Ritual: Violence and Non-violence


  • Ganesh U. Thite The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Idia image/svg+xml




Weltanschauung, ritual, violence, ṛṣi, muni, euphemism, doctrine of ahiṃsā, violent and non-violent idol worship, black magic


Current paper looks at the vicissitudes of thought on violence and non-violence in India, from Vedic period to the present. The early Vedic people lived a nomadic life and practiced customary animal sacrifice. Gradually, however, they started using euphemisms in connection with ritualistic violence and switched subsequently to non-violent rituals. Possibly, because there was a lot of opposition to ritualistic violence, mainly from the Buddhist and the Jaina thinkers, even the later Hinduism ultimately accepted the principle of ahiṃsā (non-violence). Although at present most followers of Vedic rituals do not practice violence when performing Vedic rituals, some others still partly accept it and act accordingly. Also, there is some ritualistic violence outside the Vedic ritual, but there is definitely a change in outlook.

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How to Cite

Thite, Ganesh U. 2024. “Ritual: Violence and Non-Violence”. Cracow Indological Studies 26 (1):1-11. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.26.2024.01.01.