shauryam tejo dhritirdaakshyam yuddhe chaapyapalaayanam |
daanameeshvarabhaavashcha kshaatram karma svabhaavajam || 43 ||

 
Valour, fearlessness, fortitude, resourcefulness, and also, not fleeing in war, charity, and the ability to rule, are the natural duties of a kshatriya.
 
shauryam : valour
tejaha : fearlessness
dhritihi : fortitude
daakshyam : resourcefulness
yuddhe : in war
cha : and
api : also
apalaayanam : not fleeing
daanam : charity
eeshvarabhaavaha : ability to rule
cha : and
kshaatram : of a kshatriya
karma : duties
svabhaavajam : natural
 
Any society requires law and order, a system to levy and deploy taxation, protection against external invaders and other such administrative functions. Even a small village comprising a handful of people needs such systems. Therefore, in any society, we need capable people who have the mental makeup and skill set to perform these administrative and leadership functions. One who has the mental makeup to lead, administer and defend, is called a kshatriya.
 
Shri Krishna lists the qualities of a kshatriya in this shloka. Shauryam or valour is the courage needed to fight a war. Tejaha refers to fearlessness or boldness in the face of an enemry. Dhritihi or fortitude is the ability to hold on to one’s mission in spite of physical and mental obstacles. Daakshyam is skillfulness or resourcefulness that enables one to think on one’s feet and get the job done. Apalaayanam literally means not turning the back on one’s enemy. All these qualities are needed in a capable soldier or commander.
 
Kshatriya also refers to administrators, bureaucrats and politicians. Daanam or charity is the ability to remove any sense of personal attachment to wealth, such that it can be deployed for the welfare of the community. Ishvara bhaava refers to the ability to rule or to exert one’s authority upon a set of people in the same benevolent way that God does. It appears that such qualities are quite lacking in today’s kshatriyas. In any case, kshatriyas have a predominance of rajas, followed by a moderate degree of sattva.

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