Gaudiya Vaishnavas go to an extreme length to justify non-violence. Their preachers say you can not even kill mosquitoes or cockroaches in your house.

I was wondering how they justify the horrific massacre of life forms during Khandava Dahana (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Khandava Dahana Parva)?

Just want to clarify few things. Here I am not questioning Krishna's action. He was a very pragmatic person. If you're going to expand your kingdom, obviously, you need land.

My question is, how do they reconcile their doctrine with this specific act of their lord? Is there any commentary or opinion by any renowned Vaishnava preacher on Khandava Dahana?

2 Answers 2


Khandavvan was not an ordinary forest or a good Eco-system. It was a dark forest where only snakes, demons and other animals existed. It was becoming dangerous day by day. We overall burn forests usually and deplete natural resources which even are not required for existence but for rapid economic progress. Thus they were kind of justified in removing such a forest which was a threat to overall health of an empire. Moreover, they did it when requested by Agni who came in form of Brahmin. They were also bound by duty. Now all those accuse them of intentionally burning everyone should see when Mayasur came to Arjun for shelter he protected him from Krishna. If all those snakes in the forest had adopted the path may be a solution could have reached where forest could be burned and rehabilitation could be done. But they insisted on fighting. Here we are not talking about ordinary snakes like we see today. They were supernatural being as they could think of revenge etc Like Thakshak( he was not present there at that time) his son Ashwasen. They were also protected by demi-gods who lost to Arjun. So, it was destiny and in overall welfare of establishing ecological balance and for prosperity of general people. It paved way for new forest and a better system.

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. You need to cite some sources. Visit help center for more information
    – Pandya
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:06
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    Apart from not citing sources the other problem with the answer is that it does not answer the question. Question is how do Gaudiya Vaishnavas defend or justify the act .. so you need give their explanations and arguments in the answer. But if you have given your own instead. The answer would have been appropriate if the question simply was "How is the act justified?". But the Gaudiya Vaishnava angle of the question has made your answer not an answer.
    – Rickross
    Sep 22, 2021 at 6:43
  • Downvoted as you do not answer the q.
    – Wikash_
    Sep 23, 2021 at 5:52

Unnecessary violance is prohibited, however Gaudiya Vaishnavas have not restricted following Varnashram. Violance is one of the Svadharma of the Kshatriya varna to maintain peace & order. Those Gaudiyas who are Kshatriyas can perform their Svadharma for peace in the society.

Killing the innocent is wrong Punishing the guilty isn't

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