By around the sixth century Brahmans and Kshatriyas began to share competing claims to the Top of the Status Hierarchy. The frame-stories of the philosophical Upanishads feature Brahmans at the feet of Kshatriya Gurus, while the scriptures of the Kshatriya-founded Buddhist and Jain faiths contain references to and arguments for Kshatriya Supremacy […]
The free speculation foreshadowed in the Upanishads, the impact of the teachings of thinkers like Kanada and Kapila, followed by the paribrajaka movement with its heretical views and, above all, the spread of Charvaka doctrines loosened the grip of Brahminism on minds of people. The Indian society was now ready to undergo a Mental Revolution […]
The propounders of New Ideas were mostly Kshatriyas (the Warrior Class!) who because of the political power they wielded and the wealth they were able to amass, could fittingly become Rivals of the entrenched Brahmins and play the role of the Vanguard of the Revolution. «The Kshatriyas in those far off times seem to have Revolted from the priestly dominance»; observes Douglas Hill, «and in Kshatriya circles there grew up a body of speculative thought and Mystical Doctrine which later on the more spiritually minded Brahmins themselves were eager to learn» [!!!]
In the post–Upanishadic period, Kshatriyas supported by a rising class of traders, gathered Strength and raised the Banner of Revolt against sacerdotal domination. Whether or not Kapila, Kanada and Charvaka were Kshatriyas there is no doubt that the founders of the different heterodox philosophical schools were of non-Brahmin origin and in certain cases of low birth such as slaves and outcastes. For the success of their mission they received munificent gifts and grants of money and land from both the ruling classes and the business communities.
A Kshatriya Clan, the Sakyas, inhabited the Nepalese terrain, north of Ayodhya, and had their capital at Kapilvastu. In the sixth century B.C. the Sakya king was Suddhodana whose queen, Mayadevi, gave birth to a son, Siddhartha Gautama, at the village Lumbini in or about 563 B.C. The Prince known to history as the Buddha (the Enlightened One!) was to prove the man of destiny and bring about the Revolution for which India was fully prepared [!!!]