Vaishya (Sanskrit, वैश्य, M. vai ¡ ya, f. vai ¡ ye) is in the Indian box system the name for the third caste (Varna) of the traditional four box consisting of buyers, dealers, money lenders and large basic owners.

The caste formed from (at that time) the predominantly lower layers starting from 1500 of the v. Chr. to India of immigrating indogermanischen trunks of the Arier out. They ranked, like the Kshatriya and the Brahmanen, among the “two-mark-born”. That is called it received to learn according to a Initiationszeremonie (Upanayana), the right, the holy knowledge (Veda) and to carry out the vedischen victims.

In 10. Book of the Rigveda, that so-called. Purushasukta is described, as developed the different box. They developed during a victim from the Urriesen Purusha. From the mouth thereby the Brahmanen , from the arms the Kshatriya , became from the thighs became the Vaishya and from the feet the Shudra.

A domain of the Vaishyas is already since long time the trade, above all the far from and overseas trade, so that the rich urban Oberschicht of India consists to a majority of Vaishyas. The Marwaris e.g., to which large commercial talent is after-said, belongs to the Vaishyas.

The largest companies of India, e.g. Birla, Dalmia, Jain among other things belong to. Among the most successful Industriellen is some Marwaris, e.g. Rahul Bajaj and Rama Prasad Goenka. Beside the Marwaris are the Parsen, the Gujarati Händlerkasten and the Jainas the subpopulations leading in industry and banking, in particular in Mumbai and Kolkata.

The richest Indian, Lakshmi Mittal, is a Marwari. On Forbes list of the richest billionaires it takes behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett place 3 and is with a fortune of 25 billion $ the richest Nichtamerikaner.


  • Gita Piramal: Business Maharajas, Delhi, 1996

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