Anyone knows all the rules of the main Kurukshetra war of Mahabharata?

And who had broken any particular rule?

I want to know all rules and the names of character that broke any particular rule.


1 Answer 1


In the Mahabharata epic, which describes the Kurukshetra war, the two sides agree on the following rules:

  • Fighting must begin no earlier than sunrise and should end by exact sunset. (Broken on the 14th day, after Jayadratha was slain).
  • Multiple warriors must not attack a single warrior. (Broken several times, most notably in the 13th day, when Abhimanyu was slain).
  • Two warriors may duel, or engage in prolonged personal combat, only if they carry the same weapons and they are on the same mount (no mount, a horse, an elephant, or a chariot). (Broken several times).
  • No warrior may kill or injure a warrior who has surrendered. (Violated when Satyaki slew an unarmed Burishravas).
  • One who surrenders becomes a prisoner of war and will then be subject to the protections of a prisoner of war. (There were no prisoners of war taken, in the Kurukshetra War).
  • No warrior may kill or injure an unarmed warrior. (Arjuna slew Karna when the latter was helpless).
  • No warrior may kill or injure an unconscious warrior. (Broken when Abhimanyu was slain).
  • No warrior may kill or injure a person or animal not taking part in the war. (Broken several times when warriors slew horses of their enemies).
  • No warrior may kill or injure a warrior whose back is turned away. (Shakuni broke that rule).
  • No warrior may strike an animal not considered a direct threat.
  • The rules specific to each weapon must be followed. For example, it is prohibited to strike below the waist in mace warfare.
  • Warriors must not engage in any 'unfair' warfare whatsoever.
  • The lives of women, prisoners of war, and farmers are sacred.
  • Land should not be pillaged.


  • 2
    OK thanks! But it's better to cite the actual Mahabharata rather than Wikipedia. The rules of engagement are given in the first chapter of the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata: sacred-texts.com/hin/m06/m06001.htm Commented May 28, 2016 at 4:53
  • 1
    @KeshavSrinivasan I am searching answer from 6 month, I posted whatever I found. I am getting what you are trying to say. I will take care now. and please don't down vote like this way, if you thing information is wrong then you can down vote.
    – CapDroid
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 4:59
  • 1
    I'm not planning on downvoting your answer, I'm just suggesting you improve your answer using that Bhishma Parva chapter I linked to. Commented May 28, 2016 at 5:02
  • @CapDroid felt like sharing this with you. meta.hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/361/…
    – Kishore
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 16:43
  • You should cite sources.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 4:46

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