Kshatriyas lived on the taxes, tributes, tithes
These conflicts were, however, made up in face of the opposition of the lower
orders. The ancient texts repeatedly emphasise the need for mutual help and
cooperation between the two higher varnas.
    Around the third century AD a deep social crisis upset the Vaishya-Sudra
social formation in particular and the varna system in general. The crisis is
clearly reflected in the descriptions of the kali age in those portions of the
Puranas which belong to the third and fourth centuries AD. Emphasis on the
importance of danda (coercive mechanism) in the Santi Parva and the
description of arajaka (anarchy) in the epics possibly belong to the same age
and point to the same crisis. Vaishyas and Sudras either refused to stick to the
production functions assigned to them or else the Vaishya peasants declined
to pay taxes and the Sudras refused to make their labour available. This made
the functioning of the society and state difficult, if not impossible.
    In order to overcome the crisis the practice of land grants was adopted by
the rulers on a large scale. Priests and officials were granted land revenues
which relieved the state of the responsibility of tax collection and eventually
also of the maintenance of law and order in several parts of the kingdom. The
practice was extended to both settled and backward areas. These land grants
led to the spread of material culture and thus increased the overall agricultural
    In the process land grants brought to the Brahmanical fold a large number
of aboriginal peasants who came to be ranked as Sudras. Sudras, therefore,
began to be called peasants and agriculturists in late ancient and early
medieval texts. Various samskaras (domestic rituals), vratas (religious vows)
and tirthas (places of pilgrimage) came to be prescribed for the Sudras so that
ordinary Brahmins and even priests of a lower category could get their dues
on every occasion. The Sudras could now also listen to the recitation of the
epics and the Puranas.
    The castes (jatis) proliferated at a rapid pace in Gupta and post-Gupta
periods. For, more and more land grants were made in tribal areas, and every
tribe was absorbed into the Hindu system as a Sudra caste. We find as many
as 61 castes mentioned in the Manu Smriti, and more than 100 castes in
Brahmavaivarta Purana. Though most of them were tribal peoples converted
into castes, the Brahmanical law-givers explained their origins as a result of
mixture between the varnas and     called them varnasamkara or mixed castes.