Published on July 10th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Ksatriya Spirit — Leaders on the front lines of the Battlefield.

Not that the poor soldiers would fight and the leaders would remain in a secure place, no. The oldest man in the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of Arjuna and Duryodhana. He was very old man, brahmacari, and he was taking the risk of fighting. This is ksatriya spirit.

Pradyumna: Translation: “Then Bhisma, the great valiant grandsire of the Kuru dynasty, the grandfather of the fighters, blew his conchshell very loudly like the sound of a lion, giving Duryodhana joy.”

Prabhupada:  So Duryodhana was doubting that “My grandfather, Bhisma, is more affectionately inclined to the other party. So he may not be lenient in fighting.” So in order to encourage Duryodhana, tasya sanjanayan harsam. “Don’t think that I am lenient. I am strong.” Immediately, to encourage him, he blew his conchshell. Nowadays they use bugle. Formerly the conchshells were used by the kings.

And not that in modern days the fighting takes place–the poor soldiers, they come to fight, and the leaders, they remain in safety place. It is not like that. All of them came out, ksatriya. Bhismadeva came, Duryodhana came, Arjuna came. And face to face, they had to fight. Not that the poor soldiers would fight and they would remain in a secure place, no. So tasya sanjanayan harsam kuru-vrddhah. Kuru-vrddha, the oldest man in the dynasty, Kuru dynasty, pitamaha, he’s the grandfather of Arjuna and Duryodhana. The Dhrtarastra’s elder uncle, his father’s elder brother. He was very old man, brahmacari, and in that old age also, he was taking the risk of fighting. This is ksatriya spirit. Not that only… Dhrtarastra was escaping. Not escaping, because he was physically incapable, blind, therefore he did not come in the battlefield. Otherwise even Bhismadeva, in such old age he also came. This is ksatriya spirit. When there is fight, there is no rest. And fight means “Either the other party should be killed or I shall be killed.” Not that without any decision the fighting will be stopped. No, that cannot be. When there is two parties, must be belligerent, one party. So decision is that “Either you kill me or I kill you.” Not that without killing… “Without being killed one of us, the fighting cannot be stopped.”

Just like Jarasandha was fighting with Bhima. During daytime the fighting was going on, and at night Bhima was a guest of Jarasandha. As guest is honored, respected, all the parties… But during daytime the fighting was going on. And this fighting went on for twenty-eight days. Still, there was no decision. Then Krsna gave hint, Bhimasena, that “Jarasandha has got a defect. He is joined, two bodies joined. So if you bifurcate him, then he will be killed.” So later on Bhimasena took that policy, and Jarasandha was killed.

So amongst the ksatriyas when there is fighting, unless one party is killed, the fighting cannot be stopped. This is the Battle of Kuruksetra, to see the history of the former kings and ksatriyas, how they were determined. This is one of the qualifications of ksatriya: not to go away from the fighting. When there is challenge of fighting, immediately a ksatriya would accept. That is ksatriya spirit. Isvara-bhavam ca, and ruling over others. And charitable. These are the symptoms of ksatriya.

They are described in the Bhagavad-gita, brahmana qualification, ksatriya qualification, vaisya qualification, sudra qualification. So… Very nice arrangement, Vedic civilization. Everyone is guided by the superior. The brahmana guides the ksatriyas, the ksatriya guides the vaisyas, and the vaisya employs the sudras. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. In this way, four divisions of brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, they manage the whole society so nicely. The ksatriyas, as the ksatriya’s business was to give protection to the citizens, similarly, vaisya’s duty was to give protection to the animals. Krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam.

Vaisya, they should engage themselves in agricultural production and giving protection to the cows, especially mentioned, go-raksya. Go-raksya, cow protection, is one of the items of state affairs. And now there is no cow protection. Poor cows, they deliver milk, and later on they become slaughtered. How much sinful the modern society is, and they still want peace and prosperity.

That is not possible. The society must be divided–brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra–and they must execute their proper duty. And the vaisyas, they should give protection to the cows. And the sudras, they should work under the direction of the higher three divisions. In this way there will be nice management.

Then, as it is stated during the reign of Maharaja Yudhisthira, kamam vavarsa parjanyah. Then nature also will help. If you keep things all right, according to the direction, then nature also will help you. Nature will give you sufficient foodstuff. Vavarsa parjanyah, kamam. Whatever the necessities of life, it will be supplied by nature simply by proper pouring of water, vrsti. Actually, now the whole world is suffering for drought. There is scarcity of rain. And if the rain is stopped for one or two years more, there will be havoc. It is already there, havoc. In India there is famine, because they are more, mostly agriculturists. So there is famine. In other countries they have got industries.

But India is not so industrially advanced. So without water, nothing can be produced.

Therefore during Maharaja Yudhisthira’s time, kamam vavarsa parjanyah. Yajnad bhavati parjanyah. If you want sufficient water, then you must perform yajna. These are the indications, direction of the Vedic wisdom. So at the present moment no other yajna is possible. The only yajna, sankirtana-yajna, is possible. Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah. So if this Krsna consciousness movement is taken seriously all over the world and they perform sankirtana-yajna, everything will be adjusted immediately. Everything. But these rascals will not take it. They will suffer. Otherwise all directions are there. People have to take the advantage of direction, perfect direction, without any mistake, and they will be happy. So we are trying to introduce this Krsna consciousness movement so that people may come to their senses, take advantage of it and be happy. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)

HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

3 Responses to The Ksatriya Spirit — Leaders on the front lines of the Battlefield.

  1. Ryan Kaleida says:

    Also I have not spoken of Krishna with all capital letters, as you see i must improve my devotion as of now and that i shall as i am shall speak of HIM with utmost respect. Forgive me.

  2. Ryan Kaleida says:

    Hi, I have met a follower and devotee Mick, who as a devotee I have taken as a good friend of mine as of course a devotee can only tell what is right about krishna. He works in Dublin and he has explained to me some of the book “as it is” , i have read the book and thoruoughly belive that it is the right way to pursue life on this earth as it give not only philosophy but proper direction and also that i feel a need to defend GOD/HIM against those who would unbalance HIS good and loving existence. Thank you very much with my heart that you have given me the proper purpose in life to find myself properly because one being that knows its purpose is one that knows its right of way in this life.
    ksatriya may be the way I pursue as I am a strong person and feel the soulfull need to keep order to this right of way in existence as HE tell’s it.

    Ryan Kaleida. Devotee

  3. Maharawal Gajendra Singh says:

    I’m a kshatriya Rajput and an ex-ruler, one of my cousins sent me this link, I;m not a Krishna worshiper but this is super interesting. Jai Sri Govind devji.

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