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Being a Warrior Is Your Religion

by A. R. Basov

A great warrior sought out a renowned priest, hoping that he would provide him with guidance. The great warrior pleaded with the priest:

“I am tired of war, of seeing death and destruction. I have killed many and I constantly hear people cursing war. I am tired of witnessing pain and suffering, I am tired of everything… I wish to renounce this world and to live in the forest like you do. Let me be with you; I wish to wander, fast, and lead a simple life and meditate under a tree…”


The warrior carried on speaking, but the priest was not listening anymore. He focused inward, contemplating thoughts that could not be put into words.
The priest remained silent and looked into the hero’s brave, sad eyes as he listened to him speak. Nothing could escape his shrewd gaze. He saw the warrior’s stately form, shaped by years of training. He felt the swiftness and precision of his reactions, guided by the power that lurked within him. Staring at the man before him, the priest now had a window to the man’s soul - and the words the warrior held back rang louder than the ones that escaped his lips.

After a time, the warrior stopped speaking. He stood silent, feeling awkward; was the priest uninterested about his concerns, or unable to relate to the pain of a fighter such as himself? He felt that the man was far away, lost in his own thoughts. The warrior began to walk away when the priest addressed him:

“Of course you may become a hermit in the woods. But first, answer this question: what did you do as a child when other boys tried to bully you?”

“I fought them. Eventually I grew stronger and faster than them, and they did not want to taunt me anymore. Now I am ashamed.”

“Look at all of the defenseless people here. Imagine if tigers came and attacked them. What would you do?”

“I would immediately grasp my bow and I would shoot the tigers while I had the chance. I would fight them with all my strength.”

“And what would you do if this peaceful forest was on fire?”

“I would fight the fire and try to save the people.”

Precisely. You would not run or pray, you would fight the battle. Few people are inherently brave. It has been your destiny since birth to be a warrior. You are fearless and you will fight to the bitter end. You cannot run away, you will act as a warrior should. All of your years of training and discipline have steered you to this profession. This is your essence. Every fiber of your being is that of a warrior. Being a Warrior is your religion. This is what you have prepared for your entire life. This is your destiny.

Do not renounce the world. Mere mortals are unable to grasp the divine master plan of Providence. You are not the one who begins these wars. The world is complicated and full of contradictions. Life is a balance of contrasts and of incompatible things.

You are a Warrior, so this is what God wants. This is your mission. Your duty is to be a Warrior. You cannot run from your duty, from your essence; you must stay true to yourself. Following that which you do not possess is dangerous.
Let others sit under a tree and watch it grow, as it is their purpose. They need it, but you do not. True religion is what sprouts from the depths of the heart.
Being a Warrior is your religion.
Walk that path to the end.”

This is a chapter from the book "Samurai. Spirit of the Warrior"



I will not get lost...
The North Star is shining in the darkness...
The road to Valhalla, straight like a sword, is always in front of me!

Copyright 2000-2016 Alexey R. Basov, Tatiana Basova. All rights reserved.

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