Re: [SriRangaSri] "To kill or not to kill" - "Ahimsa ParamO Dharma:" -
- I see in my mail box that this message was undeleivarable. So I am posting again. I agree with sriman Anbil swamy on 'Ahimsa paramo dharmaha' & my write up below - in line with sri sampradayam says clearly that it is 'bhagavannama sankeerthanam' thats important. Greatest yagnyam is bhaagavatha kainkaryam - pashumedhams dont match it. Serving own parents gives all that one can achieve through yagnyas.
I agree with your vivid explanation about our scriptures. There had been somayagis even in the kaliyuga till very recently too. I heard about the yagnya performed by navalpakkam swamy and he performed shraddha to the sacrificial goat till his end. Please also add to your text that now is not the yuga for indulging in sacrifices like that which need hard niyamas & are difficult to follow.
Vedic sampradayam is actually an evolution or more precisely a process of discovery by many sages. They first discovered that yagnyas give what they wanted (ishtakaamyam). Later they realised 'yagnya phalam' is not the ultimate goal ....& so on.
In the verse "Yah poorvyaya vedhase naviyase ..... garbhagum havishaa piparthana, aasya janantho namachidvivakthana" it is equivalent to performing yagnya by simply doing namasankeerthana of lord. In aswamedham also it is clearly said many times "ya uchainam evam veda" means one who knows this & recites also get the phalam. In fact doing "Brahmayagnyam" daily yields similar benefits. So no need to perform any sacrifice having to take the life of any animal. It amounts to 'jeeva himsa' if some 'lopa' occurs in doing any yagya. Swamy Deshikan clearly says in Dayashathakam that committing sins (yagnya with lopa inclusive) and doing prayaschittam for all ('anubhavithum aghogham...prashamayithum ashesham nishkriyabhihi na shakyam....') is impossible as in the prayaschittam process new sins could be committed.
So although eminent swamies performed yagya in days of yore, such need not be practised now. Lets live with 'Kalau keshava keerthanath' in a committed way.
Sajjana Pada padma paramanuhu
Lakshmi Narasimhan dasan
Ram Anbil <Ramanbil@...> wrote:AHIMSA PARAMO DHARMAH
Excerpts from Chapter 13 of "HInduism Rediscovered"
Non Violence Is the Supreme Virtue' Says Hinduism.
Seeing God in every living being, Hinduism inculcates a veneration for every
thing - Cows, ants etc. Even rivers are considered to be living beings,
hence venerated as also trees as vouched in the Sastras and expounded
scientifically by the great Indian Scientist J.C.BOSE. This reverence is
expressed in forms of 'Ahimsa' or nonviolence to animals as well as humans
and as a result most pious Hindus are vegetarian. The word 'Ahimsa' is
derived from the root "Han" to kill. or 'To damage'. By adding the negative
prefix it means not to kill.
There are 4 aspects of this negative connotation.
3. Pacifism and
4. Passive resistance
On the positive aspect it means compassion (i.e) Actual assistance to all
living creatures who are in need. Karuna (Intelligent charity) Maitri
(Active good deed) and Daya (Tender sympathy) are its other positive
A doubt can arise whether the principle of 'Ahimsa' so loudly proclaimed is
not inconsistent with the sacrifiice of goats, horses etc referred to in the
Vedas. No doubt, the Vedas did prescribe some animal sacrifices; it even
spoke of 'Purushamedha' a human sacrifice. But, the concept should be viewed
in the context in which they were so prescribed.
The Upanishads which came subsequently to analyze and explain the Vedic
texts lost no time in clarifying that these sacrifices were more symbolic
and allegorical than referring to the actual sacrifice of the animals or
human and that the effects of these sacrifices could be secured by
substitute materials like Gritha (Ghee), Masha (Black gram) and certain
other leafy vegetables.
Even today, it may be observed that in the shradda ceremonies, Ghee, Rice,
Black gram and Thila (sesame seeds) are used, may be as substitutes for the
sacrifice of living beings. This view has been upheld in subsequent
recensions and sacrifice of living beings is prohibited by Dharma as also by
A further question can be asked whether vegetariniasm is not also "himsa" in
the sense that it has been proved that plants have life? It has further been
proved that in the case of plants, lifeline runs in the trunks in some
cases, roots in others and seeds in others and that is why Sastras have
prohibited cutting the plants at their respective lifelines - and this has
been confirmed by modern science. Modern Science concurs with Sastras in the
view that those parts where the lifelines do not run, no harm is caused when
those parts are cut. These parts correspond to say hairs on our head or the
nails on our fingers or toes which when cut or clipped do not entail any
The cow is an expression of brotherhood between man and beast, of man's
'identity with all that lives'.
The cow is referred to as "Gomatha" and is treated with the same respect as
one would treat one's own mother. Modern scholars are convinced that "Milk
and dung from cows contribute far more to Indian society than what
butchering the scrawny beasts would accomplish"6
Mahaabhaarata states clearly that killing of a cow was the worst of all
crimes. "All that kill, eat and permit the killing of cows rot in hell for
as many years as there are hairs on the body of the cow so slain" 7
The 'Panchagavya' or the five products from the cow Viz., milk, curd, ghee,
dung and urine are deemed the most sacred amalgm that can purify any
In fact, 'Ahimsa' is called the first of flowers:'Ahimsa Prathamam Pushpam'
- Hinduism holds everything is but a spark of the same divinity and
therefore no harm should be done to anything that is living.
Lord Krishna declares
"The wise see alike in regard to one well endowed with learning and
humility, a Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog - eater (because
they know that though different outwardly in form, they have similar souls"
Like Truth, 'Ahimsa' cannot be an 'absolute' one. Supposing somebody tries
to rape a woman. Hinduism does not say that she should not offer any
resistance. Even Mahatma Gandhi; the greatest protagonist of Nonviolence
advised the woman to use all in her power and command not only to resist but
go to the extent of killing the criminal, if she finds it necessary and goes
on to say that such an act on her part will not constitute violence, since
it is done in pure self defence of her honor.
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