Edited by Marco Ferrini
In every religious tradition, the commandment “Do not kill” represents the main teaching.
In the Veda such principle is spread out with the concept of ahimsa, “do not damage the others”, which is the core of the sadhaka, the scholar who attains a spiritual discipline, religious life.
“No Violence” is a law carved in the heart of every human being, even before one starts studying the Sacred Scriptures.The act of killing repels everyone and hurts one’s sensitivity, therefore it is clear that this principle, as stated in the Sacred Scriptures, is referred not only to the killing of human beings.
“Glories to You My Lord with all Your living creatures!". St Francis of Assisi “The world of living beings is a whole organism. The general life of this organism is not God, but it is only a partial aspect of His manifestations, the same as our planet is a part of the solar system which itself is a part of another greater system and so on”. Lev Tolstoj “There will be a time when man will not have to kill for food and even the killing of one single animal will be considered as harmful and immoral”. Leonardo da Vinci Along the long path of evolution with the purpose of perfection, humanity has not yet become aware of the need for compassion, towards animals too.
The list below outlines the lack of sensitivity that still affects the majority of human species, according to the statistics of 2009 regarding butchering of animals in the world reported by the National Geographic in the issue of May 2011:
- 1.7 million camels
- 24 million Indian buffalos
- 293 million cows
- 398 million goats
- 518 million sheep 633 million turkeys
- 1.1 billion rabbits
- 1.3 billion pig
- 2.3 billion ducks
- 52 billion chickens.
The magazine editors point out that the above statistics do not include fish! In Bhagavad-gita, Krishna offers a perspective that can help each sensitive person to avoid becoming an accomplice, neither in active or passive way, of the horror of slaughtering the great number of poor animals.
The fundamental ethical principle is to act for the good of every being and it is stated by Krishna in a straight forward way, by explaining how this principle can be fulfilled on earth, in this world, by showing benevolence and compassion towards all creatures.
“The devotee of Mine who is non-envious, who bears benevolence towards all living entities, free from false ego, equal in distress and happiness, forgiving, always content by performing devotional service with unflinching determination, who relies his mind and spiritual intelligence upon Me is very dear to Me. One who do not cause disturbance to others, who is never disturbed by anybody and who is freed from mundane pleasures, anger, fear and anxiety such a person is very dear to Me. The devotee of Mine who is pure, detached, expert, free from worry, or agitation and unconcerned with any mundane endeavor, such a person is very dear to Me”.