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ARC Home > Faiths and Ecology > Hinduism > Quotes and stories :

Hindu quotes and stories

"When one’s food is pure, one’s being becomes pure"

– Chāndogya Upaniṣad 7.26.2

"The following are forbidden foods…milch cows and oxen; meat of animals… garlic"

– The Dharmasutra of Gautama17: 22-38

"Every living creature is the son of the supreme Lord, and He does not tolerate even ants being killed"

– Bhakitvedanta Swāmī Prabhupada A.C. Purport, Bhagavad Gita As It Is 14.16

"Indulgence in animal killing for the taste of the tongue is the grossest kind of ignorance"

– Bhakitvedanta Swāmī Prabhupada A.C. Purport, Bhagavad Gita As It Is 14.16

"Whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away-do that O son…as an offering to me"

– Bhagavad Gita As It Is 9.27

"Supreme Lord, let there be peace in the sky and in the atmosphere. Let there be peace in the plant world and in the forests. Let the cosmic powers be peaceful. Let the Brahman, the true essence and source of life, be peaceful. Let there be undiluted and fulfilling peace everywhere"

– Prayer from the Atharva Veda, one of Hinduism’s most sacred texts.

"In the Vedas, saints and holy people are compared to trees, which give charity to everyone. Trees never complain, but freely give fruit, shade from the sun, shelter from the storm and even their own bodies for fuel."

- From Creation: A Story from Ancient India, retold by Rasamandala Das, Aldenham, ISKCON Educational Services 2005.

"There is enough for everyone's need, but not for their greed." Mahatma Gandhi.

"A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary, but above a certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of a help. Therefore the ideal of creating an unlimited number of wants and satisfying them seems to be a delusion and a snare." Mahatma Gandhi

"A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion. " Mahatma Gandhi (Young India, 07.05.25)

"When I admire the wonders of the sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." Mahatma Gandhi.
This quotation (and the following four quotations from the Mahatma) was cited by the US secular environmentalist blog Treehugger as 'Wisdom for the Green Movement', noting that "without appealing to the innate deeper sense of holiness, whole-ness, and humbleness, all our green gains will be partial, temporary."

"There is more to life than increasing its speed." Mahatma Gandhi.

"First they ignore you; then they laugh at you; then they fight you; then you win." Mahatma Gandhi.

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." Mahatma Gandhi.

"Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being." Mahatma Gandhi.

"Live in the world like an ant. The world contains a mixture of truth and untruth, sugar and sand. Be an ant and take the sugar." Ramakrishna. Taken from Teachings of the Hindu Mystics by Andrew Harvey.

Here is a Hindu story about a cobbler who was once visited by a great teacher.

“I have just been to see Vishnu,” said the teacher. “And he thought you might have some questions.” The cobbler’s mind went blank; but he dredged up a question. “What was Vishnu doing when you saw him?” he asked at last. “He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle,” came the answer. “Oh yes. Only Vishnu could do that!” the cobbler laughed.

”Surely you don’t believe it,” said the teacher, “I was just teasing.” “But why can’t he?” asked the cobbler, picking up a seed from beneath the banyan tree that was shading them. “Inside this seed is a tree as big as this one. If Vishnu can squeeze a whole banyan tree into such a tiny seed, then surely he can thread an elephant through the eye of a needle.” And the teacher realised that this was a wise man because he could see the hand of God in everything.

- From Ranchor Prime, Hinduism and Ecology. London: Cassell, 1992. Page 2

"There is an old story about a serpent called Kaliya who lived five thousand years ago. He had many heads and his poison polluted the River Yamuna, killing trees, birds and fish. Krishna dived into the river and danced on Kaliya's many hoods, dodging the snake's sharp teeth. After a fierce battle, Krishna defeated Kaliya and sent him into exile near the island of Fiji."

- From Creation: A Story from Ancient India, retold by Rasamandala Das, Aldenham, ISKCON Educational Services 2005. See too details of the project by Friends of Vrindavan to clean up the Yamuna river, with reference to this Kaliya serpent myth.

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