Dharmayuddha in The Mahabharata
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 end exactly at sunset.
- Multiple warriors may not attack a single warrior.
- 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).
- No warrior may kill or injure a warrior who has surrendered.
- One who surrenders becomes a prisoner of war and will then be subject to the protections of a prisoner of war.
- No warrior may kill or injure an unarmed warrior.
- No warrior may kill or injure an unconscious warrior.
- No warrior may kill or injure a person or animal not taking part in the war.
- No warrior may kill or injure a warrior whose back is turned away.
- 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 may not engage in any 'unfair' warfare whatsoever.
- The lives of women, prisoners of war, and farmers are sacred.
- Pillaging the land is forbidden.
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