Sunday, October 20, 2013

Philip Wollen and the principle of "Ahimsa".

Hallo meine Lieben,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

This morning I read an article about my hero Philip Wollen and he talked about the principle of "Ahimsa" which immediately caught my attention. If you haven't watched it yet, I definitely recommend watching  Wollen's speech at the Animals Should Be Off The Menu debate. I think I watched the whole debate at least 5 times because it is so fascinating but the most fascinating part of the debate is clearly Philip Wollen. He is so passionate and such a fantastic speaker, I think he is able to convince anybody with his words. 
Anyway, Philip Wollen is the former Vice President of Citibank and left his job to become a philanthropist and works to help animals, humans and the planet. You can read more about his work and his Kindness Trust here.

"Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear stained face of a hungry child."

“Animals must be off the menu because tonight they are screaming in terror in the slaughterhouse, in crates, and cages. Vile ignoble gulags of despair. I heard the screams of my dying father as his body was ravaged by the cancer that killed him. And I realized I had heard these screams before. In the slaugherhouse, eyes stabbed out and tendons slashed, on the cattle ships to the Middle East and the dying mother whale as a Japanese harpoon expodes in her brain as she calls out to her calf. Their cries were the cries of my father. I discovered when we suffer, we suffer as equals. And in their capacity to suffer, a dog is a pig is a bear….is a boy. Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco.”




I could talk about this man forever because he is fascinating. But today I want to talk about the principle of "Ahimsa" which I have not heard before I read this article (it is in German). 

In Sanskrit "Ahimsa" is a term meaning "do not injure".  Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings including animals. And Philip Wollen's goal is that Ahimsa will be lived reality.

Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa has also been related to the notion that any violence has karmic consequences. Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of major Indian religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism).

Mahatma Ghandi strongly believed in the principle of Ahimsa.It's precept of 'cause no injury' includes one's deeds, words, and thoughts.

I don't know much about the principle of Ahimsa yet but since I first read about it this morning I am determined to find out more about it. It fascinates me and I agree with everything I read about it so far. I wish every person on this planet could follow this principle. We should not do any harm to other humans....not to our planet....not to animals. 

So my questions are: does any of you know more about the principle of Ahimsa? Do you have any book/article recommendations? Have you watched the debate? What are your thoughts?

Have a happy Sunday!

12 comments:

  1. I had not heard of this but I will be sure to look it up, sounds like EXACTLY my kind of thing! Thanks for posting this Katrin, I will defenitaly spend some time looking into it more!

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    1. I thought you mind find it interesting too! :) The more I read about it the more I am liking it. It is such a fascinating concept and definitely my kind of thing!

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  2. I love this!! Reminds me in some ways of "Namaste". I love Gandhi and I wish I could have met him. THank you for introducing me to the principle of Ahimsa.

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    1. Glad you find it so interesting too, Keith! As soon as I first read about it, I found it so fascinating and I am trying to find out more about it. And I agree, I would have loved to have the option to meet Gandhi, such a smart and fascinating person!
      You are very welcome, I am happy when other people find these things interesting too!

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  3. I have not heard of this before, but this sounds very much like a principle I can wholeheartedly agree with! Thanks for posting this! I'll have to look into it more so I can learn more about it.

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    1. You are very welcome, I thought you would find this interesting too! I will definitely try to find out more about it!

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  4. Hi Katrin!

    I cannot tell u how happy I am after reading this very post of urs. I am a pure vegetarian (My Bhrahmin family has always been a pure veg. one) and we believe strongly in Ahimsa as it is one of the core concepts of our religion. i am an animal lover and absolutely detest meat. I do not consider meat as food, hence the word 'non-veg food' is meaningless for me.
    We have no right to kill a being for food or fun since we all co-exist..we all share a common father, the almighty God.

    take care!


    PS: What a coincidence! I have posted about non-violence too!

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    1. I thought that you would know more about this, Ankita! I love the fact that you strongly believe in Ahimsa. I really want to find out more about it. I really want to read more about your religion because I think it is so fascinating! I have to say that I really love the core concepts of your religion. I need to get a book about it to learn more! I also love that you are also such a huge animal lover! I agree, we have no right at all to kill another being and we need to learn to co-exist and treat each other with respect!
      I need to read your post! :)))
      Thanks so much for your comment, Ankita!

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  5. Hi Katrin

    Pleasure is all mine :)

    May I recommend you a book?

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    1. Oh yes please! That would be more than just fantastic! :) Thank you so much, you're great!

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  6. Thanks! You can read the English translation of Bhagwad Geeta by Dr. S Radhakrishnan. It is one of the most meaningful versions ever made of Geeta, our holy book. I simply loved his translation (given verse by verse). You can also try 'the autobiography of a yogi' by Shri Paramhans yoganand.

    :)

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    1. Thank you so much for the recommendations, Ankita! You rock! :) I will definitely check out these books! I am sure they will be so fascinating!

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