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Why India never invaded any other country
Posted By Sarin on Apr 11, 2016     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
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DRDO wizard Dr Abdul Kalam always wondered why Bharat never invaded any other country in its 7,000 years plus history despite of being technologically ahead of all other civilizations. The answer lies in the traditions and idealogy of Indian culture that has been greatly influenced by religious texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita etc. Students from all around the world travelled thousands of miles bare-foot to study political and military science in renowned universities like takshila, nalanda, vikramshila etc. This article aims to showcase the moral values and ethical principles of elite Kshatriya kings who never compromised on their ideals for strength, power, land, resources, wealth etc.
  
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Tolerance in Hindus is due to culture and religious philosophy
Ancient India was powerful enough to rule over the entire world by defeating all other nations within a day or two. But tolerance and cultural philosophy never permitted Indian kings to invade other nations. Also read
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Despite of being broken down multiple times, ancient traditions and ideology has made India so tolerant and complacent that when Pakistan invaded Jammu and Kashmir in 1965, the then prime minister, “lal bahadur shastri”, captured Lahore by taking the fight to Pakistan territory but later bartered away the gains in the negotiations table, invariably asking for nothing in return.  
Why India never invaded any other country
Image courtesy: Indianexpress.com
  
Our resilience and endowment, even after getting harmed in the process, is probably unparalleled in world history.


Kshatriya-Elite warrior class who wouldn’t compromise with ethics
Importance of the army in Indian continent was recognized way back during the Vedic period. This led to the rise of Kshatriya community whose sole responsibility was to serve and defend the country from internal chaos and external forces. During any crisis, all citizens of the kingdom looked upon the Kshatriya community, who were socially assigned the second highest status after the Brahmins, for the solution to all their problems. Problems includes warfare, natural calamities, general law and order etc. Kshatriya were the noble defenders of the country who were assigned the responsibility of defending the cause of God, Crown and Country. Also read>
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Chivalry, individual heroism, mercy and nobility were the qualities imbibed in every Kshatriya warriors.  
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Since Kshatriya were found to be superior in virtue of material prowess, only they were considered qualified to be a king. Dying on the battlefield was regarded as the honorable death for the Kshatriyas. Following the path of asceticism was not allowed for the Ksatriyas though there are instances where royal kings like Gautama Buddha and mahavira renounced their kingdoms and lived an ascetic life.
Why India never invaded any other country
Lord Buddha and Mahavira renounced their kingdoms and followed asceticism

  
Samrat or global king of entire nation
Since the Vedic period, Indian rulers have always given shelters to refugees or persecuted citizens of other kingdoms. Indian rulers regarded Bharata-varsha(Indian sub-continent) as their only homeland and never waged war for uncivilized lands beyond the borders of Bharata-varsha. One who conquered all kingdoms of India or established victory over all other kingdoms was entitled as Samrat. Only Samrat had the liberty of performing ‘Asvamedha’ and ‘Rajasuya yagna’. King ‘bharat’ of chandravanshi clan and “Kartavirya Arjuna” of the Haihaya clan, by virtue of their valor and courage, earned the title of Samrat. Such kings, who had control over the entire Indian sub-continent, were also called as Sarvabhaumas  and  Ekarats. Such an “all-India” empire was called as ekacchatra, meaning "one-umbrella sovereignty".  
Why India never invaded any other country
King Ashoka Maurya was the first samrat of medieval India as he brought all kingdoms of India under one rule
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Types of warfare
Following the principle of dharma yuddha, Indian Kshatriya kings never attacked regions outside of Indian subcontinent (Arya-Vrat)
Ancient Hindu military science describes two types of warfare- ‘dharma yuddha’ and ‘kuta yuddha’. As the name stands, ‘dharma yuddha’ is based on the morals of dharma in which the guiding principles and mode of conduct was decided by the conglomeration of kings, warriors, council of ministers, sages and military gurus. On the other hand, ‘kuta yuddha’ was undharmic (unrighteous) war that was carried out secretly. One, who followed all code of ethics and guided principles to win the war over the enemy, was praised as an ideal king. Great respect was honored to warrior who valued niti(ethical principles) and saurya(valor). Guiding principles related to warfare are elaborately described across ancient scriptures like Dharmasutras, Dharmasastras, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Arthasastra treatises of Kautalya, Kamandaka, and Sukra.

Indian kings freed brutal invaders after defeating them
Ancient India was so advanced that western kings desperately sent explorers like Columbus, vasco-da gama to find and rule India. Following the highest standards of warfare, even after defeating the cruel invaders, Indian kings didn’t take them as prisoners and freed them to go back to their kingdom.  


As a result, Invaders especially Mughals, attacked India numerous times with the aim of conquering the entire Indian sub-continent. It is said Muhammad ghori was defeated 16 times by Rajputana king “Prithvi raj chauhan” before emerging victorious by treachery, thus starting the brutal invasion of Mughal Empire.
  
Why India never invaded any other country
  
Rules of fighting war:-
To maintain the dignity and honor of defeated/killed soldiers and kings, numerous books, epics and scriptures were written to lay down the military techniques, moral ethics, royal duties and code of conduct to be followed by warriors before, during and after the war. It was said that depending upon how much the warrior follows these laws during times of war, warrior would either ascend to heaven or would end up in hell.
Some of the guiding principles of war are:-
  1.    An armed warrior must not fight an unarmed warrior
2.    Warrior can fight only with another warrior of the same rank.
3.    If engaged, opponent should be warned before starting the attack. All warrior should be killed face-to-face and no warrior should be attacked from back.
4.    Warrior should stop fighting if the opponent is disabled or unarmed of his weapon.  
5.    Old men, women and children retreating the battlefield or intentionally surrendering must not be killed.
6.    Gardens, orchards, fields, temples, universities and places of worship should be left unscathed.  
7.    Messengers or ambassadors of the enemy are inviolable and should be treated like guests. King who kill an envoy would die in hell.
    As early as the 4th century B.C,  Megasthenes  noticed the following trait of Indian warfare.  
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"Whereas among other nations it is usual, in the contests of war, to ravage the soil and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen are regarded as a class that is sacred and inviolable, the tillers of the soil, even when battle is raging in their neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side in waging the conflict make carnage of each other, but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides,  they never ravage an enemy's land with fire, nor cut down its trees."
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Fighting on foot
Though there were rules that forbid any Kshatriya to attack an unarmed warrior, such rules were often ignored during the time of the war, especially when the opponent warrior is unscrupulous, immoral, aggressive and extremely ferocious. So, in addition to ethical fighting techniques, Kshatriya also learnt the art of fighting on foot for situations where he is hauled from his horse/chariot and is devoid of any weapons. Effective form of hand-to-hand-combat, hand-strikes, mall-yuddha and martial arts were learnt by Kshatriya warriors for defensive purposes.
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Why India never invaded any other country
Lord Krishna fighting with mall (Wrestler) of king ‘Kansa’
  
Skill of hand-to-hand-combat was also called as Vajramukhi, meaning "thunderbolt closed - or clasped - hands." Vajramukhti is the art of using hands in the manner like that of vajra maces of traditional warfare.
Valor, ethics and bravery of Hindu kings and warriors
Compared to western conquest of war where slaughter or slavery of prisoner, women and children were quite common, such indiscriminate behavior against the citizens of the conquered state were nowhere to be found among Indian kings. All kingdoms were supposed to follow the Kautilyan ideal of ‘dharma vijayan’, according to which the chief officer should be considerate of rights of conquered citizens. Chief should follow the law, beliefs and customs of the conquered state and should not seek submission or surrender of citizens of the defeated kingdom.  
Professor  H. H. Wilson  says:
"The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane, and prohibit the slaying of the unarmed, of women, of the old, and of the conquered."
This is why the social, economic and religious activities of the normal citizens were not affected by the victory or defeat of the state. While the state fight with another state, Farmers of both state would be ploughing the field, gathering crops or reaping the harvest. Similarly, carpenter, blacksmith, mason would be busy in pursuing their own activities.
Greeks declared Hindus as the bravest warrior they have ever fought. It was the Hindu kingdom of Magadha that struck tremors to Greek invader ‘Alexander’- the great. Greek traveler of 17th century, Francois Bernier, said  
“The Rajputs embrace each other when on the battlefields as if resolved to die.” The Spartans, as is well known, dressed their hair on such occasions. It is well known that when a Rajput becomes desperate, he puts on garments of  saffron color, which act, in technical language, is called kesrian kasumal karna”
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Chinese pilgrim to Nalanda University, Hiuen Tsiang affirms  
“Although there were enough of rivalries and wars in the 7th century A.D. the country at large was little injured by them.”  

Differences and principle of non-violence led to defeat by invaders
It is only after the principle of ahimsa or non-violence deeply penetrated the minds of elite warrior class, Hindus succumb to the invasion of cruel Mughals. King Ashoka converted his empire into a huge Buddhist monastery and using his political authority, he enforced ahimsa on all citizens of the empire. He neglected the valor and intrepidity of Kshatriya which ultimately led to massive decline in martial prowess of elite warrior class.  
Why India never invaded any other country
Sanchi Stupa-Buddhist monastery of king ashoka
Following Ashoka's demise, 'non-violent' Buddhist ate up the defense of the nation thereby leaving the nation vulnerable to attacks by Greek and Persian invaders. Unable to fight against the invading Muslims invaders, Buddhists slowly vanished from India whereas the influence of Hindus and Sikhs who stood against the Muslims onslaught increased rapidly.
Though the Hindus were highly courageous and valiant, they had differences among themselves which became the primary cause behind the exploitation by Persian invaders. Persians were semi-civilized barbarians who invaded every other country to spread their faith by conquest and die in battle as martyrs.
The  Bhagavad Gita's  great message:  that violence is sometimes necessary, if it flows from Dharma.
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Research on ancient scriptures on warfare
Learning from their past mistakes of tolerating the cruel enemies, Indian government have asked defense personnel to do research on Arthashastra for finding the secrets of effective stealth warfare. Arthashastra was written by master strategist, Kautilya, also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, a prime minister in court of great emperor Chandragupta Maurya. Chanakya is known as the best military strategist of all times.  Chanakaya believed in the usage of chemical and biological warfare for winning over the enemy.
Why India never invaded any other country
To give Indian army an edge over army of another nation, George Fernandes approved the funding for the project of researching Arthashastra by expert from DRDO(Defence Research and Development Organisation) and scientists from pune university . Research task included creating an herb that will make a soldier lose appetite for 1 month, creating a serum from flesh of owls and other birds or reptiles that can help soldiers walk 100 of miles without the feeling of tiredness, powder made from fireflies and eyes of boar to enable night vision, strategies to induce madness in enemy as well as creating biological and chemical weapons.
Project leader Dr V S Ghole, head of the environmental engineering department of Pune university, said "Our focus at present is on how humans can control hunger for longer durations and walk for longer period without experiencing fatigue. Once we have made some headway we will go into researching Kautilya's notes on night vision and other fields” 
In addition to Arthashastra, Professor S V Bhavasar had plans to extend his research to other ancient Hindu texts. 
"Claim to provide secrets of manufacturing planes which cannot be destroyed by any external force, could be motionless in the sky and even invisible to enemy planes."  
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Summary:
Principle of peace and non-violence didn’t permit Indian kings to invade any other country in her 10,000 years of recorded history and hence, their rule was limited to boundaries of arya-Varta(Indian sub-continent). However, Indians did invade the world through their peaceful religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism), culture and philosophy. Today, Indians have a wide presence in all countries and are respected worldwide for their peaceful existence with other communities.  
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