S?ta (Sanskrit: ???) refers both to the bards of Puranic stories and to a mixed caste. According to Manu Smriti (10.11.17) the s?ta caste are children of a Kshatriya father and Brahmin mother. The narrator of several of the Puranas, Ugrasrava Sauti, son of Lomaharshana, was also called S?ta. Authorities are divided on whether the bards were members of the s?ta caste. Ludo Rocher points out that the use of s?ta as a caste may have been separate from the earlier use of s?ta to describe Lomaharshana and his son Ugrasrava Sauti. R. N. Dandekar states that the s?ta caste is different from the narrator of the Puranas.
S?ta is also mentioned as a class of people in the epic Mah?bh?rata, often charioteers. The foster-parents of Karna, a character of Kurukshetra War, were S?tas. Hence Karna too was considered as a S?ta. Kichaka the commander of Matsya army was a S?ta.
The two main occupation of S?tas as per epic Mah?bh?rata were:
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