For example - the killing of Duryodhana is condemned by Baladeva and celestial beings showered flowers on the fatally wounded Duryodhana when he chastised Krishna for his acts of treachery throughout the war. Krishna himself admits that the Pandavas could not have won without adharmic acts of war - what Krishna says renders the word Dharma meaningless:


"Sanjaya continued, ‘Upon the conclusion of these words of the intelligent king of the Kurus, a thick shower of fragrant flowers fell from the sky. The Gandharvas played upon many charming musical instruments. The Apsaras in a chorus sang the glory of king Duryodhana. The Siddhas uttered loud sound to the effect, "Praise be to king Duryodhana!" Fragrant and delicious breezes mildly blew on every side. All the quarters became clear and the firmament looked blue as the lapis lazuli. Beholding these exceedingly wonderful things and this worship offered to Duryodhana, the Pandavas headed by Vasudeva became ashamed. Hearing (invisible beings cry out) that Bhishma and Drona and Karna and Bhurishrava were slain unrighteously, they became afflicted with grief and wept in sorrow. Beholding the Pandavas filled with anxiety and grief, Krishna addressed them in a voice deep as that of the clouds or the drum, saying, "All of them were great car-warriors and exceedingly quick in the use of weapons! If ye had put forth all your prowess, even then ye could never have slain them in battle by fighting fairly! King Duryodhana also could never be slain in a fair encounter! The same is the case with all those mighty car-warriors headed by Bhishma! From desire of doing good to you, I repeatedly applied my powers of illusion and caused them to be slain by diverse means in battle. If I had not adopted such deceitful ways in battle, victory would never have been yours, nor kingdom, nor wealth! Those four were very high-souled warriors and regarded as Atirathas in the world. The very Regents of the Earth could not slay them in fair fight! Similarly, the son of Dhritarashtra, though fatigued when armed with the mace, could not be slain in fair fight by Yama himself armed with his bludgeon! You should not take it to heart that this foe of yours hath been slain deceitfully. When the number of one’s foes becomes great, then destruction should be effected by contrivances and means. The gods themselves, in slaying the Asuras, have trod the same way. That way, therefore, that hath been trod by the gods, may be trod by all. We have been crowned with success.

and yet a poster cites

The accomplishment of one's vow is one's duty. Formerly Bhima had vowed in the midst of the assembly that he would in great battle break with his mace the thighs of Duryodhana. The great Rishi Maitreya also, O scorcher of foes, had formerly cursed Duryodhana, saying, 'Bhima will, with his mace, break thy thighs!' In consequence of all this, I do not see any fault in Bhima!

Are there instances like this from the Itihasas and Puranas where diametrically opposing views are justified citing Dharma?

  • This question looks too broad...I think the curse of Rishi Maitreya is an interpolation. I don't think it's present in the critical edition. Feb 5, 2019 at 0:58
  • 2
    @sv. Some verses not being present in another manuscript does not imply that the verse is an interpolation; it could just as well mean the other manuscript has lost those verses, or some writer omitted them.
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 5, 2019 at 2:14
  • 3
    @sv. "this usually does not happen, they keep adding new stuff to the old ones and it grows over time." - It can happen just as much as interpolations. If someone doesn't like a verse, they can simply omit it.
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 5, 2019 at 2:29
  • 1
    @ParthaBanerjee, what about valibadha ? There is only dharma, and only one view, no opposing view. whw Vali, the victim himself had all his questions and doubts answered by Rama himself. If people say, it might have satisfied Vali, it doesn't satisfy us, then looks like only option is for them to be born as Vali in future and then get satisfied :)
    – mar
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:51
  • 1
    @sv, if you're being absolutely scientifically neutral, you must view errors of commission the same as errors of omission.
    – mar
    Feb 6, 2019 at 1:03


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