Ksatra (Sanskrit, ksi, «have power over») means sovereignty in Vedic and Hindu traditions. Ksatra initially was the power associated with sacrifice: Agnii is brahman; soma is ksatra. Later, ksatra, or princely power, completes and upholds brahma, or priestly power, which helps to sustain the universe. The duty of the king and warriors (rajadharma) is to maintain ksatra by means of dandaniti, or the science of punishment, treated in the arthasastra.

The term ksatra may also refer to the princely caste or varna, in the Vedic tradition called rajanyas, and later in the Hindu tradition named ksatriyas. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 559-560