top of page

Sanatan Dharma & the Concept of Shatrubodh Part 2

Niranjan Bhombe

Madhavi Ojha

26 April 2023

"The first part of the topic, Sanatan Dharma & the Concept of Shatrubodh dealt with...."

....understanding the meaning and importance of the concept of Shatrubodh by referring to the teachings of Shri. Krishna, Lord Rama and Chanakya.

In the second blog on this topic, we shall try to understand the importance of Shatrubodh in the present context of Bharat and also ponder over the problems we could face if we lack anywhere in our understanding of the enemy.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

The founder of the Maratha Empire in the 17th century and is regarded as a visionary leader who fought against foreign invasions and established a just and progressive kingdom.

Shivaji Maharaj's approach to Shatrubodh can be seen in his strategic and diplomatic skills, as well as his humane treatment of enemies.

Shivaji Maharaj was known for his diplomatic skills and forming strategic alliances with neighbouring kingdoms to counter the threat of foreign invasions. He adopted a pragmatic approach towards enemies, recognizing that diplomacy and alliances could be effective means to achieve his goals. He would seek peaceful resolutions through negotiations and alliances wherever possible, rather than resorting to force as the first option.

He was a brilliant military strategist who employed innovative tactics to counter his enemies. He recognized the importance of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of adversaries and would adapt his strategies accordingly. He was known for his guerrilla warfare techniques, naval expeditions, and fortification of key locations, which enabled him to successfully confront and defeat much larger enemy forces.

Despite being a formidable warrior, he was known for his compassionate approach towards defeated enemies. He would often offer amnesty and pardon to enemy soldiers who surrendered, sparing their lives and treating them with dignity. He would also provide protection and support to the families of fallen enemies, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness, tolerance, and compassion in dealing with adversaries.

Shivaji Maharaj's approach to Shatrubodh was grounded in the principles of upholding Dharma, or righteousness. He believed in protecting and promoting the welfare of his people and the land, and considered it his duty to fight against injustice and oppression. He would not hesitate to confront enemies who posed a threat to his kingdom and his people, and would do so with a sense of righteousness and duty towards upholding Dharma.

His approach was characterized by a combination of strategic diplomacy, military prowess, compassion towards defeated enemies, just governance, and upholding Dharma. He is often revered as a model leader who demonstrated the importance of understanding and dealing with enemies in a righteous and pragmatic manner, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of leaders in Bharat and beyond.

Shatrubodh, the concept of understanding enemies, continues to hold relevance in modern times, including in various aspects of life such as politics, business, and personal relationships.



Shatrubodh in present context

In the realm of politics, understanding one's adversaries is crucial. Political leaders and policymakers need to have a deep understanding of the motivations, strengths, and weaknesses of their opponents in order to formulate effective strategies and policies. This may involve careful analysis of the political landscape, studying the opponents' ideologies, policies, and past actions, and anticipating their moves. By understanding their adversaries, political leaders can better navigate through complex situations, build coalitions, and achieve their political objectives.

In the competitive world of business, understanding competitors and rivals is essential. Business leaders need to have a keen understanding of their competitors' products, services, strategies, and market positioning. This understanding helps in developing effective business strategies, identifying opportunities, and mitigating risks. It may involve market research, competitive analysis, and staying updated with the latest industry trends. By understanding their competitors, business leaders can make informed decisions, stay ahead of the competition, and achieve success in the market.

Shatrubodh can also be applied in personal relationships. Understanding the perspectives, emotions, and motivations of others, even in challenging situations, can help in resolving conflicts, building empathy, and fostering harmonious relationships. It involves active listening, empathy, and open-mindedness to understand the concerns and viewpoints of others. By understanding others, individuals can cultivate healthy relationships, avoid unnecessary conflicts, and promote understanding and harmony.

Shatrubodh can also be applied to social issues, such as understanding the root causes of social problems and addressing them with wisdom and compassion. This may involve understanding the perspectives of different stakeholders, conducting research, and finding practical solutions that take into account the diverse needs and concerns of various groups. By understanding the complexities of social issues, individuals and organizations can work towards sustainable and inclusive solutions that benefit society as a whole.

Shatrubodh can also be applied in conflict resolution scenarios, whether it be at the individual, community, or international level. Understanding the underlying causes of conflicts, the motivations of different parties involved, and the historical, social, and cultural factors at play can help in finding peaceful and just resolutions. It involves effective communication, negotiation, and finding common ground. By understanding the perspectives and concerns of all parties involved, conflict resolution efforts can be more successful and sustainable.

Shatrubodh, the concept of understanding enemies, continues to hold importance in the present day in various aspects of life. It involves gaining insights into the motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives of adversaries in order to navigate through complex situations, make informed decisions, and achieve one's objectives. By applying the principles of Shatrubodh with wisdom, foresight, and ethical considerations, individuals and organizations can effectively deal with challenges, conflicts, and adversaries in a strategic and thoughtful manner.


Why is understanding Shatrubodh important?

Understanding the motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and perspectives of adversaries allows for strategic decision making. It enables individuals and organizations to anticipate and prepare for potential challenges, risks, and obstacles. By having a deep understanding of the mind-set and actions of adversaries, one can formulate effective strategies and plans to mitigate risks, leverage opportunities, and achieve their objectives.

Shatrubodh is essential for resolving conflicts in a peaceful and just manner. By understanding the underlying causes of conflicts, the perspectives of different parties involved, and the dynamics at play, one can find common ground and work towards mutually acceptable solutions. It helps in avoiding unnecessary escalation of conflicts and promotes constructive dialogue and negotiation.

Understanding adversaries helps in building resilience and preparedness. By being aware of potential threats, challenges, and risks, individuals and organizations can take proactive measures to safeguard their interests, resources, and well-being. It enables them to adapt to changing situations, navigate through uncertainties, and bounce back from setbacks.

Understanding adversaries is crucial in communication and negotiation. It allows individuals to tailor their messaging, approach, and tactics based on the perspectives and motivations of their adversaries. It helps in building trust, finding common ground, and resolving conflicts through effective communication and negotiation skills.

Understanding enemies also promotes personal and professional growth. It challenges individuals to broaden their perspectives, develop critical thinking skills, and engage in self-reflection. It encourages individuals to overcome biases, prejudices, and preconceived notions, and cultivate a broader understanding of different viewpoints and motivations. This promotes personal growth and enhances professional skills, such as leadership, conflict management, and decision making.


Lack of understanding Shatrubodh, or enemies, can lead to several problems, including:

Without understanding the mind-set, motivations, and perspectives of adversaries, there is a risk of misinterpreting their actions or misjudging their intentions. This can lead to faulty assumptions, biased perceptions, and inaccurate assessments of the situation, resulting in ineffective decision making and misguided actions. Lack of awareness about potential adversaries can leave individuals or organizations exposed to risks and vulnerabilities. It can lead to overlooking potential threats or underestimating the capabilities of adversaries, leading to unforeseen challenges or setbacks. This can impact personal safety, organizational security, or overall well-being. Without a deeper understanding of adversaries, conflicts may escalate unnecessarily.

Communication and negotiation with adversaries may be ineffective without a nuanced understanding of their perspectives and motivations. Lack of Shatrubodh can hinder effective communication and negotiation, as individuals may not be able to tailor their approach or messaging appropriately. This can result in misunderstandings, breakdowns in communication, and failed negotiation attempts.

Lack of understanding of adversaries may result in missed opportunities for resolution and growth. By not grasping the underlying causes of conflicts, individuals or organizations may fail to identify potential areas of common ground or explore alternative solutions. This can hinder personal or professional growth and perpetuate conflicts or adversarial relationships.

Thus, lack of understanding Shatrubodh can lead to misinterpretation, misjudgement, increased risks, escalation of conflicts, ineffective communication, missed opportunities for resolution and growth, and emotional distress. It is crucial to cultivate a deeper understanding of adversaries to navigate challenges, conflicts, and relationships with wisdom, empathy, and foresight. Developing Shatrubodh is essential for personal, professional, and social well-being, and it can lead to more effective decision making, conflict resolution, and constructive engagement with adversaries.

bottom of page