A Hindu versed in in the traditions of his ancestors, opens his or her eyes in the morning, the first word being spoken with gratitude, devotion and humility is Aum. The second action is to start the day with the prayer ,
Samudra vasane Devi, parvata stAna mandate.
Vishnu patni namastubhyam,
paada sparsham kshamasva me.
O! Mother Earth, who has the ocean as clothes and mountains and forests as her body, who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to you. Please forgive me for touching you with my feet.
With this attitude to all of life and the Mother Earth itself, conscious Hindus strive to take only the minimum needed for us to safely and successfully complete our time on this earth. In principle taking more than is necessary, is considered an act of violence, causing harm or suffering in the process of taking is also an act of greater violence. Depriving any creature of life when it is wholly unnecessary, is the greatest act of violence and the soul which resides in all creatures is caused to suffer.
From the Hindu and Dharmic perspective, producing currency and casually incorporating substances which are derived from acts of violence upon vulnerable non aggressive creatures is not the behaviour of gentle civilised beings. It is not something easily countenanced by Hindus and we feel the pain of the creatures who were killed in this process. The £5.00 note ceases to be a simple medium of exchange but becomes a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it. Hindu temples are centres of positive holistic compassionate humanity and we can fully understand that Hindu Temples would consider that they wish to remain free of a symbol of the wholesale barbaric slaughter of tranquil, vulnerable and fully sentient beings.
We are very comfortable that this has happened without any malicious intent but merely out of ignorance and a lack of sensitivity and knowledge and it seems that steps are being taken to ensure that this error is corrected. We look forward to being able to identify which notes are contaminated and learning of their prompt withdrawal and replacement with “Karma free notes”.
As a historical aside, there is a precedent which it may be worth recalling, the Mangal Pandey inspired Revolution of 1857. Mangal Pandey, a devout Brahmin serving with the British Indian Army discovered that the cartridges used with the Enfield rifle were constructed using the same substance as these £5.00 notes, tallow made from beef and pork. The ensuing revolution has been called the First Indian Revolution (or the Sepoy mutiny by the colonialists) and helped to focus such a sense of national identity that many remark that that it created the wave of anti British rhetoric which coalesced in the expulsion of the Colonialists and ultimately the demise of the British Empire. Could an adharmic £5.00 be an equally expensive mistake? Time will tell.
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