Re: Real Hindu View of Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

In article <310t43$j3m@ucunix.san.uc.edu> Mani Varadarajan 
<mani@srirangam.esd.sgi.com> wrote:

: In article <30n225$a9q@ucunix.san.uc.edu> Jaldhar Vyas <jvyas@ritz.mordor.com> writes:
: > His views are more like those of Jainism.  In fact it is probable that 
: > his views of Ahimsa came, not from Christianity, but from a 19th century 
: > Jain author called Raichand (Rajachandra) Mehta whose writings were 
: > popular in Gujarat.

: While Gandhi himself says that as a child he was influenced by people
: of many religions, I think the primary source for his Ahimsa is his
: Vaishnavism. 

True Gandhi was born in the Pushti Marg (The Vaishnava sect founded by 
Vallabha and his son Vitthalnath)  But he wasn't much of a believer.

: A perusal of his autobiography should make this clear.

"Being born in the Vaishnava faith, I had often to go to the Haveli. 
[Pushti Margi mandir]  But it never appealed to me.  I did not like its 
glitter and pomp.  Also I heard rumors of immorality being practised 
there, and lost all interest in it.  Hence I could gain nothing from the 
Haveli." [My experiments With Truth, ch. 10:  Glimpses of Religion]

The name Pushti Marg means the path of prosperity.  They address Krshna 
not as Bhagavan but Thakurji (lord, the title for a large landowner.)  
Hence their main mandirs are called Havelis (mansions.)  Pushti Margis 
like to have a rollicking good time with their religion which has annoyed the 
prudes since day 1. 

: His reading of the Bible and his understanding of Jainism only increased
: his belief in Ahimsa.  

In Gujarat, Vaishnav and Jain Vanias intermarry as long as they are of 
the same caste.  So there was probably a lot of Jain influence in the 
family from day 1.  Gandhi's contacts with Christianity came much later 
on and were wholly negative.  As he describes it, the Christians were 
busy trying to get Hindus to eat meat and and drink liquor.    

: We should remember that Narsinh Mehta's 'Vaishnava Janato' was one
: of Gandhi's favorite songs.

Hey it's one of mine too.  The mandir I regularly attend has a Vaishnava 
focus.  I regularly read the Bhagavat.  And I use the standard Gujarati 
greeting, Jai Shri Krshna.  Yet I am no more a Vaishnava--in the 
ideological sense--than Gandhi was.  The worship of Krshna Bhagavan is 
just a part (the major part) of Gujarati culture.  And why not?  As lives in
Dwarka, Krshna Bhagavan is a Gujarati! <G>

-- Jaldhar