In his lecture here, he says:

One word more: I read in the organ of the social reformers that I am called a Shudra and am challenged as to what right a Shudra has to become a Sannyasin. To which I reply: I trace my descent to one at whose feet every Brahmin lays flowers when he utters the words — यमाय धर्मराजाय चित्रगुप्ताय वै नमः — and whose descendants are the purest of Kshatriyas. If you believe in your mythology or your Paurânika scriptures, let these so-called reformers know that my caste, apart from other services in the past, ruled half of India for centuries. If my caste is left out of consideration, what will there be left of the present-day civilisation of India? In Bengal alone, my blood has furnished them with their greatest philosopher, the greatest poet, the greatest historian, the greatest archaeologist, the greatest religious preacher; my blood has furnished India with the greatest of her modern scientists. These detractors ought to have known a little of our own history, and to have studied our three castes, and learnt that the Brahmin, the Kshatriya, and the Vaishya have equal right to be Sannyasins: the Traivarnikas have equal right to the Vedas. This is only by the way. I just refer to this, but I am not at all hurt if they call me a Shudra. It will be a little reparation for the tyranny of my ancestors over the poor.

Was Swami Vivekananda a Kshatriya?

It appears he was a kshatriya, or descended from Kshatriyas at least.

  • 2
    Yup, he was a Kshatriya.
    – user9969
    Jan 29, 2019 at 20:30
  • What is your question? Looks like you answered your question in the body. Add the question in body also. Jan 30, 2019 at 2:32
  • In Bengal except for the Brahmins imported from UP all people were originally classified as Shudras. It is only later that people who are now classified as Kshatriya and other higher castes got this promotion by pressuring Brahmins. Thus Vivekananda's premonistic caste could be said to be both Shudra and also Kshatriya. Many orthodox Pandits of Varanasi refused to teach him scriptures (and even abused him) because in their view he remained a Shudra whatever be his caste status in Bengal. Jan 30, 2019 at 5:41
  • @PradipGangopadhyay yes i know abt the high court case in this regard and the judgement.but kayasthas are considered much higher in caste than shudras.
    – user17294
    Jan 30, 2019 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Swami Vivekananda being a Paramahamsa sannyasi was beyond any caste.

So far as Swami Vivekananda's premonastic family is concerned, they were kayasthas. In Bengal, kayasthas are believed by many to be descendents of the kshatriyas, as per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_Kayastha.

By the way, Sri Ramakrishna treated Him like more than a brahmin because of His pure suddha-sattwik nature.

And Our scriptures says: Brahmavid is a real brahmana (ब्रह्म जानातीति ब्राह्मणः).

  • 1
    The question only asks the caste Swami Vivekananda is born before taking Sannyasa. The question quoted Swamiji's words talking about his previous ashrama. Hence that should be understood implicitly If there are any doubts regarding the question, you may ask the OP to get a clearer view. Jan 30, 2019 at 5:08
  • @Sarvabhouma it asks is vivekananda akshatriya? nothing about His previous ashrama is mentioned in thevquestion!!!
    – user17294
    Jan 30, 2019 at 5:13
  • 1
    What is Swami Vivekanada talking about then? His ancestry and previous ashram. right? Or was he talking about caste in sannyasa? Saying he belonged to Kshatriyas. He was also talking about the same previous ashrama as quoted in the question. Jan 30, 2019 at 6:01

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