...OUR records do not yield much information about the social condition in the age of the
Vākāṭakas. Hindu society was then no doubt divided into castes, but the caste system
had not become quite rigid. Some of the royal families of that age belonged to the
Brāhmaṇa, and some to the Kshatriya caste. The Vākāṭakas were Brāhmaṇas of the Vishṇuvṛiddha gotra.1 Their feudatories who ruled over the Mēkalā country traced their descent
from the Pāṇḍavas2 of the lunar race and evidently claimed to be Kshatriyas, The rulers of
Mahākāntāra (modern Bastar District of Madhya Pradēsh and the adjoining territory) claimed
descent from the famous king Nala. They also must have been regarded as Kshatriyas.
In some other cases such as those of the rulers of Śarabhapura and Ṛishika we have no
means to ascertain their caste.
Thought people generally married within their caste, intercaste marriages of the
anulōma type sanctioned by the Smṛitis3 were not unknown. The Brāhmaṇa prince Rudrasēna II married the Vaiśya princess Prabhāvatīgupta. This marriage brought no inferior
status to her and her children ; for she became the agra-mahishī (crowned queen) of the
Vākāṭaka king and her sons Divākarasēna and Pravarasēna II succeeded to the throne one
after the other. Another inter-caste marriage of that age is mentioned in the Ghaṭōtkacha
Cave inscription. Sōma, a learned Brāhmaṇa of Vallūra, married wives of both the
Brāhmaṇa and Kshatriya castes. His sons from the Brāhmaṇa wives devoted themselves
to the study of the Vēdas and made their native place famous by their learning. His
sons from the Kshatriya wife, on the other hand, took to the military profession and
distinguished themselves by their valour.4 Some of them became ministers of the
...The Brāhmaṇas who devoted themselves to the study of the Vēdas and Śāstras were
highly venerated. Some of them mastered more than one Vēda. This was indicated by
epithest like Dvivēda prefixed to their names5, which had not yet become mere surnames.
Some Brāhmaṇas officiated as priests at Śrauta sacrifices and Gṛihya rites. Those who performed certain rites like Gaṇa-yāgas were looked down upon and were not invited to a śrāddha. The Brāhmaṇa who officiated at such rites received a munificent gift. Some Brāhmaṇas
preferred to lead a celibate life and were known as naishṭhika Brahmachārins. Kāluttaka,
who received the Jāmb plates, was a Brāhmaṇa of this type.6 Some Brāhmaṇas were
known for their pious and saintly life. Such was the Āchāya Chanālasvāmin who is describbed as Bhagavad-bhakta (a devotee of Vishṇu) in the Poonā plates of Prabhāvatīguptā.7 He was probably staying at Rāmagiri and appears to have been in charge of the temple
of Rāmachandra there ; for, the village Daṅguṇa which Prabhāvatīguptā granted to him
was first offered to the feet of the god on Kārttika śu. di. 12.
1 No. 3, line 2.
2 No. 19, line 1.
3 Manusmriti, III, 13.
4 No. 26. lines 7-8.
5 No. 12, line 22.
6 No. 3, line 19.
7 No. 2, line 14.