Vaishya is one of the four varnas of the Hindu social order in India. Vaishyas are third in distinction of the four Hindu varnas, comprising mainly the merchants, business or trade professions.
Hindu religious texts assigned Vaishyas to traditional roles in
agriculture and cattle-rearing, but over time they came to be landowners, traders and money-lenders. Therefore making it their responsibility to provide sustenance for the development of society.  The Vaishyas, along with members of the  Brahmin and Kshatriya varnas, claim status ("twice born", a second or spiritual birth) after sacrament of initiation as in Hindu theology. dvija Indian traders were widely credited for the spread of  Indian culture to regions as far as southeast Asia.
Historically, Vaishyas have been involved in roles other than their traditional
pastoralism, trade and commerce. According to historian Ram Sharan Sharma, the Gupta Empire was a Vaishya dynasty that "may have appeared as a reaction against oppressive rulers".
The Vaishya community consist of several
jāti or subcastes, including but not limited to the KESARWANI, Agrahari,  Agrawals,  Barnwals, Gahois, Kasuadhans, Khandelwals, Lohanas, Maheshwaris, Oswals, Chettiar, shetty and the Vaishya Vanis of Konkan and Goa.
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