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Book: Indian Religions

Chapter: The Hindu Religion and War

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21446


This chapter discusses the principle of ahimsâ, ‘not killing,’ which had originally little or nothing to do with how warfare was conducted and conceived in Hindu society. War was endemic in South Asia and seen as the right and duty of the Hindu king. Warfare was regulated by some rules, which were humane in some respects. Battle was sometimes conceived of as a form of ritual, in which the soldiers were the sacrificial victims.

Chapter Contributors

  • Hans Bakker ( - hbakker)