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73- Violence Toward the Living Entities
1. How can one remove the sinful mentality of committing violence toward animals?
Ma himsyat sarvani butani: "One should not commit any violence toward any living entity." This Vedic statement prohibits violence toward animals. Until human beings give up slaughtering animals, enjoying the association of women, drinking wine, and situating themselves in the mode of passion, they may, in order to diminish such propensities, associate with women through marriage, kill animals in sacrifice, and drink wine under particular condition. By so doing, their propensities will diminish and they will gradually be relieved of such desires. This is the purport of the Vedas. The Vedas do not teach that humans should kill animals.
(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 10)
2. What is violence? What kind of violence must be given up?
Persons who are attached to sinful activities generally become envious and violent toward other living entities. Committing violence is a heinous sin. It is everyone's duty to give up violence. Violence toward human beings is the gravest sin. The gravity of the offense depends upon the degree of glory the victim possesses. Violence toward brdhmanas, one's own relatives, women, Vaisnavas, or to the spiritual master is extremely sinful. Violence toward animals is also not an ordinary sin. The killing of animals by selfish, greedy people is caused by a human being's abominable, animalistic propensity. Unless humans refrain from killing animals, their nature will not improve. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5)
3. Why is violence toward other living entities detrimental to devotional service?
If one wants to eat the flesh of another living entity, he has to kill that living entity. Therefore, any activity that encourages violence toward the living entities is detrimental to devotional service. (Sajjana Tosani 9/9)
4. Should a devotee of Hari maintain his propensity to commit violence?
Violence toward other living entities is the root of all sinful activities. Those who are fortunate enough to engage in Krsna's devotional service naturally do not possess a propensity for violence. (Sajjana Tosani 9/8)
5. Which activities are favorable for devotional service and which are unfavorable?
Those activities that aim at benefiting others are favorable for devotional service, while those activities that aim at causing them violence are opposed to devotional service.
(Sajjana Tosani 9/8)
6.How many kinds of violence are there? How should one utilize attachment and envy?
There are three kinds of violence: violence toward human beings, violence toward animals, and violence toward demigods. Violence is born from hate. To become attracted to any object of enjoyment is called attachment, and to become detached from any object of enjoyment is called hate. Proper attachment has been counted as piety, improper attachment as licentiousness. Hatred is the opposite of attachment. Proper hatred is also counted as piety, but improper hatred is the root of violence and envy. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5)
7. Is violence toward the animals a religious principle for human beings?
The arrangement to kill animals in sacrifice that has been prescribed in Vedic literature is simply meant to gradually diminish people's animalistic propensities. Actually, violence toward animals is the nature of animals, not human beings. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5)
8. How many types of cruelty are there and what are their results?
There are two types of cruelty, cruelty toward humans and cruelty toward animals. Cruelty toward men and women causes great disturbances in the world. When people practice cruelty toward one another, compassion leaves the world and irreligiousness in the form of cruelty become prominent. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5)
9.Should cruelty toward animals be given up?
There is an arrangement for inflicting cruelty on animals in modern, insignificant religious principles. However, this arrangement is bringing its founder a bad name. The heart of a kind person is shattered when he sees how materialistic people trouble the bulls and horses that pull carts. One should give up such cruelty toward animals. (Caitanya-siksamrta 2/5)