The Warrior’s Dilemma

On one side he is to fight – for what is right, on the other he is to fight – against what is wrong. When, what he is fighting for becomes wrong, that’s when a warrior is conflicted.

He knows not where to stand and he knows not where he stands.

It becomes a fight within.



27 thoughts on “The Warrior’s Dilemma

  1. how..i want to know how exactly you do it each time? πŸ™‚ such depth, such sentimentality and such sensitivity in each of your pieces..i never come back uninspired.


  2. As the Tao, says, ‘That which is strong and hard, falls. That which bends with the wind, will prevail’. Or something to that effect.

    If the warrior is rigid in his loyalties, he’s gonna screw up. Because, in this world, at this time, everything is in a bloody flux–right becomes wrong and vice-versa at a moment’s notice. The Gods are testing us and having a good laugh.

    If he’s fluid, he’ll not hesitate to choose the right over wrong, even if it means going against that for which he has stood all his life.

    Then there’s no conflict. Only wisdom, compassion and a deep sorrow. Of course, an appreciation for this wonderful drama called Life.

    (Sorry for a comment that’s longer than your post. Couldn’t resist :-))


    • Whatever Tao says, it always puts things on its head and seeks awestruck obedience! πŸ™‚

      I hear you, but what’s a loyalty that’s fluid? What’s to stop it from flowing when it should stay strong? There are times when things are bad and there are times when things are wrong. Can having a fluid state see the difference?

      Conflict itself isn’t bad. It is painful but useful at the same time; it helps you refine your judgement and your own value system, in a way.

      Good comments are *usually* longer than posts, please don’t apologise – this post and blog would mean lesser, without the conversation. πŸ™‚


  3. Guess, we all are warriors at some point in time.
    Amazed at the piece of work you come up with each time πŸ™‚
    Glad that you haven’t created a template…LOL


  4. Dilemma’s differentiate warriors from mercenaries, then?

    In any war, the right and wrong is on both sides, if not in conflict then in the act of warring. Even Dharma raaj couldn’t live upto his name.

    A warrior, then is not fighting himself, only when he is not fighting!



    • One comment from you and post (and my head) goes in a spin! I never wondered about mercenaries when I wrote this post – but you ask a valid and pertinent question. If dilemma is a factor of values then yes; but at the same time who’s to say that a mercenary doesn’t have values?

      The right and wrong (whether for a warrior or a mercenary) is relative. Your good is my evil and vice versa. For the purpose of the post itself – the right and the wrong is a relative to the warrior in question. When my values have been set, and those are affected, the conflict occurs. If the value system is intact and it is being protected – there cannot be a conflict. In the same story, the Gita says so. πŸ™‚

      I guess the fight occurs at different levels, and with each battle (inner or outer) the warrior becomes better?


      • Hmmm. A mercenary can have a value. Rather s/he does have a value: maximizing personal (typically monetary) gains. But what I meant is: a mercenary does not believe in right or wrong being intrinsic to the battle at hand. For him/her the right or wrong is extrinsic. Which means, s/he never has to face the dilemma.

        Thinking from a different angle, only mercenaries actually ‘choose’ sides (even if for reasons other than intrinsic rigthness/wrongness of the sides). A non-mercenary warrior is tied to a side, and is made to believe that s/he’s fighting for the right side, against the wrong side. Will the dilemma, then, vanish if we let the warriors choose and re-choose sides?




        • If warriors can choose and re-choose then they become mercenaries. There will be no dilemma then. Perhaps what differentiates the Ws and the Ms, is the frequency with which they change sides – or does it not matter – after the first change – because the value is then your own personal fulfillment?


          • On the contrary: a truly moral warrior should be allowed to choose sides endlessly, listening to his/her moral compass. mercenaries choose sides irrespective of their moral reading of the side. personal fulfillment is outside the conflict. My point was, it’s not having to make a moral decision that’s giving rise to the dilemma, it’s having it made by someone/something else (such as accident of birth) which is causing it.



              • Interesting. If there was no freedom to make the decision, there wouldn’t have been a conflict – you would either rebel or resign. I think, it’s having the freedom that causes the dilemma.

                With great freedom come great dilemma, so said Spiderman’s other uncle. πŸ˜€


  5. more than the post, i enjoyed the comments that followed πŸ™‚

    and i blv, being able to hold such a powerful dialogue is the sign of a really good post.

    it is only with the most engaging of posts like this that the simplest of pics draw the deepest of meanings.


  6. I suppose the most pertinent things have already been said wrt to this blog. But I’ve been itching to ask – aren’t there very few clear ‘rights’ where there is no ambiguity? According to the Buddha, eight, precisely. The rest are all debatable and often, relative to the context.

    Unless you are talking about the handful of such axiomatic, fundamental values, aren’t YOU the judge of what is right and wrong (for you)? If the value that you upheld suddenly turned ‘wrong’, it could have happened only one of two ways. In your case, was it because the context changed or because your value system criteria changed?

    If the context changed, my sympathies are with you – it is a hard internal battle. But, as has been well-said earlier, it requires a revaluation. Does it still deserve to be considered ‘right’, given that the context changed? If not, you are permitted to change camps. That’d be ‘right’. πŸ™‚

    If the value system itself changed, boss, all bets are off. You are a new person now! πŸ™‚



  7. “If warriors can choose and re-choose then they become mercenaries.”

    Really? I think that’d be true only if the choice involves fundamental virtues. Everything else is malleable as it is wrt a context. What do you think?


    • Unfortunately, most think of a “fundamental virtue” as a concept only. To them, it’s never real in any way. There are a few things that don’t change even with the change in a context – negating. It’s the fundamental virtue that remains constant even in a changing context. the FV, however is fiction for most of us.


      • hmmm… To not kill, to not speak lies, to not misuse sex, to not steal, to not intoxicate oneself (so that judgement is not clouded) – those are the fundamental virtues spoken of. They are 5, not 8, so my apologies there.

        But have to admit that ‘negation’ is a part of all 5 above. πŸ˜› So, may be, you have a point there. πŸ˜‰


  8. Pingback: A Year in Posts « Gaizabonts

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