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Dharmayuddha in Hinduism



In Hinduism, Dharmayuddha is the righteous war approved by society. It was an open battle devoid of secrecy, stratagem or crafty elements. Dharmayuddha is a war of defence though it presupposes aggression.

The prominent feature of the Dharmayuddha was that the conquering king only acknowledged his supremacy over the inferior and defeated powers, and returned the kingdom to the defeated. If the king was killed, his son or near relative was installed on the throne on subordinate alliance terms.

In Dharmayuddha,
  • fight should between equals on one to one basis;
  • aged men, women, children, the retreating, and such others were not to be killed;
  • the cities, gardens, temples, and the common people should not be harmed;
  • the injured warriors should be treated unbiased,
  • one should not fight a warrior who does not offer to fight or is panic stricken, without an armor or weapon.
A king who achieves victory through Dharmayuddha was known as Dharmavijayi.

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