Ritual: Violence and Non-violence

Authors

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

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.26.2024.01.01

Keywords:

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

Abstract

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.

PlumX Metrics of this article

References

Primary sources

Abhyankar, K. V. and G. A. Jośī (eds). 1971–1980 (1929–1934). Śrīmajjaiminipraṇite Mīmāṃsādarśane: Mīmāṃsakakaṇṭhīrava-Kumārilabhaṭṭapraṇita Tantravārtikasahita-Śābarabhāṣyopetaḥ. Ānandāśramasaṃskṛtagranthāvaliḥ 97. Poona: Anandasrama.

Bhadkamkar, H. M. and R. G. Bhadkamkar (eds). 1985. The Nirukta of Yāska (with Nighaṇṭu). 2 Vols. Poona: Bhandakar Oriental Research Institute.

Gokhale, D. V. (ed. and trans.). 1932. Arthasangraha of Laugakshi Bhaskara: With the Commentary of Rameshwara Bhikshu: A Hand-Book of Jaimini’s (Purva-Mimamsa) System, Critically Edited and Translated by D. V. Gokhale. Poona: Oriental Book Agency.

Sontakke, N. S. and C. G. Kashikar (eds). 1933–1951. Ṛgveda-Samhitā with a Commentary of Sāyaṇācārya. Poona: Vaidika Samshodana Mandala.

Weber, A. (ed.). 1964. The Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa in the Mādhyandina-śākhā with Extracts from the Commentaries of Sāyaṇa, Harisvāmin and Dvivedagaṅga. Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office.

Weber, A.1972. The Vājasaneyi-Saṃhitā in the Mādhyandina and the Kānva-Śākhā, with the Commentary of Mahidhara. Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office.

S.e. 1999. Kṛṣṇyajurvedīyam Taittirīyabrāhmaṇam. Śrīmat Sāyaṇacārya-Viracitabhāṣyasametam. 3 Vols. Ānandāśrama Saṃskṛta Granthāvaliḥ, Granthāṅkaḥ 37. Punyakhyapattane: Anandasramamudrana Laye.

Secondary sources

Bodewitz, H. W. 1999. Hindu Ahimsa and Its Roots. In: J. E. M. Houben and K. R. van Kooij (eds). Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History. Leiden: Brill: 17–44, https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004644809_004.

Dumont, P.-E. 1948. The Horse-Sacrifice in the Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇas: The Eighth and Ninth Prapāṭhakas of the Third Kāṇḍa of the Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇas with Translation. In: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 92(6): 447–503.

Heesterman, J. C. 1984. Non-Violence and Sacrifice. In: Indologica Taurinensia 12: 119–127.

Houben, J. E. M. 1999. To Kill or Not to Kill the Sacrificial Animal (yajña-paśu)? Arguments and Perspectives in Brahminical Ethical Philosophy. In: J. E. M. Houben and K. R. van Kooij(eds). Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History. Leiden: Brill: 105–183, https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004644809_007.

Houben, J. E. M. 2001. The Vedic Horse-Sacrifice and the Changing Use of the Term Ahiṃsā: An Early Insertion in TB 3.9.8?. In: K. Karttunen and P. Koskikallio (eds). Vidyārṇavavandana: Essays in Honour of Asko Parpola (Studia Orientalia 94). Helsinki: Finnish Oriental Society: 279–290.

Schmidt, H.-P. 1968. The Origin of Ahiṃsā. In: Mélanges d’Indianisme à la Mémoire de Louis Renou. Paris: De Boccard: 625–655.

Schmithausen, L. 2000. A Note on the Origin of Ahiṃsā. In: R. Tsuchida and A. Wezler (eds). Harānandalaharī: Volume in Honour of Professor Minoru Hara on His Seventieth Birthday. Reinbek: Dr. Inge Wezler. Verlag fūr Orientalistische Fachpublikationen: 253–282.

Downloads

Published

2024-06-07

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.