South Indian Inscriptions
...From our records we get some interesting details about the Brāhmaṇas of Vidarbha in that age. Their names usually ended in śarman, ārya, āchārya or svāmin. They belonged to different Vēdas and śākhās or charaṇas. Unfortunately, all records do not details about the Vēdas and śakhās of the donees. So the information is meagre. We can nevertheless make some gleanings. It is noteworthy that among the donees of copper-plate grants the Ṛigvēdins and the Sāmavēdins are conspicuous by their absence, not a single grant being made to them.1 Among the Yajurvēdins, the followers of the Taittirīya śākhā predominate, as many as six grants having been made to them.2 One grant is made to a Brāhmaṇa of the Mādhyandina śākhā of the White Yujurvēda.3 He was residing in Mēkalā. In three other cases also the donees probably belonged to the Vājasanēya or White Yajurvēda as shown by the word vāji being prefixed to their gōtra.4 The Brāhmaṇas of the Atharvavēda are now extremely rare, but they were not so in those days ; for, two grants, viz. those recorded in the Tirōḍī and Bāsim plates5, were made to them. One of the doness belonged to the Bālāghāṭ District and the others to the Akōlā District.
... Some Brāhmaṇas may have risen to a high rank in the administration of the State. As the castes of the officers are nowhere mentioned in copper-plate grants, our information in this respect is very meagre, but judging by his name, Dēvanandasvāmin, who is named as Dūtaka in the Riddhapur plates of Prabhāvatīguptā, probably belonged to the Brāhmaṇa caste.6 Some of the scribes of the grants whose names ended in dāsa may also have been members of the same caste.7
... The Kshatriyas, who ranked next to the Brāhmaṇas in social hierarchy, occupied high positions in the administration of the State. Thus, Chitravarman, who held the high office of the Sēnāpati in the 11th and 13th regnal years8 of Pravarasēna II, was probably a Kshatriya. Other Sēnāpatis such as Chamidāsa, Namidāsa, Bāppadēva, Kātyayāna, and Mādhappa. may also have been of the same caste, but we have now no means of ascertaining this, Judging by his name, Prabhusiṁha, the scribe of the Ṛiddhapur plates,9 may also have been of the Kshatriya caste.
Our records do not yield much information about other castes. The Indore plates
mention a merchant (vāṇijaka) named Chandra, who could afford to purchase a half of the
village which was grantēd to certain Brāhmaṇas by the Indore plates of Pravarasēna II.10 Some records mention the suvarṇakāras (goldsmiths) who engraved the copper-plates. As
no large stone inscriptions of the Vākāṭakas have yet been discovered, we do not get the
names of any sūtradhāras (artisans). The artisans, sculptors and painters who built the
temple at Pavnār and excavated and decorated with sculptures and Painting the Caves XVI,
XVII and XIX at Ajaṇṭā and the Ghaṭōtkacha Cave at Gulwāḍā have also remained
1 Some of the donees of the Chammak plates which recorded grants to a thousand Brāhmaṇas
of ‘ various gōtras and charaṇas’ may have belonged to these Vēdas. The Vēdas and Śākhās of the few
donees who are named therein have been recorded.