Sūta (Sanskrit: सूत) refers both to the bards of Puranic stories and to a mixed caste. According to Manu Smriti (10.11.17) the sūta 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 Sūta. Authorities are divided on whether the bards were members of the sūta caste. Ludo Rocher points out that the use of sūta as a caste may have been separate from the earlier use of sūta to describe Lomaharshana and his son Ugrasrava Sauti. R. N. Dandekar states that the sūta caste is different from the narrator of the Puranas.
Sūta is also mentioned as a class of people in the epic Mahābhārata, often charioteers. The foster-parents of Karna, a character of Kurukshetra War, were Sūtas. Hence Karna too was considered as a Sūta. Kichaka the commander of Matsya army was a Sūta.
The two main occupation of Sūtas as per epic Mahābhārata were:
- story telling