[Advaita-l] kshatriya dharma according to manu smriti and its interpretation today?

Raghav Kumar Dwivedula raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 19 05:58:06 EST 2018

Namaste Jaldharji
There is a small digression I wish to take here...viz., there is a general
premise that dying in battle gives svarga or vIragati etc for the
kxatriyas. Your quotes from mahabharata also illustrate thus.  Does this
apply to those who die fighting on the adharmik side as well?

We see Duryodhana reaching svarga (well, at least for a short holiday)
inspite of fighting on the adharmik side.

Is it not strange that the mere fact of dying on the battlefield gives
svarga prApti, irrespective of fighting on the adharmik or dharmik side?

 Bhishma's exhortation is only a reminder about this strange fact. Because
there is no specific reference or claim by Bhishma that they were fighting
for dharma therefore they get the vIragati.

Can you clarify this?


On 19-Jan-2018 12:24 PM, "Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Fri, 12 Jan 2018, Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l wrote:
> The general sense i get is that the kshatriya king who is committed to
>> dharma and protection of shrotiyas is to challenge and wage war against
>> unrightoeus kshatriyas who do not become his allies or vassals. This is of
>> course quite natural. However i did not come across any explicit shastra
>> reference to a 'dharma yuddha'  idea yet. What should be the primary
>> *motive* for war for a kxatriya? The smRti seems more intent to look at
>> war
>> as an inherent dharma of kshatriya.
> It is well-known that that the Mahabharata consists of 18 books or
> parvas.  And that the Bhagavadgita is embedded as an episode in the
> Mahabharata.  But fewer people know exactly where.
> The parvans are divided into 100 sections also called parvans.  (the
> larger divisions are often referred to as mahaparvans to distinguish the
> two. The sixth mahaparvana is called Bhishmaparvan.  The third of its
> sections (63rd in the Mahabharata overall) is called Gitaparvan.  The
> Gitaparvan consists of 43 adhyayas.  The 18 adhyayas of the Gita proper are
> preceded by 22 and followed by one.  These other adhyayas provide valuable
> context for how and why the Bhagavadgita came to be given.
> The english translations given here are mostly based on the translation of
> the BORI critical edition of the Mahabharata by the late Prof. J.A.B. Van
> Buitenen of the University of Chicago.  They are part of a longer essay I
> wrote for Gita Jayanti some years back.
> The Gitaparvan begins with Sanjaya hastening back to Hastinapur to report
> to Dhrtarashtra (who being old and blind has been left behind) that Bhishma
> has been killed.  Dhrtarashtra is in shock that this could have happened
> and gives a long eulogy to Bhishma in which he observes:
> dAruNaH kShatradharmo.ayam R^iShibhiH saMpradarshitaH |
> yatra shaMtanavaM hatvA rAjyam ichchhanti pANDavAH ||6|15|60||
> “Cruel is this Kshatriya dharma which the Rshis have passed down to us if
> after killing that son of Shantanu the Pandavas still desire the kingdom…”
> vayaM vA rAjyam ichchhAmo ghAtayitvA pitAmaham |
> kShatradharme sthitAh pArthA nAparAdhyanti putrakAH ||6|15|61||
> “…or if we still desire the kingdom after causing the death of
> Grandfather[1]
> but [their actions are] based on Kshatriya dharma so neither the
> Parthas[2] or
> my sons are to blame.”
> [1] i.e. Bhishma in the sense of being the oldest male relative. More
> accurately he is the great-uncle of the clan being the half-brother of
> Dhrtarashtra and Pandu the father of the Pandavas.
> [2] Sons of Prthu. i.e. the Pandavas.
> etadAryeNa kartavyam kR^ichchhrAsvApatsu saMjaya |
> parAkramaH paraM shaktyA tachcha tasmin pratiShThitam ||6|15|61||
> “For that is noble[3] behavior even in the worst crisis Sanjaya. To be
> brave
> to the best of his ability and this is rooted in it.[4]”
> [3] The actual word used here is Aryan but there is no reason to take it
> in a racial sense.
> [4] it = Dharma.
> Later on, the assembly of the Kaurava army on the field of battle is
> described.  At that time Bhishma, the commander-in-chief, gives a speech to
> his troops during which he says:
> idaM vaH kShatriyA dvAraM svargAyApAvR^itaM mahat |
> gachchhadhvaM tena shakrasya brahmaNashcha salokatAm ||6|17|8||
> “This is, Kshatriyas, the door to Heaven swung wide open! pass through it
> and earn the worlds of Shakra[5] and Brahma.”
> [5] i.e. Indra.
> eSha vaH shAshvataH panthAH pUrvaiH pUrvatarairgataH |
> saMbhAvayata chAtmAnam avyagramanaso yudhi ||6|17|9||
> “This is the hallowed path trod by your ancestors and theirs. gladden
> their souls by your zeal in this war.”
> nAbhAgo hi yayAtishcha mAndhAtA nahuSho nR^igaH |
> saMsiddhaH paramaM sthAnaM gatAH karmabhirIdR^iShaiH ||6|17|10||
> “Nabhaga and Yayati, Mandhata, Nahusha, and Nrga[6] were blessed and
> reached the highest place by deeds such as you will do.”
> [6] illustrious kings; ancestors of the Kauravas and Pandavas.
> adharmaH kShatriyasyaiSha yadvyAdhimaraNaM gR^ihe |
> yadAjau nidhanaM yAti so.asya dharmaH sanAtanaH ||6|17|11||
> “It is adharma for a Kshatriya to die of sickness at home but is his
> eternal dharma[7] to find death on the battlefield.”
> [7] Note the use of the phrase sanatana dharma
> As this post has already gotten quite long, I will add some further
> excerpts from gitaparvan in a part two tomorrow.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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