Showing posts with label Ahimsa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ahimsa. Show all posts

Hinduism - ABORTION


Abortion is certainly on the rise in India, which is owing to the country's specific social and cultural issues.

Traditional viewpoints hold this practice in high regard, yet there are occasions when it may be justified, such as when the mother's life is at jeopardy, as with all things when seen through the lens of dharma.

With the principles of compassion, karma, and ahim, the fundamental hegemonic tenet driving the condemnation is that every life is sacrosanct. sa (ahimsa: nonviolence) came in second place.

Life is seen to begin at conception, and any attempt to hinder the development of the fetus, a potential child, is considered murder.

Ancient writings, written in a society that valued big families, are passionately opposed to abortion, depicting retribution and eternal consequences for mothers who terminate their unborn children.

The jiva (soul) has lessons to learn and teach others karmically.

It is consequently improper to obstruct a child's karmic advancement, even if the youngster is handicapped.

Humans have no right to steal someone else's life for their own convenience after it has been entrusted to them during conception.

The important Socio-Scientific fact remains, 

Determining the critical moment when:

1. The child is considered to cease to exist as co-dependent inside the Mother and 

2. It exists as an individual with its own Human rights, and without impacting the health, well being and well fare of the Mother, given her own existential and socio-economic circumstances.

If a couple engages in sexual activity with the main goal of reproduction and fertilization, it is their moral obligation to accept responsibility for their acts and the life they have now produced.

Thus, it may be claimed that only sexual interaction between husband and wife is dharmic in this aspect.

In India, population control entails abstinence (unless children are planned), abortion, or contraception.

The first is the answer advocated by some, however it is very utopian.

Many people would find abortion for unintended pregnancies unacceptable.

Abortion is often practiced illegally as female feticide once the gender of the unborn child has been identified via ultra sound scans.

Thus, contraception, despite some opposition, would be the practical solution, at least in the form of a barrier or the rhythm method rather than emergency contraception as a type of abortion.

With the advancement of medical science, many Indians may now determine the gender of their unborn child and choose whether to retain it if it is a boy or terminate it if it is a girl.

Those in poverty who are unable to do so murder the infant girl as soon as she is born.

While all of this may seem unacceptable to Westerners, the parents frequently face 'dharma dilemmas,' in which they argue that allowing their daughter to die is preferable to allowing her to live a life of misery in a society where dowry demands exist and where boys, not girls, are often seen as the breadwinners.

As a result, some families see daughters as a financial burden who cause issues for everyone, including themselves.

Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

See also: 

Ahimsa; Celibacy; Contraception; Dharma; Dowry; Feticide; Infanticide; Jıva; Karma; Samskaras

References And Further Reading:

Coward, Harold G., Julius J. Lipner and Katherine K. Young. 1991. Hindu Ethics. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.

Crawford, S. Cromwell. 2003. Hindu Bioethics for the Twenty-First Century. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Jackson, Robert and Dermot Killingly. 1991. Moral Issues in the Hindu Tradition. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books Limited.

Menski, Werner. 2001. ‘Hinduism’. In Peggy Morgan and Clive Lawton, eds, Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1–54.

Hinduism - What Is Yamaha?


Yamaha ("restraint") is the first and most fundamental of the eight component aspects of ashtanga ("eight-part") yoga, which was defined by Patanjali (1st century C.E.?) :

  • Refraining from harming other living things (ahimsa), 
  • abstaining from stealing, 
  • honesty, 
  • celibacy (brahmacharya), 
  • and abstaining from avarice are five of them.

These are all "restraints" because their intent is negative—they don't call for positive actions as much as they call for avoiding certain thoughts or actions that are deemed particularly harmful.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Ahimsa?

Ahimsa. literally means “harmlessness”. Ahimsa refers to the deliberate decision to avoid hurting other living creatures, either directly or indirectly. 

  • The Jains put a strong focus on ahimsa, believing that all activities have karmic repercussions, but that the karmic consequences of deliberate evil acts are much more severe than those of accidental bad deeds. 
  • Ahimsa was introduced deeper into Indian culture by the Jain and Buddhist commitments to it, and it has been an essential element of Hindu practice for well over two thousand years. 
  • Patanjali cites ahimsa as one of the yamas (restraints) in the Yoga Sutras, and therefore advocates it as one of the fundamental foundations for religious life. 

Animal sacrifice, which was one of the most significant kinds of religious ritual as recorded in the Vedas, the earliest Hindu texts, is said to have declined as a result of this dedication to ahimsa. 

Ahimsa was one of the guiding concepts of Mohandas Gandhi throughout the fight for Indian independence in the twentieth century. 

Gandhi's dedication to ahimsa mirrored his belief that means and goals are karmically connected, and that the methods one uses would define both the nature and tone of one's ends. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.