It’s a real great debate in here, and I think I am late in joining here. Still, I would like to put my views in here.
India epic space is grand and is full of heroics, sacrifices and wisdom all of which makes our epic invaluable. But one of the greatest traits of our grand epic is its diversity — which allows people to draw various different conclusions. At places there has been exaggerations, and it is essential that we don’t get swayed by them which forming our opinion.
Consider A man tells his beloved, that you are the most beautiful women ever born or I can get moons and stars for you. We all know it is not possible, and yet we must understand he is not lying either. He is saying what he feels is the ultimate truth in his vision.
So can we can consider a text explaining the cadres of warrior accurate? Did Meghnad killed 64 crores Vanars? Can this be the qualifying trait of a warrior? Can some text to this effect prove the worth of a warrior?
So before attempting to answer this question about the best warrior, I think its important that we understand two things:
- There is a difference between Warrior and Warmongers. A warrior goes to war for some ethics not for the lust of war. A warrior goes for war when there is not alternative left.
- Being powerful (and strong) is not same as being a warrior. A lion may be strong and killer, but is not a warrior.
Krishna in Gita, compares himself with everything which is great and virtuous. There he mentions two names, in two different context —
- Among the Army Chiefs, I am Kartikeya — The war lord Kartikeya is praised as an ablest of Army Chief. He was an able leader who fought a victorious battle against Tarkasur. When he took over the command of God’s Army, whose morale were at all-time low — defeated and hopeless as they were against the invincible Tarkasur. Kartikeya transformed them to a victorious army. No doubt Krishna considered him the greatest Army General, someone Pandava’s needed for their Army fighting against a numerically superior opponent.
- Among the warriors (bearer of weapons), I am Ram. We must realize he didn’t equate himself Ravan, or Meghnad or even Lord Kartikeya as a warrior? No doubt all these people were powerful fighters with multiple weapons and victories to their credit. So why Ram? Because Ram had the moral strength required for a warrior. He could have dried the ocean with his celestial weapon, but he didn’t. He prayed. He crossed over Lanka but didn’t start the fight immediately but sent Angad as an emissary trying to avoid bloodshed and giving reprieve to hapless Army of Lanka for the foolhardy for their King. He was devine, yet didn’t use his divinity to shield himself from the attack of Meghnad. That made Krishna acknowledge Among warriors, I am Ram.
Having discussed who deserves to be called a warrior, Here is my list /Not in order) beyond Ram himself —
- Hanuman — He was the warrior of the highest — powerful, invincible and yet modest, devoted and selfless. By Brahma’s boon he was immune to any weapon, including celestial weapons. Yet he surrenders to Meghnad’s weapon out of respect of celetial powers. He doesn’t abuse his power. He doesn’t use his power just to destroy (burn down Lanka) but also to protect (Sanjivini Buti episode). He is wise enough to avoid unnecessary confrontation (Sursa), bloodshed (Lankini). He not only uses his weapons but also wit to winover (Vibhisan, Vaidya Susain and Garuda during Nagpash incident). He was a warrior.
If you have followed my thought, I would encourage you to reason yourself for the other names in my list whom I consider as the best Warriors.
I would love to hear your views about my answer.