Ahimsa: Obligation of Homo Sapiens Sapiens

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AHIMSA: OBLIGATION OF HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS

A Term Paper Presented to Religious Education, Philosophy

And Peace Education and Development

College of Arts and Sciences

Notre Dame University

In partial fulfilment of requirements for the

Oriental and Chinese Philosophy

JOHN LUKE SORIENTE PADILLA

PART I

Introduction

In the regeneration and divinization of man, the first step is to eliminate his beastly nature. The predominant in beast is cruelty, cruelty resulting to injury or inflicting harm to other human beings, animals, plants, and even non-living things. Thus it creates conflicts, misunderstanding, and chaos among creations of God or the creator. Therefore, wise sages prescribe Ahimsa. Ahimsa or non-injury, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-injury is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness. Ahimsa is Sakti. Ahimsa is true strength. Practice of ahimsa develops love, kindness, and compassion. Ahimsa is another name for truth or love. It is universal love. Where there is love, kindness, and compassion there is ahimsa. Where there is ahimsa, there you will find love and selfless service. They all go together. Ahimsa has been the central doctrine of Indian culture from the earliest days of its history.

All aspects of human life and that of the universe are essentially moral and have values and with that, ahimsa could be a tool to help maintain morality, values, and virtues. Henceforth ahimsa must be acknowledged as an obligation to human beings or Homo Sapiens Sapiens especially the stronger ones or the upperclassmen also called as the nobility.

This research paper study endeavours to explain and give light to the occurrence of ahimsa, delimited in the philosophical point viewpoint. This paper will revolve the human beings’ perspective about ahimsa and their fellow human beings and other creations of God or the creator. Thus, this paper seeks to answer the following questions: (1) What is ahimsa? (2) What are the different perspectives and implications of ahimsa to Hinduism and Christianity? (3) Must ahimsa be recognized as an obligation prior to human beings especially the stronger and upper one? And these would be answered through library researches in the Notre Dame University Library and De Mazenod Community Library, and the use of electronic sources.

PART II

A. Ahimsa

Hindu wisdom, which inspires humans to live the ideals of compassion and nonviolence, is captured in one word, ahimsa. In Sanskrit himsa is doing harm or causing injury. The "a" placed before the word negates it. Very simply, ahimsa is abstaining from causing harm or injury. It is gentleness and noninjury, whether physical, mental or emotional. It is good to know that nonviolence speaks only to the most extreme forms of forceful wrongdoing, while ahimsa goes much deeper to prohibit even the subtle abuse and the simple hurt.

Ahimsa, loosely translated, means abstinence from violence either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. In a positive sense, it implies compassion and cosmic love. (Subramuniyaswami, 2007)

It means that being non-violent manifest a positive sense and produce compassion, love, and kindness whenever ahimsa is manifested. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. The Vedantic scriptures define ahimsa as the true sacrifice, forgiveness, power, and strength. At its core, ahimsa is based on the intentions of a person whose focus is to not harm anyone. Ahimsa or...
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