Does Bhagavad Gita encourage violence as accused by some people?
A girl devotee asked like this:
“Hare krishna Anna. I have some doubts. Hope to get answer from you. I’m from karnataka. we have some rationalists in karnataka. They are scholars in kannada literature. They condemn Hinduism principles, Bhagavad gita and mahabharath. One rationalist named ———–openly questions authenticity of bhagavad gita and says violence has been highlighted. As a Lord, krishna would have stopped war, instead he promoted to kill. he even questions character of kunti getting children from different gods. In many functions, he told he will burn bhagavad gita there itself as it encourages violence. Recently one such rationalist named ———– has been shot in his own home by unknown person for his hate speeches against Hindu religion and scripture. For such people, what is the best answer we can give about violence in mahabharath and other aspects?”
This happens in kaliyuga because this is a multi-polar world having many religions, holy books, life styles, etc.
Even during the period of Krishna’s direct presence on the earth, there were some people who acted against Krishna, Rama and also in other avatars.
Eg: Kamsa, Ravana, Duryodhana, etc. If we take Duryodhana, he had many good characters that were appreciated by the people. He had kept his people happy and he had respects to his Kula gurus also. However, Duryodhana maintained enemity with the Pandavas and with those who were associated with the Pandavas. His selfishness and adharmic way of dealings with the Pandavas were his major weak points that killed him later.
(Pandavas didn’t get moksha; Ravana, Kamsa, Sisupal & Hiranya got. Why? READ HERE!)
If you take Ravana, he too was a devotee of the Lord Shiva and he too ruled his country Lanka well keeping his people happy. However, he abducted Sitadevi who is the consort of Lord Rama, making tricks. Even after many advice by many scholars, he did not correct himself. He made his people suffer in war just because of his violation of ethics. His selfish and adharmic act made all his people suffer.
In both the cases, Lord Krishna and Rama made all the possible attempts to correct Duryodhana and Ravana through peaceful means. Only after that, they started war to conquer adharma.
Most importantly, these people who speak that Bhagavad Gita encourage violence, forgot one aspect. All these things happened as per kshatriya dharma.
(Is Bhagavad Gita Superior to Vedas? Why? Detailed Explanation! READ HERE!)
Kshatriya dharma is different from the dharma for common people. Because, kshatriyas are involved in saving the lives of lakhs of people. They have to protect their countries from the attacks of enemies. So, they can not always follow ahimsa when their enemies are following adharma.
Kshatriya dharma says that an enemy must be wiped off even in the bud and we should not allow till the enemy grows in strength. This is because, if we allow the enemy to grow, he will attack our country and capture it.
That is why in the year 2022, Russia attacked Ukraine as Ukraine that is sharing the borders with Russia, was trying to join EU and NATO. If Ukraine joins NATO, it may pose a security threat for Russia. So, Russia says that Ukraine should not join NATO/EU.
Of course, thousands of people died that is pitiful. But, as per the kshatriya dharma, the worries of Russia is justified as Ukraine was once in Soviet Union with Russia.
Thus, the act of Russia may seem a violation in the eyes of common man. But as per kshatriya dharma, Russia has right to protect itself by not allowing its border sharing nations grow in strength by joining the side of Russia’s enemies.
(BACKGROUND OF KURUKSHETRA WAR & BHAGAVAD GITA! READ HERE!)
Same is followed even now in most of the countries. To counter the growing China, India is maintaining friendship with both Russia and the U.S. Thus, Every country is trying to be strong in its security status. Every country has issues with its neighbours and hence they are making their military strengths stronger. They allocate enormous funds for strengthening their defense departments.
How can a country be silent when their land is under attack by its enemy? If they remain silent, the people of that country can’t remain peaceful. So, they have to fight the attacks back as strongly as possible.
When a war happens, it is natural that many fighters will die. Kshatriyas attain higher status when they are killed in war. If the same kshatriya kills his wife for personal reasons, it is sinful. But, if he kills enemies in the war field, he attains higher status.
Even now, the soldiers who died in war are glorified by the governments concerned.
The people who say that Bhagavad Gita encourage violence, forget that they acted as per kshatriya dharma. Krishna never said to kill our kiths and kins at our home and surroundings. In Mahabharatha, everything happened between kings/ kshatriyas and in the war field. Before the start of war, Krishna did His best to avoid war. He Himself mercifully went as a negotiator for peace to Duryodhana. Yudhishtra tried his best to avert war. The Pandavas accepted Vanavas (life in forest) and Agnatha vas (Hidden life) as per the conditions put forth by Duryodhana and they successfully completed it with so much of struggles. After that, when they claimed their country back, Duryodhana was not ready to give back even a small piece of land for them.
(Why Krishna and Pandavas did not protect Draupati immediately? READ HERE!)
So, to get back their lost country, what else can they do? They had no other way to fight a war and get back their country. This is the kshatriya dharma. If they do not fight and get back their country, isn’t it cowardness?
Even after the start of war, Pandavas fought with heavy hearts. When Arjuna hesitated to fight with his kiths, kins and gurus in the battle field, Krishna had to remind him about his kshatriya dharma of fighting in a war field. Krishna also spoke of the real nature of us as athma that can never be killed. So, when his kiths and kins are killed in the war field, they are actually elevated to higher planets and they are not actually killed because they are athma and only the bodies are killed. The athma gets another body and thus they live all the time.
So, Bhagavad Gita should be understood correctly as per the kshatriya dharma. So, conductance of war is not wrong when the need comes. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna also spoke elaborately all the ways and means to lead a real and meaningful life that can give topmost status after this life. It also speaks about the gunas that determine our various actions and to go beyond the domination of three gunas. It also speaks of many yogas that can elevate a person to an eternal state stage by stage.
Though fighting the war was recommended by Krishna for the kshatriyas, Krishna recommnends the other varnas to perform everyone’s assigned duties without fail. Assigned duties mean farming, milk production, working for others, etc. Krishna does not advise all the people to fight the war.
So, Bhagavad Gita is the ultimate knowledge that speaks about all the confidential knowledge everyone should know and follow. We need not bother about those who misunderstand it and speak against it. This criticisms will exist in future also. We can not expect that all the people will understand Gita perfectly as said by the Lord. Krishna Himself says that only one in thousands will understand and accept Him. He also says that we should not speak Bhagavad Gita to those who maintain envy for Krishna.
Though such people criticize Krishna and Bhagavad Gita, the dharma spoken by Him will always exist and guide the people. No one can demerit and take away Krishna and Bhagavad Gita from the minds of people. In fact, their criticisms will strengthen the belief of people on Krishna and Bhagavad Gita.
So, be relieved. Let them do whatever they can and Krishna will always exist in our hearts.
Hope you are clear about whether Bhagavad Gita encourage violence.
(FOUR CLASSES OF DEMONS AND DEVOTEES AS SAID BY KRISHNA! READ HERE!)