Domestic Violence

The Vedic injunction is mä hiàsyät sarvä bhütäni: [Bg. 9.4] never commit violence to anyone.

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Article from Hinduism Today on Domestic Violence in Indian Homes:
The Proper Use of Violence:

Some unscoupulous persons use the words of Manu Smriti or the sage Chanakhya Pandita to excuse the act of committing violence onto women folk, or children in the family.

The actual standard is that all members of society irrespective of gender are to be protected, and encouraged to render service to God through their individual duty/function, and collectively as a family.

All members of society need protection; the Brahmins need protection; the Sannyasis need protection; the old need protection; the frail and invalid need protection; the young need protection; men need protection, and likewise women need protection; and even the animals need protection.

If we, as members of the Varnashram society world wide respect that we all have our functional roles to play, duties to fulfill, etc., in relation to the Lord, then mutual respect for one and all, and harmony in society can be achieved.

Presently there's an imbalance. That imbalance is caused through lack of God consciousness, ignorance - which turned around means selfishness and exploitation of anything we can for personal sense gratification.

The following article shows things as they unfortunately often are:

India's Violent Homes

INDIA, February 19, 2001: Every six hours somewhere in India a young married women is burnt alive, beaten to death, or driven to commit suicide. Lawyer and social activist, Indira Jaisingh, who heads the Women's Legal Aid Center in Delhi, has been campaigning for a new law to deal with violence in the home. At least 20 percent of married women between the ages of 15 and 49 experience domestic violence, many of them on a continual basis. Activists say a major source of concern in India is that society has failed to bring about strong social sanctions against violent men. A recent survey by the International Institute for Population Studies, showed that 56 percent of Indian women believed wife beating to be justified in certain circumstances. Currently, there is no law in India dealing specifically with domestic violence.

Used with permission from

...but is the solution the development of so many social-"isms" ???

When His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhasktivedanta Swami Prabhupada first met his guru maharaj, as a young man in Calcutta, and being recognised as a follower of Gandhi's movement, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad told him straight, that it is not by material means (over throwing the British...or anyone, or thing else) that things will change. It is was by a revolution in consciousness, Krishna consciousness. When we see others as devotee of the Lord or Jiva souls, separated parts and parcels of our common Father, then why would we committ violence on another.

The Vedic injunction is mä hiàsyät sarvä bhütäni: [Bg. 9.4] never commit violence to anyone.

The proper use of violence:

"Everything has its proper utility, and a man who is situated in complete knowledge knows how and where to apply a thing for its proper utility. Similarly, violence also has its utility, and how to apply violence rests with the person in knowledge. Although the justice of the peace awards capital punishment to a person condemned for murder, the justice of the peace cannot be blamed, because he orders violence to another person according to the codes of justice. In Manu-saàhitä, the lawbook for mankind, it is supported that a murderer should be condemned to death so that in his next life he will not have to suffer for the great sin he has committed. Therefore, the king’s punishment of hanging a murderer is actually beneficial. Similarly, when Kåñëa orders fighting, it must be concluded that violence is for supreme justice, and thus Arjuna should follow the instruction, knowing well that such violence, committed in the act of fighting for Kåñëa, is not violence at all because, at any rate, the man, or rather the soul, cannot be killed; so for the administration of justice, so-called violence is permitted. A surgical operation is not meant to kill the patient, but to cure him. Therefore the fighting to be executed by Arjuna at the instruction of Kåñëa is with full knowledge, so there is no possibility of sinful reaction." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita 2:21., purport.)

Therefore we can look at the motive and intent of action here - violence. Fro a person who is situated in the material world bound by the laws of karma violence will bring violence, in the form of punishment(s).

Detachment in the use of violence; such as in the representative of the King, or the King himself who acts out of duty, empowered by the state; or in the case of a war, where duty and sworn loyalty to defend even by using violence is permitted. But, such violence is sanctioned and approved by "the powers that be".....!

Violence that is taken up independently is punishable; this not only includes unprovoked acts of violence, armed robbery, mugging, house invasion, etc. It also includes violence of any kind that is for personal exploitation, domination.

Just as with the medical world drugs are used to treat and heal a person, but some persons abuse the substances and a chaotic situation arises. So in similar realm, corrective violence administed by a caring authority is different to abusive violence that we see in homes against children and wives present in the world today.

It has become popular in a reactionary manner, to throw the baby out with the proverbial bath water, due to a lack of knowldege in how to apply, and a lack of sense control in how to administer.

So getting back to Srila Prabhupada's purport above, that only a person situated in knowldege can administer such "violence".

"Ahiàsä, nonviolence, means that one should not do anything which will put others into misery or confusion. Material activities that are promised by so many politicians, sociologists, philanthropists, etc., do not produce very good results because the politicians and philanthropists have no transcendental vision; they do not know what is actually beneficial for human society. Ahiàsä means that people should be trained in such a way that the full utilization of the human body can be achieved. The human body is meant for spiritual realization, so any movement or any commissions which do not further that end commit violence on the human body. That which furthers the future spiritual happiness of the people in general is called nonviolence." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita 10:5., purport.)

In most cases, from experience, discussion, and research, domestic violence occurs due to frustration or from the introduction of intoxication. Either way, the senses are out of control.
        In the first instance out of frustration, means we want something done our way, it doesn't happen and we become frustrated, then angry - Bhagavad Gita 2:62-63., "From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool" (they lose it...!.

In Basic Psychology 101: The carrot will bring about more effective and longer lasting change than the stick. People respond more constructively to positive inducements and rewards than to negative deterrents and punishments.
The answer is Krishna consciousness.


Bhagavad Gita 18:25.

anubandhaà kñayaà hiàsäm
anapekñya ca pauruñam
mohäd ärabhyate karma
yat tat tämasam ucyate

That action performed in illusion, in disregard of scriptural injunctions, and without concern for future bondage or for violence or distress caused to others is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
One has to give account of one’s actions to the state or to the agents of the Supreme Lord called the Yamadütas. Irresponsible work is destructive because it destroys the regulative principles of scriptural injunction. It is often based on violence and is distressing to other living entities. Such irresponsible work is carried out in the light of one’s personal experience. This is called illusion. And all such illusory work is a product of the mode of ignorance. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita 18:25., purport.)

"Samatä, equanimity, refers to freedom from attachment and aversion. To be very much attached or to be very much detached is not the best. This material world should be accepted without attachment or aversion. That which is favorable for prosecuting Kåñëa consciousness should be accepted; that which is unfavorable should be rejected. That is called samatä, equanimity. A person in Kåñëa consciousness has nothing to reject and nothing to accept save in terms of its usefulness in the prosecution of Kåñëa consciousness." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita 10:5., purport.)