mr. Abhishek Garg – IPS Officer
- Mr. Ajay Singhal – IPS Officer
- Mr. Satender Kumar Gupta – IPS Officer
- Mr. Gopal Gupta – IPS Officer
and many more.
Reservation System for Vaishyas
There is a caste-based reservation system in India. Vaishyas belong to the general or unreserved caste. But in some states, they belong to the other backward caste also. According to the central government, the three categories, the scheduled caste, the scheduled tribes, and the other backward castes are given reservation in educational institutes as well as for jobs. The scheduled caste comprises 15% of the Indian population. 15% of seats in educational institutes and 15% of jobs are reserved for them. The scheduled tribe comprises 7.5% of the Indian population and 7.5% seats in educational institutes and jobs are reserved for them. The other backward castes comprise of 50% of the Indian population but the seats in educational institutes and jobs that are reserved for them are 27%. Recently, the Indian government announced a 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections of the society as well. The state government also provides reservation to all these classes but the percentage of reservation varies according to the population of all these categories in different states.