(a)(i) Describe Hindu belief in respect for all living creatures.
Hindu’s belief in respecting all living creatures is due to many reasons, including the presence of Brahman, the close connection between humans and animals and the most basic principles of satya and ahimsa. Firstly, Hindus believe that God created the whole universe and that all creation whether it be oceans, mountains, human beings, animals or plants it is all part of the Universal Spirit (Brahman) and therefore deserves respect and reverence. They also believe that all living things and inanimate matter is an expression of God. The Bhagavad Gita says that ‘Brahman sees himself in the heart of all beings’. Hindus believe that living beings are different forms of God, so they should respect all beings, whether they are rich or poor, animal or human. The hymn to Purusha says that ‘Purusha is the whole universe … he spreads into living beings and inanimate matter’ Hindus regard the whole universe as a manifestation of God. Another reason that Hindus believe in respect for all living things, is because they believe all living things are connected to and dependant on each other. This is mainly due to their belief in rebirth and samsara, The Bhagavad Gita states that a wise sage who has realised truth can really see this interconnectedness & also that Brahman sees himself in the heart of all beings. A Sanskrit text says that the householder should share his food with all living beings ‘for what difference is there between his sons and them?’ Hindus recognise God as being present in all things. So God is present in animals as well as human and there is no clear difference between them. In some Hindu stories Ganesha, Hanuman, Nandi all have a major part to play and there are many others. Also Vishnu came to earth in the form of different animals. So there is a strong link between the human and the animal world. The theory of evolution supports this idea as humans ‘did not appear fully formed to...
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