Nowhere in the world history of war can one hear the use of the words ‘ Dharma Yuddha’ meaning thereby , a war fought on the principles of righteousness. Prof. H H Wilson says – “ The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane. It prohibits the slaying of the unarmed , old men , women and children , and of the conquered. At the very time when a battle was going on , the neighbouring cultivators might be seen quietly pursuing their work.”
Megasthenes mentions a peculiar trait of Indian war fare in the 4th century: “ They never ravage an enemy’s land with fire , nor they cut down its trees or ravage the soil.” Chinese pilgrim to Nagaland University, Hiuen Tsiang affirms that although there were enough of rivalries and wars in the 7th century AD the country at large was little injured by them.
A brief History Of India by Alain Danielou throws light on such highlighting features of Indian warfare. The Bhagavad Gita has influenced great Americans from Thoreau to Oppenheimer. Its message of ‘ do your duty and don’t worry for the fruits of your action’ is just as relevant today as it was when it was spoken more than two millennia ago. What constitutes an acceptable behaviour on a battle field is mentioned in Mahabharat.
Chariots with cavalry should not be attacked; chariot warriors should attack chariots; some one in distress should not be assailed or scared; one should not be enraged toward an enemy who is not trying to kill him.
Two Up –Vedas, Dhanurveda and Arthshastra deal with the knowledge of warfare. The war –ravaged world can be a better place if only they could follow the principles of ‘Dharma Yuddha’.
Courtesy : Wah Bharat by Nirmal Joshi