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I was re-watching Naruto, and when Gaara's backstory was being revealed, I noticed something that I never really understood earlier. Yashamaru was ordered to kill Gaara, yes, but in his last breath, he lies to Gaara that he never loved him, and that he couldn't forgive him for killing his sister during childbirth.

I read through the Naruto wiki - https://naruto.fandom.com/wiki/Yashamaru#Personality - to confirm whether he was actually lying to Gaara ,or whether my memory deceives me, but yes, the wiki also confirms that Yashamaru "claims" to hate Gaara but in reality, hated the Fourth Kazekage. So the question still remains - why did he lie to Gaara anyway? He was the only reason why Gaara was able to stay relatively sane for so long, and he was Gaara's only glimmer of hope and happiness in an otherwise lonely environment. What good can possibly come of stripping Gaara of that sliver of happiness and love?

My theory is that because Yashamaru hated the Fourth Kazekage, maybe he wanted Gaara to truly lose all semblance of humanity and fully embrace his inner demon and destroy the village. Maybe as a way to avenge his sister - if the Fourth Kazekage could do such horrible things to "protect the village", then enabling his own son to destroy his precious village would be a big middle finger in his face. Sounds like a dark theory, but I couldn't come up with anything better.

Does anyone know any canon reason? Or a better psychological explanation?

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According to Naruto wiki article on Yashamaru,

Yashamaru's elder sister, Karura, died shortly after giving birth to her youngest son Gaara, within whom the One-Tailed Shukaku had been sealed. After her death, Yashamaru was appointed as Gaara's caretaker by the Fourth Kazekage. Unlike his fellow villagers, he attempted to understand his nephew's plight as a jinchūriki, and believed that the sand that flew to Gaara's aid in moments of danger was actually the will of Karura protecting her child. However, when Gaara's inability to control Shukaku proved a problem, the Fourth Kazekage tasked Yashamaru with the duty of attacking the boy both physically and psychologically to test his actual mastery over the beast's power. Yashamaru reluctantly accepted his role in order to teach Gaara about physical pain, emotional pain and love.

Yashamaru before he commits suicide.

The test became a suicide mission after Yashamaru was gravely injured by Gaara's Sand Binding Coffin. He lied to Gaara, telling him that he hated him and that his sister gave him his name from the phrase "a self-loving carnage" (我を愛する修羅, Ware o aisuru shura) to reflect the undying hatred she felt towards the village, rather than out of love for her son. Yashamaru then told Gaara that nobody would ever love him, and then detonated a series of explosive tags hidden within his flack jacket in an attempt to take Gaara with him. Yashamaru's cruel words and his suicide caused Gaara to become a sociopath and even more of an emotional wreck than he already was.

It would only be years later during the Fourth Shinobi World War that Gaara learned the truth of the mission he was given and that he had in fact lied to him about his mother under direct orders from the Fourth Kazekage.

In my opinion, to test Gaara, The Fourth Kazekage ordered Yashamaru to test Gaara mentally and physically. That test however ended up in the death of Yashamaru and Gaara becoming a sociopath. Yashamaru loved Gaara but to test Gaara he had to say things that he didn't even think of.

Yes, his sister was dead in the process of creating a Jinchuriki but that was a sacrifice for the whole village. So Yashamaru may hate the Fourth Kazakage but he still loved and cared for Gaara.

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  • I still don't understand what good will come of testing it. Why would Yashamaru continue to listen to the Kazekage's orders even while he's dying? Sep 7, 2021 at 13:05
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Actually, Yashamaru loves Gaara; that's why, when the Kazekage asks, Yashamaru says he is just a child.

Yashamaru said those harsh words because his mission was to provoke Gaara by telling him about his mother, so he had to say something, and he did it. (As the Kazekage said, whether Gaara rampaged after listening to Yashamaru or not was the test, and sadly, he failed.)

After re-animation, even the Kazekage reveals that Yashamaru hates only him, not Gaara.

At least Yashamaru advises Gaara to love only himself as a dying gift.

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Because that was the mission.

It's as simple as that. Yashamaru was a ninja, and an Anbu at that. It is stated repeatedly through the Naruto series how important it is that a ninja carry out their missions. Obito and Kakashi may have flipped the script a little with their own motto, but in the world at large, ninja who strayed from their mission for personal reasons were scum. This is a real cultural point in the ninja world, to the point where Kakashi's father felt so disgraced and shamed after disobeying his orders to save his comrades that he took his own life (and even his rescued comrades were disgusted at his actions, if I recall correctly). The Anbu are particularly cold and efficient. Thus, Yashamaru's personal feelings should not be a factor once the Kazekage gives him a mission.

The Fandom page (https://naruto.fandom.com/wiki/Yashamaru) also states that Yashamaru was the right-hand man of the Fourth Kazekage, citing Naruto chapter 548, page 6 as the source for this (I have no particular reason to doubt this citations, just wanted to note I haven't personally checked this). To hold this position, one would assume that he never displayed disobedience to the Kazekage, and this would again be further evidence that he would follow his missions to the letter, no matter his personal feelings.

There is plenty of evidence that this ninja culture exists, such as in episode 18 of the original Naruto series, The Weapons Known as Shinobi, when Sakura gives us Rule 25 of the Ways of the Shinobi:

"A Shinobi must never show his true feelings under any circumstances, no matter what... The mission always comes first. A Ninja must have the strength of character never to shed any tears..."

Yashamaru may have had issues with the mission, and perhaps he did not want to carry it out, and it's possible he even thought it was a terrible plan, but the cultural values around him would push him towards the outcome we observed in the story.

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In my opinion, it was to protect Gaara. While Yashamaru is dying and explaining the origins of Gaara’s name he states that Gaara must love only himself and that is is the only way he will survive. I believe that Yashamaru foresaw that the assassination attempts would continue and that if Gaara didn't build an emotional wall between himself and the world he would never have survived and would have, in my opinion, become even more twisted than he was. But this is just my theory.

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