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How should a person respond when another person becomes violent or attacks him, as per Hinduism?

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    Depends. There are no absolutes in this world. For a sannyasin, no, they should not respond when attacked. For a householder, yes, to defend his family or themselves a response is necessary. Krishna berates Arjuna in the Gita for feigning non-violence as cowardice instead of going into battle. It depends upon what one's duty is in this world. – Swami Vishwananda Dec 2 '15 at 11:24
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    One line answer is "one should defend their dharma". For sannyasin ahimsa is dharma he has to defend his ahimsa may be by running away from there like Dalailama, for those who are not sannasins they have to retaliate with full valor to protect himself, his people and his belongings. Ahimsa is not meant for normal people that's the reason why Sri Krishna used harsh words like "impotent" against Arjuna when he spoke of ahimsa in the midst of Kurukshetra war. bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-02-03.html – SrikanthMyakam Dec 21 '15 at 6:49
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Hinduism asks one to follow the principle of minimum violence.

Tuladhara said, ‘O Jajali, I know morality, which is eternal, with all its mysteries. It is nothing else than that ancient morality which is known to all, and which consists of universal friendliness, and is fraught with beneficence to all creatures. That mode of living which is founded upon a total harmlessness towards all creatures or (in case of actual necessity) upon a minimum of such harm, is the highest morality.’

(Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLXII)

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  • Such quotes should be carefully used for answering. Most importantly, one must know the context of the conversation in all terms. For example, in above quote, who is Jajali? Who is Tuladhara? When did he tell this to Jajali? Does he have authority (qualification) to talk about ethics like, say, Krishna or Bhishma? Besides, why are you not quoting from Bhagwad Geeta which is a widely accepted scripture by all Hindus. It clearly talks about fighting against Adharma till death. – gaj Dec 3 '15 at 7:11
  • It is not possible to type many pages of Mahabharata in an internet site. If anyone is interested in knowing the exact context then he can read it himself from the reference given in the post and come to his own conclusion. – Pradip Gangopadhyay Dec 3 '15 at 17:52
  • Krishna clearly says in Gita, you have to defend, that's your duty. Non-Violence every time is not the right path. – Pinakin Dec 4 '15 at 10:54
  • @Chinmay Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that it's Arjuna's Dharma as a Kshatriya to fight in the Kurukshetra war. He doesn't say that humans in general should always defend themselves. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 28 '16 at 21:17
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Yeah I know, it depends on Dharma. But Pradip is saying total harmlessness is the way to go. – Pinakin Jan 29 '16 at 2:32
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I think, As per hinduism, it is correct, we should not initiate violent but if some one attacking us, we should revert back with full force because self defense is necessary. And that you can see with our Gods, each is containing arms in his/her hand to save follower and punish who initiate violent.

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    Hello @Hindu, Welcome to Hinduism SE! It would be helpful if you provide sources for your answer. – The Destroyer Dec 3 '15 at 6:44
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    What I am writing here is mentioned all places including Bhagwat geeta (That Arjun did), Ramayana (That Load Ram did), And also Load Kishna did with Kans. If you still need reference, please go with "Bhagwat geeta". – Hindu Dec 3 '15 at 7:14
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    Answers on this site should be backed up with proper references, so that users would refer them for comprehensive understanding. You can provide certain verse of Bhagavad Gita which summarizes you point. There are many resources for Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana on internet. You can post required link in your answer. – The Destroyer Dec 3 '15 at 7:21

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