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Metaphysics Of Ahimsa Essay

1097 words - 5 pages

Metaphysical ideas shape the sociological and physical behaviors of societies. Within the religion of Hinduism, there is an overall purpose in life which can be affected by participation in the religion’s code of ethics. Ahimsa is a metaphysical ethic that affects the practicing individual’s connection to the overall purpose in life, as well as his or her connection to the society. The social aspects of this ethic shaped its origin’s society, and eventually spread to affect and shape ideas in other societies around the world as it was passed from generation to generation.
An ethic is a set of honorable standards, or a moral code, which governs a particular group’s behaviors based on opinions about what is morally acceptable within that society. Ahimsa is an ethic which existed initially within Hinduism, or the Sanatana Dharma. Himsa is a Sanskrit word meaning to do harm or to inflict injury. An “a” is added at the beginning of the word to counteract the meaning, creating the word ahimsa, meaning to do no harm. Ahimsa refers to doing no harm physically, mentally, as well as emotionally to any living being (“Ahimsa: To Do No Harm,” 359). This idea suggests that by doing harm to another living creature, you are actually doing harm to yourself. This idea is formed as a result of the belief of karma. Karma, if accumulated, is the force that fuels the continuance of life’s cycle of birth, old age, disease, and death, or samsara. The more karma one accumulates, the less successful one’s samsara will be; that one consciousness may not be given an opportunity for a human birth again. Instead, the consciousness may be given the life of a rock, a tree, an ant, or even water. Not practicing ahimsa is a way to accumulate karma, and therefore, one is unable to successfully fulfill the overall purpose in life. The overall purpose in life for Hindus is to achieve ultimate knowledge.
To achieve ultimate knowledge is to realize Brahman. Realizing Brahman is to be divine and to eliminate all ignorance from one’s life. Divinity comes from two different relationships; the relationship between Brahman and Atman, and the relationship between karma and samsara, previously discussed. These two relationships consist of the metaphysical ideas within the religion and society. The idea of metaphysics refers to anything that is believed to exist, but not able to see. Metaphysical ideas can be supernatural or spiritual. Brahman is the ultimate reality and within everything. Atman is in everything human, and it is “one” with Brahman, therefore, they are the same and divine, and everything living in the universe is “one” and part of the ultimate reality. The ethic of ahimsa is connected to the overall purpose of life, ultimate knowledge, because if you harm another living creature, you are harming yourself by accumulating karma, and therefore harming your atman; because we are all philosophically connected, you’re harming others by harming your atman. Achieving the ultimate...

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