In those early days the Aryan tribes were divided into four social grades on a basis of colour: the Kshatriyas or nobles, who claimed descent from the early leaders; the Brahmans or sacrificing priests; the Vaisyas, the peasantry; and last of all the Sudras, the hewers of wood and drawers of water, of non-Aryan descent.
Then come the castes whom popular opinion accepts as the modern representatives of the Kshatriyas; and these are followed by the mercantile groups supposed to be akin to the Vaisyas.
That these two figures would appeal far more strongly to the hearts and feelings of the people, especially the warlike Kshatriyas, 1 than the austere Siva is only what might have been expected; and, indeed, since the time of the epics their cult seems never to have lacked numerous adherents.
How would you define kshatriyas? Add your definition here.