Khatri is a community of north India originated from Punjab. The region is connected with the composition of Vedas, Mahabharata and many more.
The word Khatri is a Punjabi word that has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Kshatriya” because of different accent. They are the warriors and the rulers that belong to the ancient India.
Today, they distinguish themselves as Punjabi Khatri due to the emergence of several communities with the name as Khatrey/Kshtri/etc.
Khatri (Punjabi Khatri) is the community consisting of only Suryavanshis (Sun Dynasty) and Chandravanshi (Lunar Dynasty). Only the Punjabi Khatris claim themselves and traced to be the direct or indirect descendants of King Raamchandra and King Krishanchandra, who are believed as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Whereas, Rajputs though belong to Sun, Lunar, Fire Dynasties but never say or claim they to be the descendants of King Raam and King Krishan.
Punjabi Khatris consider themselves at the top most ranking of Varna, which is Brahman, Vaishya, Shudra, etc.
Even the Gurus of Khatri are not Brahman as they consider Brahman lower to them and give donations to them.
Heirarchy among Khatris
Among Punjabis, there are several distinct communities, among all the communities the Khatris reside at the top.
In ancient times, the name Khatri was not in existence, rather they were known as the Kshatriya, during the reign of Mauraya Dynasty they concentrated in the Potwar Plateau of Punjab.
All most all Khatri belongs to King Padam Anand and King Purush (Porus). There are four sub categories:-
1. Khukhrain Khatri
2. Dhaih-ye Khatri
3. Baharaan Khatri
4. Bahu-jayee Khatri
All the above four words were derived from Sanskrit and later spelt in punjabi.
Earlier only Khukhrains and Dhaih-ye Khatris were present and were known as Anands(Suryavanshi) and Purus(Chandravanshis), later two more sub categories were derived.
Khukhrain Khatri :- In Sanskrit spelt as Kushrayan, means Descendants of King Kush. Progeny of King Padam Anand. It consisted of eight clans Anand, Kohli, Suri, Bhasin, Chaddha, Sawhney, Sethi and Sabharwal. Later three more clans were derived from above Chandhok, Ghai and Ghandhok. They are Suryavanshi and direct descendants of King Raam of Ayodhaya.
Dhaih-ye Khatri :- Many of us misinterpret this word as Dhai (two and half), but its completely wrong. When a building or any object collapses then we say "dhaih gayi". The name was given to the progeny of King Purush (Porus) in front of whom not one can stand.
It consists of clans Malhotra, Khanna, Kapoor, Mehra and Mehta.
They are Chandravanshi and direct descendants of King Krishan.
Baharaan Khatri :- Again we spell it wrong as baran (Twelve), it has been derived from the sanskrit and hindi words only. They are the Suryavanshi but does not consist descendants of Khukhrain.
This category consist of several clans Tondon, Chopra, Bedi, Wahi, Sodhi, Sondhi, and Gujral.
Bahu- Jayee Khatri :- They are born in many castes, in different words this is the group of different sub-castes of Khatris (that is, Khukhrains, Dhaihye and Baharaan), who on the account of their indiscipline at any time, were out caste from their original higher castes.
In Sanskrit, Bahujayee means "many birth" as , Bahu means Many and Jayee means Birth. They consists both the suryavanshi and chandravanshi.
This category consist of many clans/castes.
Other than these, Khatri consist of Naagvanshi.
Naagvanshi clans are Nayyar, Nair and Naik. Khatri consider themselves are Kshatriya but they consider themselves separate from the Khatri community. These clans are also present in southern part of India and adapted different culture there (This will be explained in later topics).
More over, Arora community is separate from Khatris, but they always forcefully say that they are Khatri (This will also be explained in later topics).