Just War Theory Of War In The Bhagavadgita

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The Bhagavadgita is a tale of duty in war and why it is necessary to perform one 's duty despite the cost. However this raises the question of whether the war in the Gita was justified. The god Krishna who performs the role of charioteer for Arjuna believes that the war is just and convinces him to fight. There is a theory known as the “just war theory” which details the legitimacy beginning a conflict and proper actions during the conflict. This theory consists of two major parts (Jus Ad Bellum the right to go to war, and Jus in Bello how combatants should act) that themselves can be broken down to smaller individual elements. Some of these smaller elements will be applied to show that the war whose prelude is detailed in the Gita is not just.
Before going to war there must be a cause and that is the first section of the theory; this portion known as just cause is defined by innocent life in immediate danger and intervention used to protect the innocent. This war fails immediately in this regard as there is no mentioned endangerment to civilian life. In fact, wars of this era often conscripted civilians into the army and allocate much of their food
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As stated this is a conflict between ruling households so it should have gone no farther in numbers at least than the five Pandava brothers and the unnumbered Kaurava family members. Instead this war expanded to contain millions of people on each side nearly all of which were sent to their graves. Beyond this the conflict grew to include the Indian gods such as Krishna who plays a pivotal role in the Pandava alliance. On this point once again we see that the war was not just as it far outgrew the proportions of two families to consume nearly an entire kingdom. This point brings to a close the Jus Ad Bellum section of this analysis and brings about the Jus in Bello

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