Reverence is one of the vital attributes that the seeker on the path needs to cultivate. Reverence is the secret of true sadhana.
The Law of Reverence is fundamental to the Hindu way of life. It is the law of shraddha. The essence of the Vedas—what we call Vedanta—teaches us that there is but one life in all! The one life permeates the entire universe and all of creation. The one life sleeps in the mineral and in the stone, stirs in the vegetable and in the plant, dreams in birds and in animals and wakes up in man. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every Hindu to respect, revere life in all its myriad forms.
Reverence for life, let me add, is also the fundamental concept of ethics. It’s one essential rule, it’s one sadhana, is that I give myself for other lives. For all life is sacred, even the life of savages, of primitive people, of uncivilised ones, of wild jungle men, of the criminal, the robber, of the bird and the beast. All life is sacred. All life has its claims on every one of us. True ethics, therefore, rests on recognition of this thought—the reverence for life.