The way of the warrior is beyond martial skills. It is a spiritual quest for truth and divine love.
Often the word warrior brings violent images to our minds. These images may be of charging Samurai’s or blood thirsty Vikings, screaming of a greater glory in war and death. Or they may be of gloomy battlefields drenched with the blood of the dying unknown soldiers amidst gunshots, missiles and grenades exploding with horrific effect.
But is the way of the warrior just about honor, glory and death? What of the living? What of peace? What of the love of the children for whom we claim to fight?
Perhaps the greatest ideal is that of the Warrior Saint. Perhaps this is the real Bushido of the Samurai. Perhaps this is the real honor of a soldier fighting for honor, glory and country. Perhaps this is the highest ideal a human can strive to achieve.
A few centuries ago, a great warrior saint of the northern plains of India during a training session of his soldiers, posed the following questions to quiz them of their own spiritual quest.
What are the virtues of the greatest of warriors? What are his or her abilities? How can you recognize one?
Eager to please their master several soldiers answered to the best of their own limited ability and gave cliched versions of the greatest of warriors.
The greatest of warriors has the strength of a thousand elephants. Single handed he can stop an army of millions!
The greatest of warriors with a single arrow can pierce the eye of an enemy general from several miles away!
A warrior who can withstand the charge of cavalry spears rushing on steeds with the speed of the wind, standing on the ground with nothing but a flimsy shield is the greatest of them all!
One who can pierce the thick armor of the enemy with a lightening like thrust of his spear, is indeed the most powerful of all warriors!
Dharma or Righteousness. Often the word Dharma is confused with religion. True Dharma is beyond religion or the definition of the ego. Acting in accordance with Dharma is in its greatest essence, one of selfless service. To act in accordance for the benefit of all with no desire or attachment for the rewards of such actions, is true Dharma. Dharma is the highest form of love.
Daya or Compassion. All acts of the true warrior are selfless. They are out of love for the greater soul that exists within all things living or non-living. Birth and death are part of an unending cycle. To escape this cycle one must detach from greed of transient rewards which are temporary. Instead view all, including those who perceive you to be your enemy or harm you, with grace, compassion and understanding.
Dhani or Charity. The greatest of warriors has no sense of attachment. All his or her actions are done with no desire for reward for the self, but for the happiness and well being of others. In this detached state all the warrior does is serve with no complaints of the the past, present or future. Slander of others, even when they are in fault is totally avoided by such great warriors.
If one were to master the deeper essence of these three great virtues, then only would that individual truly understand the way of the warrior. Once this understanding is achieved then the above mentioned martial skills would be trivial and used only when demanded by the situation.
These virtues and their deeper meanings are universal and are beyond the mundane definitions of race, tribe, religion or nation. They are known by many, but truly understood by very few.
Unfortunately many other such warriors are ignored by a world that is caught up in its own lust for power and greed. In the process we elevate false heroes who only correlate with our own smallness, rather then the greater humility and love of true warrior saints.
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The warrior saint smiled at them all and lovingly told them that they were mistaken. For the greatest of warriors is beyond the limitations of physical strength and acts of valor. The greatest of warriors was a master of three simple virtues. Three virtues which were not defined by the skills of weaponry or the mastery of martial arts.He introduced them to the concept of the three D’s as each virtue in the north Indian languages began with the letter D.