Bhīṣma Devarata and Ahiṃsā

How to Cite

Kevin McGrath. (2022). Bhīṣma Devarata and Ahiṃsā: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 26(2), 81–90. Retrieved from


Epic Mahābhārata in the Pune Critical Edition presents us with a narrative about a warrior who is the most excellent of all the kṣatriya figures in the poem; that is Bhīṣma Devavrata Kaurava, a fighter who is able to defeat the arch-guru of all warriors, Rāma Jāmadagnya. Curiously and paradoxically it is Bhīṣma who also represents a dynamic portrait of a kṣatriya who commits a vital act of ahiṃsā, or what is commonly referred to nowadays as ‘non-violence’, for he is one who ‘does not strike’.

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