Detachment In War


There was a Brigadier who was extremely sick. His condition was critical and doctors had given up. He expressed the desire to meet Yogi Ashwini in his end days. His daughter used to come for dhyan and requested Yogiji to meet her father. The Brigadier had never met Yogiji and yet he wanted to confide in him before he left…He told Yogiji, “I have a guilt inside me. It was 1971 war, I was a Major and we had to climb a hill which had been encroached upon by the Pakistani soldiers. They had their bunkers all over the hill. My friends were with me in the platoon and the opponents started firing at us. In that firing, a very dear friend died in front of my eyes and I lost my temper. I immediately called for the artillery fire and we bombed continuously for two hours. The entire hill was finished and so many thousands died. The incident haunts me everyday…I just want to know, did I do the right thing?”Yogiji never comments on or judges one’s actions.

While ahimsa is the mainstay of vedic culture, it is not to say, that wars were forbidden for it is said, that if there is crime happening and you turn your face away from it, that too is himsa, in fact Gita says then you are a bigger criminal than the one who committed the crime. History is replete with examples of wars which saw participation of kings, rishis and even gods. If a war is fought with detachment for the purpose of protecting the weak or to fulfil one’s duty, it is a direct route to moksha. If it is to fulfil a personal aspiration or out of an emotional reaction, then it is bhog. The vedic principles are not things of the past, they are universal truths applicable to all warriors through times and geographical boundaries.


Bhishma, despite being affectionate towards the Pandavas and knowing they were on the side of dharma, did not let his personal attachments come in the way of his duty and gave them a tough time in the war, for it was his duty as the head of the army to protect his country. That is the sign of a true warrior.

Japanese Samurai warriors also took to the same principles. It was war time and two Samurais were engaged in a fight. After a fierce fight, one of the Samurais got disarmed and fell on the ground. His opponent was about to kill him when he suddenly spat on the opponent’s face. The opponent put his sword back in. On being asked why he did so, he replied that had he killed the man back then, it would have been out of an emotional reaction/attachment rather than for the war…With so much power, and with such arousal, it is extremely difficult to stay balanced but then that is the quality of a true warrior, and only that person is entitled for moksha.

If you die for the country or to uphold dharma (which is, protection of the weak), moksha is guaranteed but then you need to see did you die for the country or for self. For if it is the latter, the spectres of war will haunt you throughout your life, and even after…



TIW Bureau

TIW Bureau

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