Martyr concept in Hinduism


Yes , there is a concept of Martyrism in Hinduism scriptures.This concept is described in a story in Shreemad Bhagvat Purana.

Background - This story is of a demon "Vruttasura" Rushi (sage) Dadhichi, Indra & Demigods.In this story demon "Vruttasura" hide all the weapons & powers of demigods.Then Indra (King of demigods) and all gods seek refuge of the Supreme Lord. He instruct's them to build a weapon from bones of Sage Dadhichi.In this war when Vruttasura see that all his demon solder's are leaving the warzone he says to them that " It's better to die in warground (battlefield) , in that case one gets the Swarga (Heaven) by fighting bravely in battfield and dies there fighting.

These are the sanskrit verses from Bhagvat Puran -:

दवौ संमतविह मृत्यु दुरापौ यद् ब्रह्मसंधारणाया जितासु:।
  कलेवरं योगरतो विजह्याद्य यदग्रणी र्वीरशयेs निवृत: ॥33॥

dvau sammatāv iha mṛtyū durāpau  yad brahma-sandhāraṇayā jitāsuḥ kalevaraṁ yoga-rato vijahyād  yad agraṇīr vīra-śaye ’nivṛttaḥ

Meaning - There are two ways to meet a glorious death, and both are very rare. One is to die after performing mystic yoga, especially bhakti-yoga, by which one can control the mind and living force and die absorbed in thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The second is to die on the battlefield, leading the army and never showing one’s back. These two kinds of death are recommended in the śāstra as glorious.

SB 6.10.33

जातस्य मृत्युर्ध्रुव एष सर्वतः प्रतिक्रिया यस्य न चेह क्लुप्ता ।
लोको यशश्चाथ ततो यादिं ह्यमुं को नाम मृत्युं न वृणीत युक्तम् ॥ 32॥

jātasya mṛtyur dhruva eva sarvataḥ  pratikriyā yasya na ceha kḷptā loko yaśaś cātha tato yadi hy amuṁ  ko nāma mṛtyuṁ na vṛṇīta yuktam

Meaning - Vṛtrāsura said: All living entities who have taken birth in this material world must die. Surely, no one in this world has found any means to be saved from death. Even providence has not provided a means to escape it. Under the circumstances, death being inevitable, if one can gain promotion to the higher planetary systems and be always celebrated here by dying a suitable death, what man will not accept such a glorious death?

SB 6.10.32

And this martyrism concept is also clearly stated in Shiva Mahapurana

  • Uman samhita chapter 21 - shloka 25 – Page 83

यस्तु शस्त्रमनुत्सुज्य म्रियते वाहिनीमुखे |
संमुखो वर्तते शूर: स स्वर्गान्न निवर्तते ||२४||

One who dies in battleground , holding a weapon , such a warrior never returns from the heaven.

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