By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
“What is religious fight? Religious fight means you have got right to kill your aggressor. If somebody takes your property, if somebody sets fire in your house, if somebody kidnaps your wife, or somebody is trying to kill you, they are called aggressor. So aggressor should be killed immediately. It is not that somebody has become an aggressor, and if I say, “Now I have become a Vaishnava, I’ll not be violent. I shall tolerate. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us to be tolerant like the tree or the grass. So I shall become tolerant. Let him do.” Just like Gandhi used to say. Somebody questioned him that “If somebody comes and violates the chastity of your daughter in your presence, what will you do?” He said, “I shall remain nonviolent.” But that is not shastric injunction. This is foolishness.”
Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught us that “Be tolerant,” but not that where violence is required we should be tolerant. No. When Nityānanda Prabhu was injured by Jagāi and Mādhāi, Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to immediately kill them. Similarly, nonviolence does not mean that in right causes also you will remain nonviolent.
You do not attack anybody unnecessarily. You do not kill unnecessarily even an animal, not even an ant. You should be nonviolent by your nature. But when there is aggression, there are enemies, the śāstra says, dharma-yuddha. That is dharma-yuddha (war based on religious principles).
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.50 in Los Angeles on May 12, 1973]ALSO READ: SRILA PRABHUPADA WARNS MAHATMA GANDHI ABOUT HIS IMPENDING INGLORIOUS DEATH Favours and gifts of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu DIALOGUE BETWEEN CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AND CHAND KAZI ON COW KILLING