When the Uri attack took place, almost every Indian worth his salt felt that Pakistan had stretched our patience to breaking limits and almost everyone want to give them a strong reply ““ the reply of WAR. People from all walks of life were willing to sacrifice everything to support PM Narendra Modi if he were to declare war on Pakistan. While hectic meetings are going on at the topmost level, it would be wise to remember our ancient scripture Mahabharata, before we go to war. The unique aspect of Mahabharata is that it is true for all times ““ the Past, Present and Future. Every statesman, every householder, every thinker can learn a lot from it and take guidance on their course of action. Let us see how our Government can take guidance from the Mahabharata before they decide on any course of action against Pakistan.

Exhaust all options of peace before declaring war : Before Sri Krishna gave His consent for war, He made sure that every option possible for having peace was exhausted. He went to the extent of accepting even just 5 villages, one for each of the Pandava brothers, as the last resort. He showed the Kauravas His Viraat Roopa and His actual might so that they are dissuaded from going to war. When all efforts to contain the war failed, He advised the Pandavas to make preparations for war. Today too, the Government must exhaust all options of peace before declaring war. War brings with it its own horrifying tales of devastation and this should be avoided as much as possible.

Choose the correct, important strategic partner : Before the war, both Duryodhana and Arjuna went to meet Sri Krishna to ask for His help in the war. Arjuna chose Sri Krishna while Duryodhana was happy with the mighty and huge Narayani Sena. Today too, it is time the Government chooses a strategic partner who has the best interests of our country in their heart and who would give the correct advice and maximum help when the time comes. A partner who is sincere is better than a partner who has nothing to lose irrespective of the result of the war.

Make as many alliances as possible : Once the war was decided upon, Sri Krishna helped the Pandavas form strategic alliances with as many kings as possible. He helped vanquish the powerful Jarasandha and because of this all those who were in fear of Jarasandha fought on the side of the Pandavas. Our government too needs to lobby hard diplomatically to form maximum alliances and see to it that Pakistan is isolated.

Do not take friendships for granted : King Salva was the maternal uncle of the Pandavas. But he had to fight on behalf of Duryodhana because Duryodhana approached him first and satiated his need for respect. No country, howsoever small, should be ignored when it comes to diplomatic relations before a war. Every friendly country should be given complete respect “¦ even an ant can come to the rescue of the elephant.

Don”™t show Misplaced Emotions before or during the war : On entering the battlefield, Arjuna lets out an emotional cry and asks Sri Krishna as to how it is correct to kill his family members for a kingdom. In India there are many people who feel the same way w.r.t. Pakistan, who they have emotional ties to. They feel that Pakistan is a brother country and India should always show restraint. Sri Krishna”™s words, that these misplaced emotions are detrimental to all, are words to be remembered.

Purpose of war : The above brings us to this most important aspect of Mahabharata ““ the Gita. The main purpose of any war should be to fight Adharma ““ injustice and wrongdoing. The motives of war should be sublime and not something as vile as revenge. Today Pakistan is having only this motive of vengeance and unleashing of terror. India should rise above this.

Know whom to sacrifice and whom to save : This is an aspect that every soldier understands. He knows that no sacrifice is too much when it comes to saving the country. In the Mahabharata, Ghatotkach does not even blink once when he is required to sacrifice himself, to prevent Karna from using the weapon Shakti to kill Arjuna.

Respect the dead, tend for the injured : Even in times of war, Humanity should prevail. During the Mahabharata war, the final rites for every dead and medical care for the injured were strictly observed by both the warring sides. India can say with pride that She has always respected this and will do so in the future too.

Don”™t leave loose ends at the end of the war : Just before the war was declared as over, Duryodhana was overcome with emotions and he felt regret. He decided to do “˜tapas”™ for his wrongdoing and went off to meditate in the depths of a lake. Sri Krishna understood that this could be a threat in the future and He advised Bheema to instigate Duryodhan to come out of the water and fight him to the end. Another incident is when Ashwathama tries to kill the unborn child of Abhimanyu, to destroy the Pandavas completely. Because of Sri Krishna”™s presence of mind and ability, a disaster was averted. If reports are to be believed, in our previous wars with Pakistan, India did not tie up the loose ends and the repercussions of this are being faced till today. We need to avoid this in the future.

Brutally sideline those who want to take your side only to suit their own purpose : In the Mahabharata war, only 2 kings did not participate ““ Rukmi and Balarama. Balarama did not get involved in the war because he felt that war was not a solution at all. He could not see the destruction on either side, so he stayed away completely. Rukmi, on the other hand, wanted to satisfy his ego and wanted to side with the faction which gave him more respect than he actually deserved. Both factions realized that he was there only to suit himself and was not a well-wisher of either faction at all, and thus both sides decided to ignore him completely. Rukmi was shamed by neglect. Today in Bharat, we have our own political parties in the opposition who behave like Rukmi. We also have certain media persons who could put Rukmi to shame. In the interest of the Nation the Government needs to neglect and sideline both these entities while taking decisions. These petty people need to understand that it should always be Nation First, Nation before Self.

Be dispassionate about the result of the war : Once the Mahabharata War got over, the Pandavas, especially Yudhishthir, the new king, never gloated over his victory. He treated all survivors with love and justice, just like any good king should. After the war, there were no enemies. This is a lesson which is the most difficult to practice. But in the interests of Humanity, this has to be followed.

As per one meaning of the word, Bharati means the luminous orb of the valiant. Let us all become true Bharatis. Jai Hind! Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan!

Rati Hegde