Hindu Views Towards Violence

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  • Created by: g3orgie
  • Created on: 02-02-16 19:59



The Laws of Manu set out groups of people that should not be killed in battle.

These include:

  • The sick
  • The innocent
  • Women
  • Children
  • Surrendered people
  • Sleeping people

In modern war it is hard to stick to the Laws of Manu in avoiding killing innocent people as as the use of bombs is becoming more common. this causes unintended casualties.

Hindus pro war might also say Bhakti (loving kindness) requires them to fight in order to defend people.

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In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is driving Arjuna into battle against his cousins but he does not want to fight.

Krishna gives him three reasons to fight:

  • Arjuna is a Kshatriya varna (warrior cast) and therefore it is his duty to fight. By not fighting he would get bad karma and thereforenot be able to exit the Cycle of Samsara.
  • Even if he kills his cousins, their Atmans  (souls) will be reborn.
  • Krishna is a god and so obeying him gets Arjuna good karma helping him to get to Moksha.
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Karma - some hindus believe you get bad karma for fighting.

Atman - Must avoid killing people who’s Atmans are mad of Brahman (God)

Satyagraha -This means the force of argument. Gandhi used this instead of war.

Samsara- We may be stuck in the circle of reincarnation if we kill in war.

Ahimsa- This means no harming. we must not hurt people or animals.


Gandhi used non violent methods to get justice.

  • Satyagraha - This was used to persuade the British to leave India.
  • Fasting - Gandhi did not eat until the Muslims and Hindus had stopped fighting.
  • Ahimsa - Gandhi’s followers would not fight and so when they were physically beaten when they came to protest about gandhi’s arrest, this showed the world they were in the right.
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