Destruction of the body leads to rebirth of the soul in another body.
Rishis of the yore are known to be propagators of peace (shanti) and balance (santulan). This is not to say, they did not pick up the weapons, when the need arose.
There is a lore that one such Rishi was travelling across the country with his students, when they stopped for rest in a small village. They were told that there was a split in the ruling clan of the area and a fierce power battle was going on. It was very old and established clan, both the sides possessed volumes of invaluable shastras. A war was impending, and if it happened, the clan would have been wiped out and with them, also the shastras. Chaos would have followed and there would have been no one left to guide or protect the people.
That night, Rishi along with his students went and exterminated the weaker of the two parties, seized the shastras from them and handed them over to the leader of the stronger side. Rishi asked him to take care of the shastras and establish the rule of dharma. He also warned him that if in case they started fighting among themselves, their fate would be no different from the other group.
The shastras, that is the gyan, which has been received by the rishis and munis through thousands of years, is the basis of civilisation. It is that which ensures society grows in a positive and constructive direction. Destruction of the body leads to rebirth of the soul in another body. Destruction of shastras leads to deterioration of creation at large. Therefore, under all circumstances, shastras must be protected.
Around 300-400 years ago, when invaders came to India, they were well aware of the power of the shastras. They plundered and looted our country, took away the shastras they could lay their hands on and destroyed others. Today, if you notice, most ancient texts available to us are concocted renditions by foreign “Indologists”, the originals are lost... Chaos and corruption, increasing crimes against humanity, pollution and destruction of natural resources of our country, are direct results.
How were a handful of invaders able to wreck a country as culturally rich as ours? It was because of infighting and ego-clashes among those who were to protect the shastras and establish peace and order. They let individual egos take precedence over the larger good and jeopardised the shastras for petty personal gains. The story of Babur and Lodi is a perfect example.
When Babur set out to attack the Lodi Empire, his generals warned him of the size of the Lodi army, as against his small troop. Night before the battle, Babur went up himself to see the size of the Lodi army with his general. In the enemy camp, he saw 100s of fires lit up at small distances. He asked his general the reason for that. The general informed that the different fires were meals being cooked for various groups within the army. He explained how the higher classes would not eat with lower classes and so different groups would prepare their own meals. Hearing this, Babur smiled and told his general, “We will win this battle.” And they did.