Describe Hindu belief in respect for all living creatures.

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Shaan Bhatnagar        R.S        Course Work

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Describe Hindu belief in respect for all living creatures.

In the Hindu scripts, Hindus strongly believe that all living forms should be respected they also believe in the sacredness of all life, whether in animal, plant or human kind.  The reasons for these beliefs are that Hindus believe that Brahman, the universal spirit is present everywhere in the universe, therefore it is considered to be highly respected. The Upanishads contain these teachings,

“His being is the source of all beings, the seed of all things are in this life have their life.  He is God hidden in all beings, their inmost soul.  He lives in all things and watches all things.” This is taken from the Svetasvatara Upanishad teaching respect for all life.  

According to Hindus, both living and non-living objects, (eg - mountains), was put there for a reason, by God.  They also believe that all human beings need one and other to live, and it is all a chain. In the Bhagavad Gita it quotes,

“Thus joy supreme comes to the yogi whose heart is still, whose passions are peace, who is pure from sin, who is one with Brahman with God…He who sees the oneness of love, loves me in whatever he sees.  Wherever this man may live, in truth this man lives in me.”

Since Hindus believe in samsara (the cycle of life and death), they believe that in some way, everyone is related to one another.  

Hindus believe that Brahman is present in the soul (Atman).  Hindus say that your soul never dies, but your body does as it just a cover for the soul.   Hindus believe in reincarnation, which is the re birth of your atman but in a different form or shape.  The atman within ones self is explained in many different ways in the Upanishads. The Chandogya Upanishad 6:3-18, explains the link between Atman and Brahmin.

Svetaketu’s father requested of him to bring him a fig.  Svetaketu obeyed his father and brought him a fig.  He was told to cut it open and to tell his father what he could see.  Svetaketu replied saying he could seethe tiny fig seeds.  So the father asked him to cut one of the fig seeds in half and tell him what he could see.  Svetaketu did as he was told but after close-examination he claimed that he could see nothing.  His father said, ‘My son, you are not able to perceive the very essence from which the fig tree grows.  That essence is reality.  This whole universe has sprung from it.  That essence is atman and you Svetaketu, are also that essence.’  

This explains that even thought you cannot see Atman, but it is still present.  Non dualist believe each atman goes through a series of lives until it’s liberated from the cycle of death and re birth. Maya is an illusion, some thing that does not exist and yet mysteriously makes it presence. Another story that tells us about the salt being dissolved in water, and eventually you can’t see it. This is like the atman and Brahmin, as you can’t see them, but they are right in front of you, but you can’t see them because you want to understand the essence of life and death. Karma are the good deeds you do in through out your life, which determine whether or not you achieve moksha, and set your atman free to become one with Brahmin. The individual atman is the same as the atman within the universe itself.

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Analyse and explain the role of non-violence in the life of M K Gandhi.

Mohandas Gandhi was one of the most famous leaders of the first non-violent movement who opposed the British rule in India during the twentieth century. Gandhi based his life on the Hindu principle of ahimsa. Gandhi came from a very religious family. Whenever a religious person visited the home, they were invited to stay the ...

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