Several times I got to hear that Mahabharata battle fought in Kurukshetra is also famously known as Dharma-Yuddha.

This battle was fought between Pandavas and Kauravas who were cousins then why it is still called as Dharma-yuddha?

  • IMO It was called Dharma-Yuddha" because there were strict battle rules laid out . It's wasn't just a discreet war , nobody was attacking onyone above his rank. Commented May 4, 2017 at 6:08
  • @SwiftPushkar I got that through this wiki. And as per link several time it was broken. Commented May 4, 2017 at 6:16
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    Dharma Yuddha can also mean the war that is fought to establish Dharma by defeating Adharma & which was basically what it was.
    – Rickross
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 7:25
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    That's a different Q. But I think each one of them had their own reasons to be on the Kaurava's side as they thought they were bound by duties of one kind or the other to do so. @RonakBhatt
    – Rickross
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 7:30
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    Bhishma had taken a vow to look upon whoever sat on the throne of Hastinapur as his father, and to protect the kingdom, he fought on side of Kauravas (since Dhritarashtra was sitting on throne of Hastinapur). Drona also felt indebted to the kingdom since they had accepted him as Raja Guru when he was very poor.
    – ram
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 12:03

2 Answers 2


Mythology is followed by most of the people irrespective of science facts. All it teaches is to be a better human. In the same aspect Mahabharata was explained in such a way that Dharma will be apex of any other aspect in the universe. When a man stands for Dharma, all his relations fall under it and no matter what consequences he may face, all you need is to fight for Dharma.

Mahabharatha was explained to Arjuna by Lord Krishna in the battle field, which include many slokas that helped Arjuna in the later stages of war.

Many assumptions are made to get the facts about the existence of epics like Mahabharatha, Ramayana as well.

It is a story of every man who was tightly coupled with lot of emotions and in the end still stands for Dharma. Thus Mahabharatha became sacred epic for every human who observe the intense of morals stuffed in it.

Any reviews to my answer are happily accepted, and corrections appreciated. Thank You.

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    Welcome To Hinduism SE! It will be better if you add something from scripture in your answer i.e. directly from Mahabharata or associated texts. Quotes from discourses of saints , gurus , acharya will also do. Commented May 12, 2017 at 7:31
  • Here is a useful link to scriptures - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/15424/… Commented May 12, 2017 at 7:36
  • I undeleted your answer, but provide sources or references for your points.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 10:04

It is called Dharma-yuddha because the Mahābhārata, in its opening chapter, divides the major characters into two different groups, one based on dharma and the other on adharma. The rest of the story, including events that lead up to the Kurukṣetra war, follows this theme.

01,001.065a    duryodhano manyumayo mahādrumaḥ; skandhaḥ karṇaḥ śakunis tasya śākhāḥ 01,001.065c    duḥśāsanaḥ puṣpaphale samṛddhe; mūlaṃ rājā dhṛtarāṣṭro 'manīṣī

Duryodhana is a great tree created out of passion, Karna is its trunk, Shakuni is its branches, Duhshashana is the plentiful fruit and flowers and the mindless Dhritarashtra is its root.

01,001.066a    yudhiṣṭhiro dharmamayo mahādrumaḥ; skandho 'rjuno bhīmaseno 'sya śākhāḥ 01,001.066c    mādrīsutau puṣpaphale samṛddhe; mūlaṃ kṛṣṇo brahma ca brāhmaṇāś ca

Yudhishthira is a great tree created out of righteousness, Arjuna is its trunk, Bhima is its branches, the two sons of Madri are its plentiful fruit and flowers, and Krishna, Brahma and the Brahmanas are the root

Debroy, Bibek. The Mahabharata: Volume 1 (pp. 6-7)

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