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Even there is required violence, a brahmana will not kill personally. He will bring the matter to the ksatriya, royal order

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"Even there is required violence, a brāhmaṇa will not kill personally. He will bring the matter to the kṣatriya, royal order"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

The brāhmaṇas are not encouraged to fight or kill. No. They should remain always nonviolent. Even there is required violence, a brāhmaṇa will not kill personally. He will bring the matter to the kṣatriya, royal order.


Lecture on BG 2.36-37 -- London, September 4, 1973:

Prabhupāda: So Arjuna's position is very precarious. There is a Bengali proverb, naste bose guṇṭhata. A girl, he . . . she is very famous dancing girl. So it is the system, as we have introduced, the girls and ladies, they have their veil, guṇṭha. It is called guṇṭha in Indian language. So a dancing girl, when she was on the stage, she saw that so many of her relatives are there as visitors, so she began to draw the veil. So this is not required. You are a dancing girl. Now you have to dance. You cannot be shy. You must freely dance. That is your duty.

So Arjuna . . . some rascal has killed some man giving the reason that killing is not sinful, because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated there. Yes. Apparently, to the rascals it appears like that, that Kṛṣṇa is encouraging Arjuna to fight. And He says there is no sin. But the rascal does not see under what condition He is advising. Sva-dharmam api cāvekṣya. The sva-dharma, the principle is a kṣatriya's duty to fight, is to kill in fight. If you are in fight, you become sympathetic, then the same example: the dancing girl, when on the stage if she is shy, it is like that. Why she should be shy? She must dance freely. That will be credit. So in the warfield, you cannot be compassionate. That is not required. In so many ways. Ahiṁsā ārjava, these are good qualities. In the Thirteenth Chapter, Kṛṣṇa has described ahiṁsā, nonviolence. Nonviolence is generally accepted. And actually Arjuna was nonviolent. He was not a coward. Not that because he was coward, therefore he was refusing to fight. No. As a Vaiṣṇava, naturally he is nonviolent. He does not like to kill anyone, and especially his own family men. He was taking a little compassion. Not that he was a coward.

So Kṛṣṇa is encouraging, inducing Arjuna to observe the duty. You cannot deviate from duty. That was the point. When there is fight, you must fight regularly, and kill the enemies. That is your credit. When you are fighting with the enemies, if you become compassionate, "How shall I kill?" that is cowardice. Therefore Kṛṣṇa concludes here, hato vā prāpsyasi svargaṁ jitvā vā bhokṣyase mahīm. There are two alternatives. For a fighter, for a kṣatriya, to fight in the battle: either gain victory or die. No via media. Fight to the last point if you are able, then become victorious. Or die. No stoppage. All this fighting were meant like that. According to Vedic culture, the kṣatriyas . . . not the brāhmaṇas. The brāhmaṇas are not encouraged to fight or kill. No. They should remain always nonviolent. Even there is required violence, a brāhmaṇa will not kill personally. He will bring the matter to the kṣatriya, royal order.

Just like Viśvāmitra. Viśvāmitra was being disturbed by some demons in the forest. They used to live in the forest. So Viśvāmitra was able to kill such demon, many demons, by his will. But he did not do so. He went to Mahārāja Daśaratha, father of Lord Rāmacandra, to request him that, "Give your sons, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa. I will take them with me. They will kill that demon." The killing is there, but the brāhmaṇa is not going to kill personally. Or the vaiśya is not meant for killing, neither the śūdras. Only the kṣatriyas. The kṣatriyas should be so trained up.

Just like in USA there is some trouble in recruiting soldiers, because . . . why the difficulty is? The difficulty is the training is like śūdras. The young men are trained up like śūdras—how they can fight? Therefore they are afraid. They try to avoid fighting. Because there is no division. Everyone, in this age, everyone is śūdra. How you can expect a śūdra will be encouraged to fight? That is not possible. Therefore real social structure should be four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Brāhmaṇa, fully engaged for enlightenment of the people, knowledge, spiritual knowledge. They are meant for that. They will cultivate that knowledge personally, paṭhana pāṭhana, and make students, brahminical class. Similarly kṣatriya. They should be trained up in politics, in fighting, not to flee away from fighting. These are the training of the kṣatriyas. Similarly, vaiśyas, they should be trained up how to cultivate, grow food grains, how to give protection to the cows. And śūdras are meant for simply serving these higher class, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. That is the program.