Hinduism and Peace - Plymouth State University

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Hinduism and Peace
God has made different religions to suit different aspirations, times and
countries...one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with
wholehearted devotion - Ramakrishna, a Hindu mystic
Leo R. Sandy
Hinduism and Peace
 Hinduism is amongst the oldest of the world religions, is
specifically an Indian religion practiced by the majority of people
in India. There are many who question whether Hinduism is a
religion or a philosophy of life. “Hinduism lacks any unified
system of beliefs and ideas. It is a phenomenon and represents
a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices which on one hand
are akin to paganism, pantheism and the like, and on the other
very profound, abstract, metaphysical ideas” (The main tenets of
 The term for the beliefs and practices of the majority of people of
India is ‘Hindu Dharma’. There is no exact equivalent to
‘dharma’, which in essence means righteous path in
consonance with Universal order
Hinduism cont’d
 The occidental term ‘Hinduism’ encapsulates the rich and
diverse array of beliefs and practices that have grown from a
common root of the Vedas, which developed about the mid-2nd
millennium BCE
 Hindusm came about from the Vedic religion of ancient India.
The major branches of Hinduism include Vaishnavism and
Shaivism, each of which includes many different sects
 There is no central authority, or church-like organization that
holds Hinduism together. It has a continuous tradition of spiritual
adepts and teachers - Gurus who teach dharma
 Hinduism is synonymous with nonviolence. In Gandhi’s
nonviolent movement, Hinduism moved more toward a strict or
ascetic interpretation of nonviolence
 Any violence against people, animals, and even plants is
eschewed. There is a strongly held belief that “all violence is
rooted in ignorance (avidya) and all nonviolence in knowledge”
(Gordon & Grob, 1978, p. 141).
 A basic tenet of Hinduism is a reverence for life. “Killing animals
for pleasure and profit, destroying rivers and forests, and
polluting the atmosphere and the interior of the earth are harmful
to living beings and will eventually result in the destruction of
humankind itself” (Gordon and Grob, 1978, p. 144.
Hinduism and Peace
 Hinduism also stresses such ideals as truthfulness, celibacy,
friendship, compassion, fortitude, self-control, purity, cleanliness,
contentment, prayers, austerity, perseverance, penance, pious
company, and generosity (Das).
 That the majority of devout Hindus live in peace is ample
testimony to the relationship between Hinduism and peace
 Peace and Social Justice Groups:
Gayatri Pariwar USA: http://www.thoughtpower.org/
International Gita Society: http://www.thoughtpower.org/
 A spiritually illumined soul lives in the world, yet is never contaminated by It /
Swami Bhaskarananda
 If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after
truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call
himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth... Hinduism is the
religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth
we have not known ― Mahatma Gandhi
 If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real
war against war, we shall have to begin with the children – Mahatma Gandhi
 Peace Chant
Peace be to the East! Peace be to the West!
Peace be to the North! Peace be to the South!
Peace be above! Peace be below!
Peace be to all creatures of this universe!
Peace be everywhere - Sri Swami Sivananda
 Indian Spiritual Guru: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Gordon, H., & Grob, L. (1987), Education for peace.
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis
Indian Spiritual Guru: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
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