I have always asserted that Hinduism is not a religion, but a way of life. And the Hindu way of life embraces the whole of God’s creation in its entirety. “All that is, is a vesture of the Lord,” proclaims the Isha Upanishad. The concept of the Brahman, or Universal Soul, encompasses the entirety of existence. Since all aspects of existence are part of this Universal Soul, Hindus believe that the divine is manifested in every living being. This leads to the ideal of reverence for all life, and its corollary, daya or compassion, and ahimsa or non-violence.
My vision of fellowship and brotherhood shows me a world in which the right to life is accorded to every creature that breathes life. How can wars cease until we stop all killing? How can we claim to seek world peace when we continue to slaughter sentient creatures? For if a man kills an animal for food, he will not hesitate in killing a fellow man whom he regards as an enemy! Therefore, I urge Hinduism is not a religionmy friends, the practise of vegetarianism.
Reverence for nature is essential. Reverence for nature will help us to survive on this planet. Reverence for nature will help us to preserve and protect this blessed earth for our children—and our children’s children.
Reverence is essential—reverence for our rivers and forests; reverence for our lakes and waterfalls; reverence for trees and plants and the grass that grows beneath our feet; reverence for birds and beasts, whom I love to call our younger brothers and sisters.