It is gradually becoming clear to the world that ancient Indian culture was THE MOST advanced culture in terms of religion, science and philosophy. For long, the Europeans and other western countries managed to show this great culture as a derivative of their own culture simply because they wanted to achieve racial supremacy. The problem is that truth cannot be hidden forever. The truth is that if ancient India did not exist, the rest of the world would not have seen the light of knowledge, they would not have seen wisdom. In fact, the world received so much from ancient India that without her presence, even the 21st century that we live in today would have been only as advanced as, may be the mediaeval world.
Ancient Indian Warfare Ideology
Not just religion, science and philosophy, ancient India even excelled in warfare. Even the political institutions of India in antiquity were almost as modern as what we see today in different countries. The problem with modern world is that even the art of warfare puts less weight to two principal qualities – leadership and courage and uses more of mechanical lines of development. India however, since antiquity, realized that army was important and hence, she adopted the stance of maintaining permanent militia. A separate caste was born out of this realization – the Kshatriya caste or the warrior caste. This gave rise to what is known as the Kshatriya Dharma, which literally means the rules for the warrior community.
The military science that was developed in ancient India clearly distinguished between two forms of warfare:
What is Dharmayuddha in Ancient Indian Warfare?
It simply refers to a type of war which is fought on the principles of dharma. This war is righteous and just. The society approves of this war because it is necessary to oust the evil from the society. This form of war will have high moral standards and the warriors will conform to the Kshatriya Dharma.
What is Kutayuddha in Ancient Indian Warfare?
This form of warfare is not righteous and just with no regards for moral standards. There is no valor and no ethical standards are maintained in this form of warfare. It is no less than animal ferocity and the warriors involved in this form of warfare do not conform to the Kshatriya Dharma.
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Elaborate descriptions of principles that regulated both forms of warfare can be found in:
- The epic Ramayana
- The epic Mahabharata
- Sukra’s Arthasastra treatise
- Kamandaka’s Arthasastra treatise
- Kautilya’s Arthasastra treatise
Interestingly enough, ancient India possessed and maintained the fourfold force of – infantry, horsemen, elephants and chariots. This classical force was known as the Caturangabala. In case you are not aware, the game of chess which is popularly known in Arabic as Shatranj and Chatrang in Persian are actually derivatives of Sanskrit name Caturanga, which means ‘the chess’. References of this game can be found in the Vedic texts – Rig Veda and Atharva Veda.