Ahimsa (Non-violence) in the Indian Ethos

Journal of Human Values 8 (1):17-25 (2002)
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In a world fraught with violence in its macabre form, it is essential to have a broad and clear understanding of the principle of non-violence (ahimsa), its various nuances, its potential and limitations. Covering a span of wisdom literature on the Indian ethos from the times of the Upanishads to the works of modern seers like Gandhi, Tagore and Aurobindo, the author presents the notions of non-violence and violence along a finely graduated scale instead of going into sharp polarities. While making a clear distinction between gross physical violence and the subtle play of violence in words, thoughts and ideas, the paper goes on to offer a critique of modern technology and nuclear proliferation for perpetrating violence on nature and fellow human beings in the name of progress and development. While expressing his admiration for the Gandhian principle of non-violence, the author advocates practical idealism that admits violence with caution but without hatred for the purpose of general welfare (lokasamgraha), along the lines of the messages of Krishna in the Gita. This is of practical necessity till such time as the world has been awakened to a heightened level of spiritual consciousness.



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An Introduction to Slow Money and its Gandhian Roots.Arvind Ashta - 2014 - Journal of Human Values 20 (2):209-225.

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