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ahimsA as a first principle -- still valid?

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Wed Aug 30 2000 - 14:24:03 PDT

Dear Members,

As has been often mentioned on the list, kindness to all
creatures is one of the first principles of being a Vaishnava.
It is required as part of two of the angas of saranaagati.
As part of the greater Hindu community, we Vaishnavas pride 
ourselves as having a history of practicing ahimsA in its 
positive and negative aspects.

Unfortunately, this greatest of values seems to be in
utter decay today. I ask all members to read the following
article, which demonstrates the utter depravity to which
our society has fallen:

http://www.indiacurrents.com/200006/animalRights.htm

I ask further, can we do anything about this? Can each one of
us make an effort, and set an example for others to follow?
It seems to me that otherwise, we are all guilty. Even if 
we are not the one's yielding the knife, we are as guilty
if we partake of the spoils, or even if we sit back and 
ignore the problem.

It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam that the killer of cows 
is the only one who fails to truly appreciate the story
of Sri Krishna:

  ( ka uttam-Sloka-guNAnuvAdAt pumAn virajyeta vinA paSughnAt, 10.1.4 )

rAmAnuja dAsan
Mani

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