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Are the principles of ahimsa practical in real life?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Critical Singh, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Critical Singh

    Critical Singh
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    Is it practical nowadays to live by the Buddhist/Hindu concept called "ahimsa", which is a principle that teaches nonviolence towards ALL living things? In some cases, I would say no. Such cases are self-defense, war, offing some insects, killing weeds, putting terminally ill animals to sleep, euthanasia, and eating meat.
     
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  3. The lion king

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    well Guru Nanak never believed in ahimsa so ......no :D
     
  4. Critical Singh

    Critical Singh
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    What do you mean ?
     
  5. Arvind

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    I think, Ahimsa means no hurting to another consciously, emotionally or physically. But then, while walking on road, there might be so many insects, which I can see, others I cant see. I may try to walk so that I dont kill those, but then after some time, I just close my eyes, saying I cant help out looking at so many insects. From Saint-soldier, the soldier is not being ahimsavadi, that is to STAND UP for own right.

    I guess, life is all about survival. One kills another to keep this life cycle ON! Now my views about vegetarians are also undergoing change, if we consider plants as living ones, and seeds as something from which new life is to sprout out.
     
  6. CaramelChocolate

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    Anger is a form of violence, so non anger is a form of non-violence. To my knowledge Guru Nanak rejected strict Jain-like ahimsa.

    About vegetarianism - I am vegetarian because I do not want to promote, nor agree with the intentionally hurting or killing of any being. Plants do not have a nervous system, therefore cannot feel pain.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  7. Arvind

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    Dear CC,
    As per 'Plants do not have a nervous system, therefore cannot feel pain.', I was reading about experiments a few years ago, in which researchers proved that plants DO have feelings. They can very well feel what is going on. I am not that technical to point out if they have nervous system or not, though.
    I agree about non-strict Jain-like Ahimsa.
    Regards.
     
  8. Neutral Singh

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    Just off topic, I think you all must have heard about a plant called 'Touch Me Not'... it reacts to human touch as if it has gone dead and come back to life after sometime... What would you term this reaction to be like ?
     
  9. CaramelChocolate

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    Which plants in particular? I do know that vaishnavs will avoid onions, garlic and caffiene for certain reasons.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  10. Arvind

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    Result of the research was - All plants have feelings of pain and pleasure. It went to exntent which said that they respond differently with respect to stimuli like anger, hatred, music.

    However, I dont recall from which book or article I studied these experiements.
     
  11. Tejwant Singh

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    All organic matter is bubbling with life. Feeling is a part of that life. We may not perceive it but it is there.


    Peace & Love

    Tejwant
     
  12. Arvind

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    Generally, our perception level is not sensitive enough to perceive lot of things.

    Just off-topic, people at higher level could record what happened in old ages!!! what discussions took place!!! Kirlian photography can take pictures of something which we cant see with normal eyes!!! About visible spectrum, and audio ranges, we already are aware of what is within human limits!

    Yes, I think Ahimsa is practical in life. I mean - give a chance to other first, or may be give more chances. If still things are not in control, then resort to final way. Well, thats just the way I do, and I am still learning.
     
  13. Tejwant Singh

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    Ahimsa does not mean passiveness, it means self restraint with deep understanding of IK ONG KAAR. Only a proactive can cultivate that.

    What better examples of Ahimsa than sitting on a hot plate while hot sand being poured or waiting to be beheaded, or being buried alive or fighting for injustice till the last breath???

    Peace & Love

    Tejwant
     
  14. dpvtank

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    What I think the other member meant to say about vegetarianism is that the plants they do eat, such as an apple from an apple tree, it can grow back. Just like how we cut hair from our heads, it does grow back. Yes, plants do have feelings, but they also have a great way to grow things back quickly.

    Infact, the person who did discover that plants do have feeling was quite a while ago by a Bengali scientist in India.

    Now, about non-violence in today's life. Yes, it is very possible. Does one fight at every possible chance and try and show their manliness to everyone? Or is it even more manly to get away from a fight and be peacefull with the other side. Restraining your anger is a way to slowly get rid of anger altogether. We all know the effects that anger has throughout our body. Besides, it is a hindu fact [I will not call it belief, that is how strongly I believe in it], that non-violence leads to a greater connection with God.

    "Non-violence is the highest ethical code of behavior. Do not kill any living creature. Do not kill animals; not even for a sacrificial offering to a deity or to an ancestor. "
     
  15. dattaswami

    dattaswami
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    Q.) Even fish eats some creatures and so there is no sin if I eat the fish. Even plants have life. Tsunami killed even innocent children. Can you analyze these points?
    Ans) A goat is a pure vegetarian but you are eating that goat also. When you find a human being, who is a murderer, will you kill him directly or hand over him to the court? Assuming that the fish is also a murderer, you cannot kill it directly. God will punish it. In the case of the fish, you need not file a case against the fish in the court of the God, because there is no need of such filing in the case of God. Moreover you are raising your voice against the hanging of a murderer stating "If you cannot give life, you have no right to take it away". You are also pleading that hanging is the most barbaric deed and that several countries have banned it. Your statement applies to the fish also, which is a murderer of the creatures. Life is common in the human being as well as the fish. Both are living beings. If you don’t have right to take away the life of a human being, you have also no right to take the life of the fish also. The Dharma Shastras say that non-voilence is the highest justice (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). If you say that the fish kills the creatures for food and that there is no sin, there should not be sin if cornivorous hunters from forest enter the city and start eating the human beings. You should not object their food also, but you will kill them because your fellow human beings are killed. If you broaden your heart and see the fish as your fellow living being, you are practicing the highest form of justice, which pleases the Lord. You cannot compare the plants with animals and birds. Even in the case of plants, the green plants should not be cut. ​
    Plucking leaves and fruits is not killing. The crops are cut only when they die after loosing the sign of the life, which is the Green Chlorophil. In plants life exists but mind and intelligence do not exist. ​
    Life is called as Pranamaya Kosa. Mind is Manomaya Kosa. Intelligence is Vijnanamaya Kosa. The life is only inert mechanism of exchange process of Oxygen and Carbondioxide and release of energy by oxidation. This mechanism has no awareness of the pain. The mind is represented by the nervous system, which is not present in the plants. The mind may be in very very primitive stage in plants as per the research of Mr.Bose. The ancient Indian sages avoided even plucking the leaves and fruits. They ate leaves and fruits when they have fallen from the plants (Swayam Viseerna Dhruva Patra Vruttita). They avoided this trace of sin also. In plucking the leaf and killing an animal, the sin is qualitatively equal, but there is a lot of quantitative difference. One percent sin and hundred percent sin cannot be equated. Your argument concludes that if one does one percent sin, why not hundred percent sin be done? This equates to your statement that if one plucks a leaf why not we kill an animal. Are you pained equally if I steal one rupee or one lakh rupees from your pocket. The trace of sin can always be neglected. The Lord came as Bhuddha and preached this non-voilence. Veda also says that one should kill his animal nature in the sacrifice and not the animal (Manyuh Pasuh). ​
    As you think, children are not innocent. The child of a demon has the devil characteristics in the form of seeds. The soul in a child has just entered the earth after a long punishment in the hell. The strength of the sinful attitude (Samskara) is very much reduced but did not vanish completely. A thief when released from a police station after a long torture has the attitude of stealing in very much reduced state. The attitude did not disappear. When he comes out and enters a suitable encouraging atmosphere, this seed grows as a tree and he is caught by the police again for his theft. Similarly when the child grows, again the grown up person does the same sin and at the end goes to the hell. This is the cycle of deeds (Karma Chakra). When a child is taken away by God, it is something like arresting the thief immediately after his release. This prevents the thief to steal again. He must be considered lucky. ​
    The child may get a better birth. The angle of sympathy comes since you are not aware of the soul in the body of the child. The body is like a shirt and the death is only destruction of the shirt. Gita emphasizes about this aspect in the beginning itself. The plans of the Lord are not known to us. He may give a better shirt in a better place and protect the soul. We see a brief part of the film and conclude. ​
    Only complete and thorough spiritual knowledge can remove all the doubts. ​
    By: Anil Anthony
     
  16. Amarpal

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    Dear Khalsa Ji,

    What you take from nature for your natural needs viz to survive from plant kingdom or animal kingdom is not himsa. If it take more than what I need, the extra will come under himsa. If I load my plate with foodstuff, which I am unable to eat, this wastage in himsa. Killing animals for pleasure (hunting) is himsa.

    The intent behind your taking something from nature should not be based on extra gratification of senses then it is not himsa.

    Ahimsa is not a static concept. Injuring someone for selfish purpose is himsa, but surgical operation to save someones life is not himsa. Killing someone to defend onself is not himsa. The same act can be himsa or ahimsa; it all depends on the context and intent behind the act.

    With love and respect for all

    Amarpal Singh
     
  17. 21khalsa13

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    sat shri akal

    firstly i'd like to say that in nature no animals is vegitarian. so that lays a foundation.
    when they eat plants etc.. no wash off insects bacteria etc..

    secondly i think at this moment in time with all your great research etc.. on thoughts emotions, and life direction. ahimsa is more about thought

    no destructive thoughts for yourself or others

    this way the fabric of our life becomes progressive rather than destructive as is now the case

    also i have read several articles that ghandhi's original thought on ahimsa
    actually came from guru nank devs teachings.

    so i feel this needs further research
     
  18. dattaswami

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    DIVINE DISCOURSE BY SWAMI
    Q) You say that fish etc., should not be eaten. Then, what is the purpose of creating this fish etc., by God?

    Ans.) Suppose I say that the purpose of creating the man is also to supply the food to tigers, lions, man-eating hunters in the forests, etc., how do you feel? Why don’t you allow tigers and lions to freely come to villages and towns and have their food? A soul is being punished through these births of fish etc., A bird, fish,etc., does not store any thing for future. Thus the soul is in the training of decreasing its selfish behaviour. A sinner who amasses the wealth of others and goes on storing for selfish purpose is born as fish etc., By leading a life of a fish, which does not store even food for tomorrow, the soul is learning the self-less attitude. Punishment is only meant for change. Thus the births of fish etc., is for a particular purpose of its soul in the spiritual path. God is the teaher who punishes all these souls, which are His students. If you view God in this angle, you will understand God as the kindest teacher. A sinner who stores the wealth and does not donate to others, gets the birth of a plant or tree. The plant or tree stores the excess earned food in the form of fruits and is forcibly made to donate these fruits to the living beings. Thus a soul in a tree is forced to learn sacrifice, which is the most essential part of the spiritual effort. Thus God is leading all the souls towards the highest spiritual goal. If you understand this real purpose, you will not dream of eating those living beings. Will you kill your classmate who is learning? This whole world is a single classroom with the single teacher who is ‘Guru Datta’, meaning the Lord given to this world in the form of a teacher. Even in the green plant a soul exists and therefore should not be cut. From this point of view, the Lord came in the human forms like Bhuddha and Mahavir Jain and preached the non-voilence as the highest duty of a human being. The Hindu Dharma Sashtra (Manu Smrithi) clearly condemns such killing (‘Ahimsa Paramodharmah’).

    Anil Antony
    antonyanil@universal-spirituality.org
     
  19. drkhalsa

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    Dear dattaswami

    I dont know who has written this but it seems loosely written which make less of a sense to my small brain at one side you say he punishes you by sending you in anomal and lower living creature forms ( which means out of 84 lakh form in which god send soul he is punishinh soul and leaving behind form of man ) so basically god in your sense is a sadiest which is punishing all souls in cycle of karma which has 84 lakh form all being punished so he likes punishing basically but again in the next sentence yo say god in this way is kind teacher which is really difficult to undersytand at least by me . I would be graetful if you could give some explanation in this regard
     
  20. dattaswami

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    You say that fish etc., should not be eaten. Then, what is the purpose of creating this fish etc., by God?

    Ans.) Suppose I say that the purpose of creating the man is also to supply the food to tigers, lions, man-eating hunters in the forests, etc., how do you feel? Why don’t you allow tigers and lions to freely come to villages and towns and have their food? A soul is being punished through these births of fish etc., A bird, fish,etc., does not store any thing for future. Thus the soul is in the training of decreasing its selfish behaviour. A sinner who amasses the wealth of others and goes on storing for selfish purpose is born as fish etc., By leading a life of a fish, which does not store even food for tomorrow, the soul is learning the self-less attitude. Punishment is only meant for change. Thus the births of fish etc., is for a particular purpose of its soul in the spiritual path. God is the teaher who punishes all these souls, which are His students. If you view God in this angle, you will understand God as the kindest teacher. A sinner who stores the wealth and does not donate to others, gets the birth of a plant or tree. The plant or tree stores the excess earned food in the form of fruits and is forcibly made to donate these fruits to the living beings. Thus a soul in a tree is forced to learn sacrifice, which is the most essential part of the spiritual effort. Thus God is leading all the souls towards the highest spiritual goal. If you understand this real purpose, you will not dream of eating those living beings. Will you kill your classmate who is learning? This whole world is a single classroom with the single teacher who is ‘Guru Datta’, meaning the Lord given to this world in the form of a teacher. Even in the green plant a soul exists and therefore should not be cut. From this point of view, the Lord came in the human forms like Bhuddha and Mahavir Jain and preached the non-voilence as the highest duty of a human being. The Hindu Dharma Sashtra (Manu Smrithi) clearly condemns such killing (‘Ahimsa Paramodharmah’).

    surya@universal-spirituality.org
     

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