'The principle of ahimsa is Hinduism's greatest gift to the world.' Many people, especially Hindus agree with the statement that the key principle of ahimsa in

Authors Avatar

(b) Evaluation – ‘The principle of ahimsa is Hinduism’s greatest gift to the world.’

Many people, especially Hindus agree with the statement that the key principle of ahimsa in Hinduism is the greatest gift that the religion has to offer to the rest of the world.

 Ahimsa translates as ‘non-violence’ or ‘non-injury’ and is quite an ancient theory as it is described in the Vedas. These four holy books contain a teaching reading “Do not kill any living being”. Hindu teaching illustrates that all living things contain Brahman and they all also have an atman. So if a violent action is done by a Hindu on a living creature then he is also harming the atman containing Brahman leading to him gaining bad karma. Ahimsa also plays a key role in Hindu ethics whereby decisions about fighting wars, abortion, contraception and euthanasia are accounted for by the teaching and many Hindus are vegetarian because of their belief in ahimsa. Hindus also use this principle in the protection of cows because of non –violence as well as heir sacredness and economic value. The concept of ahimsa is taken to its extremes in Jainism. Jains choose their occupation on the principle of ahimsa and are strictly vegetarian because of it. Also, Jain monks are very ascetic so they wear facemasks to try to not kill airborne organisms such as bacteria. Gandhi also used this principle to gain independence for India from the British as he used non-violent protest and the theory of no retaliation as positive love for everybody and to persuade the British to give India back to the Indians. He was so dedicated this view that when some protesters did resort to violence, he fasted to a point where he was nearly dead. Therefore he believed that the principle of ahimsa was the only way the world could move forwards.

Join now!

The principle of Ahimsa has been very influential to some of the world’s most famous campaigners against different issues around the world. This is due mostly to the profound inspiration Gandhi was to them through this theory.

Gandhi’s teaching of ahimsa inspired Martin Luther King. In fact, he was so inspired that he had a large picture of Gandhi in his office during the civil rights campaigns. King was an important leader in the civil rights movement in the 1950’ and 1960’s as a black American living in the United States of America. He was also a Baptist minister. He ...

This is a preview of the whole essay