Values and Ethical Lessons from Mahabharata


The epic of Mahabharata teaches various principles & techniques regarding warfare like skilled warfare (Chakravuha system), role of leader, role of advisors, various technologies & weapons used. but this interpretation is a narrow one, in a broader sense, Mahabharata delves into deeper values of life who strict adherence will strengthen modern concept of ‘rule of law’.

Lessons from Mahabharata

  • Duty is sacrosanct – perform your duty even if it means going against your beloved ones is the message of Krishna to Arjuna
  • Respect inherent dignity of every human being – A kingdom/society which violates human dignity is bound to decimate. Kaurvas act of tampering with the dignity of Draupadi decimated the whole Kaurvas
  • Uphold Dharma & Truth – life of Yudhistira is an epitome of truth & Dharma. it symbolises that Dharma needs to be upholded even if it means loosing the war
  • War is bound to cause misery & destruction for millions of years to come– Even fought for a just cause,war is full of destruction & thus, in a way Mahabharata teaches the importance of diplomacy
  • Teacher is equivalent to Good – even standing on the opposite side of battle, Arjuna first payed respect to his teacher.
  • Immoral means like corruption, cheating only provides momentary gains, in long-terms truth always becomes victorious as exemplified by victory of Pandavas over Kauravas


  • Kurushetra’s warfare has many things to learn not in arena of warfare but in the area of establishing peace, prosperity & growth. above all, even if a cardinal principle that ‘duty is sacrosanct’ can be learnt, we can be able to eliminate all kinds of administrative inefficiency & be able to establish ‘effective, efficient & participatory administration’