Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Hiṃsā

  • Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_537-1

Introduction

In Hinduism, himsa “violence” is condemned as well as it is promoted. The teachings that promote violence are contained in the doctrine of moral duty. Hindus believe that using violence for self-defense is a righteous thing [2]. In Rig Veda, a hymn says, may you drive away your attackers with your strong weapons; may you defeat your enemy and may your army subdue the evildoer (1-39:2). Krishna, in the Bhagawad Gita, says, Paritranaya sadhunang vinashay cha dushkritam… for the protection of the good and for the destruction of evildoers, I am born from one age to another. In Hinduism, the word himsahas a deeper meaning than the general sense: it is not simply a means to hurt and injure others, but something that causes disturbance within oneself is also violence. Thus, both the physical and mental actions using force to abuse or injure fall under the purview of violence. The willful inaction is also considered violence when it is very much required to protect the self or...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Languages & LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia