The Wikipedia article on Kshatriyas suggests possible rivalry between the two varnas due to ambiguity in their relative positions in the society.

In the period of the Brahmanas (800 BCE to 700 BCE) there was ambiguity in the position of the varna. In the Panchavimsha Brahmana (13,4,7), the Rajanya are placed first, followed by Brahmana then Vaishya. In Shatapatha Brahmana, the Kshatriya are placed second. In Shatapatha Brahmana the order is—Brahmana, Vaishya, Rajanya, Shudra. The order of the brahmanical tradition—Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra—became fixed from the time of dharmasutras (450 BCE to 100 BCE). The kshatriya were often considered pre-eminent in Buddhist circles. Even among Hindu societies they were sometimes at rivalry with the Brahmins, but they generally acknowledged the superiority of the priestly class.

But are any real instances of this rivalry between the two classes mentioned in Hindu scripture?

  • 7
    There has NEVER been an undercurrent of conflict between Brahmins and Kshatriyas. True Kshatriyas to this day respect Brahmins above everyone else even in the face of anti-brahminism from the other castes. Vaishyas to a very large extent also respect Brahmins like the old days. Vishwamitra is an exception - he accepted Brahmin superiority & attained Brahminhood thr tapasya, Parasurama was accepted even by Kshatriyas becoz most Kshatriyas of his time were not noble & the earth needed rescue, Buddhists are non-Hindus so it is no surprise.Don't go around formulating your own theories.
    – user1195
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 13:07
  • 2
    Also Vishwamitra did not have animosity towards all Brahmins. His rivalry with Vasistha was also over a specific transaction.
    – user1195
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 13:47
  • 1
    From scripture - since "kshatriya" stopped being meaningful after the British came.
    – S K
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 14:50
  • 3
    Why are people Closing it as Primarily Opinion Based. There ARE Scriptural References so what is point of closing.
    – user12826
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:44
  • 2
    They have closed it. They cannot be reasoned with. Lets see if there are enough votes to reopen it.
    – S K
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Certainly there were great fights between Kshattriya Haihayas (clan of Vishnu in Haya form) and Brahmin Bhaargavas (clan of Bhrigu).

Devi Puraana, Book 6, Chapter 16
जनमेजय उवाच ।
कुले कस्य समुत्पन्नाः क्षत्रिया हैहयाश्च ते ।
ब्रह्महत्यामनादृत्य निजघ्नुर्भार्गवांश्च ये ॥ १ ॥

Janamejaya asked Vyaasa Deva -
In whose family were born those Ksattriya Haihayas that killed in ancient times the Bhârgavas, disregardless of the sin incurred in killing a Brâhmin?

वैरस्य कारणं तेषां किं मे ब्रूहि पितामह ।
निमित्तेन विना क्रोधं कथं कुर्वन्ति सत्तमाः ॥ २ ॥
O Grandsire! Never do the good persons become angry without a serious cause; therefore kindly state why they got in conflicts (वैर).

वैरं पुरोहितैः सार्धं कस्मात्तेषामजायत ।
नाल्पहेतोर्हि तद्वैरं क्षत्रियाणां भविष्यति ॥ ३ ॥
How was the enmity caused between them and the priests? As far as I can think, the cause is not so simple a one as led to this enmity between the Ksattriyas and the priests.

अन्यथा ब्राह्मणान् पूज्यान्कथं जघ्नुरनागसः
बाहुजा बलवन्तोऽपि पापभीताः कथं न ते ॥ ४ ॥
Otherwise why then would they slay the offenseless Brâhmins, fit to be worshipped; and how was it that the Ksattriyas, though they were so very powerful, did not fear to commit a sin.

स्वल्पेऽपराधे को हन्याद्वाडवान्क्षत्रियर्षभः ।
सन्देहो मे मुनिश्रेष्ठ कारणं वक्तुमर्हसि ॥ ५ ॥
O Muni! Can any Ksattriya Chief kill a Brâhmin, worthy of the highest respect, merely on a trifling cause (so the cause must be great)! Describe to me, then, how this happened. A great doubt has thus arisen in my mind.

Then Vyaasa Deva explains how Haihaya clan started and why there came conflicts between Haihayas and Bhargavas. You can read full story here- Start of Haihayas and fights with Bhargavas

  • 2
    excellent answer! the clever brahmins conflated brahmin hatya and brahma hatya - brahman of course means supreme principle. But somehow the killing of Ravana was swept under the carpet by many- although Indra had to do penance for killing vrtra.
    – S K
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:43
  • @SK maybe there are some stories of Raama doing some sort of repentance practice after killing Raavana
    – user12826
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:51
  • @SK you know what the story in above answer is like. HERE- the Haihayas had to perform certain actions which necessitated a vast sum of money; they came to the Bhârgavas and humbly prayed for a very large amount of wealth. But the Brâhmins, out of their greed of money, replied they had no money and thus they did not give any money whatsoever.
    – user12826
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:55
  • brahmin vs kshatriya is universal - church vs state.
    – S K
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:10
  • @SK Haha . Maybe. But reading Scriptures it does not seem a "church vs state" kind of fight. As far as I have read Scriptures, it seems earlier all Brahmin and Kshattriyas were quiet respectful to each other. Though Brahmins were top Varna, yet Kshattriya kind of had a higher pace over Brahmins. And mostly in Scriptures, Brahmins are engaged in worshipping and not hoarding money. But modern time Brahmins have really spread false rumours and depressed people in name of casteism. But see the sway of fate, today no one trusts Brahmins enough as they did earlier
    – user12826
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 17:17

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