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himsa versus ahimsa

NAGARAVE_at_fin.gov.on.ca
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 13:51:00 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
 
I am writing in regards to an important issue that was brought up 
during the Question and Answer segment following Sri. S.M.S. Chari's 
telephone lecture, namely the apparent divergence between the 
practice of animal sacrifice and the principle of ahimsa.
 
All acts can be classified as either injurious or non-injurious.  If 
himsa is simply taken as acts causing injury, then there would be an 
apparent divergence between the practice of animal sacrifice and the 
principle of ahimsa.  However, if himsa is qualified by the word 
selfish, i.e., himsa is taken to be selfish acts causing injury, then 
the contradiction no longer exists, as injurious acts without selfish 
motives would be denoted ahimsa.
 
I was introduced to this way of looking at ahimsa by one of the 
members of a discussion group I take part in.  He informed that, the 
term ahimsa used in a mundane context (in a humanistic manner as in 
Buddhism) differs from the philosophical concept of ahmisa, and that 
recognizing this difference is the key to explaining away the 
apparent divergence between the practice of animal sacrifice and the 
principle of ahimsa.
 
I invite the respected members of this list to comment on the above.
 
ramanuja dasan,
Venkat


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