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Kayastha Caste

Other Spellings : Kayastha or Kayasth

Gotra : All Kayasthas belong to Kashyap Gotra.

Sub-Castes : Kayasthas are divided into following 12 sub castes - Ambastha, Asthana, Balmik, Bhatnagar, Gour, Karan, Kulshreshta, Mathur, Nigam, Saxena, Srivastava and Suryadhwaja

Religion : Hindu

Varna : In most of North India, Kayastha are regarded as Vaishya

Chief Deity : Maharaj Chitragupta

Language : Hindi

Regional Spread : Mainly northern and eastern part of India

Traditional Occupation : Traditional occupation of Kayasthas was white-collar activity, clerks, bookkeepers and scribers for the ruling authority and the like. Today, Kayasthas are making their mark in all fields.

Population : 5-7 million (approx.)

Founder : Lord Brahma, according to mythology

Time of Origin : It is considered to be a fairly ancient caste. References of Kayasthas can be found in the later Puranas and Samhitas. Their geographical distribution from Bengal to Punjab also proves that Kayasthas originated long time ago.

Food Habits : Prefer Non-Vegetarian food

Marriage Preference : In present times, Inter-Caste marriages are very common in Kayasthas
Famous Personalities
  • Politicians : Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jayaprakash Narayan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jyoti Basu
  • Freedom Fighters : Bipin Chandra Pal, Subhash Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Khudiram Bose, Sri Aurobindo, Rashbehari Bose and Lala Hardayal
  • Poet/Author : Premchand, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramkumar Verma, Mahadevi Varma, Vrindavanlal Verma, Bhagwati Charan Verma, Bimal Mitra, Premendra Mitra, Raghupati Sahai 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri and Dhirendra Verma
  • Acotors/Singer:, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Utpal Dutt, Nutan, Tanuja, Motilal, Nandita Das, TV personality Shekhar Suman and singers Mukesh, Manna Dey and Sonu Nigam.
  • Scientist : Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, Jagadis Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose, Ashesh Prosade Mitra, Mriganka Sur, Ashoka Jahnavi-Prasad, Sisir Kumar Mitra
History and Origin : According to Hindu mythology, Lord Bramha - the Creator created 16 sons from various parts of his own body. Shree Chitraguptjee was his 17th creation, which he created from his mind and soul. Hence, Chitraguptjee is considered to be divine incarnation in human form. He is called 'Kayastha' since he is believed to be the only creation of Lord Bramha, created in entirety ('Kaya' means body and 'stha' means encompassing the whole) from the Lord's body unlike the other 16 sons who were created only from some specific parts of Lord Brahma. Some historians say, Shree Chitraguptjee, and hence the Kayasthas, were accorded a dual caste status, namely Kshatritya (the warrior class) and Brahmin (the learned).

According to popular legend, Chitragupta is employed by Yamaraj, the God of Death, to maintain records about every human in Mrityulok, or the mortal world. Hence Kayastha became caste of scribes. Some scholars however say, Chitragupta decided that his lineage would wield the pen (quill) as its weapon rather than the sword.

Kayasthas are subdivided into 12 main sub-castes that are believed to have originated from the 12 sons of Maharaj Chitragupta and his two wives.

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