Invitation To Health: 30 ►Development Of Non-Violence

Published: 14.04.2017

Development Of Non-Violence

In this world, we have both the things, that we like and that we do not like. We want non-violence but its development is less. We do not want violence but its expansion is more. All things do not depend upon our wish.

Non-violence: seven obstacles

Today violence is spreading. In other words, it can be said that obstacles are appearing before non-violence. There are seven obstacles:

    1. Past impressions of violence
    2. Past impressions of karma or genes
    3. Circumstance or environment
    4. Bodily chemicals
    5. Lack of faith
    6. Lack of efforts, and
    7. Want of training and research

The first obstacle is past impression of violence (discussed earlier). It has affected the faith in non-violence. The second obstacle which is accepted today is gene. In Genetic Engineering gene is regarded as responsible for human behaviour. As is the gene, as is the past impression pattern, human behaves like that. The responsibility of human behaviour was imposed on gene. From a comparative perspective, the impression of karma in the language of Karmaśāstra {Science of action), and gene in the language of science or Genetics, come very close. It is regarded as difficult to change these two. It is not easy to change karma-samskāra (karmic impression) and gene.

One person behaves nicely and another badly. Third one behaves even more badly and the fourth one behaves still more badly. This difference is due to the fact that the karma-samskāras (karmic impressions) of every one are different or in genetic language the genes of everyone are different. That is why the behaviour of everyone is not similar. To change this requires great effort, and it is not very easy. A person who is very much rendering efforts in the field of sādhanā (spiritual discipline) alone can do so. Change is possible but it is not within the capacity of every one to do that supreme endeavour (parama puruṣārṭha) and every one does not want to do that endeavour.


The third obstacle for the development of non-violence is circumstance or environment. This obstacle is not as powerful as karma samskāra (karmic impressions) or gene. It is more difficult to cross over these two but we have already crossed them over. Now all other obstacles can be changed and it is an easy task to do so. Today the situation is that of violence and there can be no doubt about it. Human being is living in such a world where there is atmosphere of violence and circumstances of violence also. Circumstances are creating conditions for excitement of violence. One person is quiet but another one indulges in instigating activities then one who is quiet he also tends to be violent. Such things happen very often. If the neighbour is of evil nature and believes in violence and indulges in undesirable acts, then the person who is good and has good nature in him also the seeds of excitement get sprouted.

Reactionary violence

One neighbour swept the dirt and filth from his house and put it in front of the nearby house. The inmate of the nearby house said, "Oh brother! Why are you doing this? It is not good to do so. Come a little ahead and put the dirt and filth there where there is no house of any one. You came out from your house and put the dirt and filth in front of my house.

What is the gain in it?" He replied, "I put it where I got space. What can I do? " He gave a very curt reply. He was advised once, twice, thrice but he paid no heed. In that situation rise of reaction or rise of feeling of reaction is quite natural.

One is kriyātmaka (initial) violence and the second is pratinatikriyātmaka (reactionary) violence. The principle of violence is "A tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye." (Inta kajabāb patthara se do). This is not a principle of action but that of reaction. When in the mind of a person a feeling of reaction is generated then he forms such a principle.

In the mind of that person also the feeling of reaction arose. He thought this person will not be manageable like tins. He also put all the dirt and filth of his house in front of the house of the other person. This is violence against violence. This is helpless violence created by circumstance, a reactionary violence.

Violence: Counter violence

Reaction generated by circumstance is a very big obstacle for non-violence. In social life, many such situations come. When the communist thought came or its execution began, Naxalites came up. Whatever other bloody revolutions or violent incidents took place at the back of all these reactionary situations have been there. In social life where there is such disparity that one person leads a luxurious life, indulges in extravagance, enjoys indiscriminately and creates a heap of extra wealth and the other person does not have a bread to eat, in that situation reactionary violence gets reinforcement. This is quite natural. Where ever in any corner of the world, in any part, when such events have occurred there has been reactionary violence working at the back. There was grave injustice done to a person. There was no hearing for him and he became a dacoit. He became such a cruel dacoit that he killed large number of people, committed innumerable acts of robbery. At the back of becoming a dacoit there are many reactionary circumstances. And such incidents are faced. These social circumstances are great obstacle for development of non-violence. If the circumstance, environment and system are not egalitarian, if they are unbalanced then violence gets strengthening.

Physical cause

The fourth obstacle for the development of non-violence is bodily chemicals. In the complexity of circumstance violence gets stimulation but such people also commit violence for which there is no circumstance, no violence, no environment and they take great interest in violence. Why this happens? Let us think deeply about it. Nothing is true from a lopsided perspective and no event has a single cause. All the events of violence do not have the same cause, there are many causes. Therefore, while analyzing we have to attend very minutely that what is the cause for what?

One cause of violence is imbalance in the secretion of glands. When the chemicals formed in the glands become unbalanced then an individual becomes violent and aggressive. In belligerent tendency, bodily activity has a great role.

Unbalanced chemicals

A person is well to do. He has nothing lacking, no dissatisfaction, absolutely happy, even then in him the tendency of violence arises. A person is neither a thief, nor a dacoit, nothing of the sort and yet he takes interest in killing a human being. He meets with a person and he kills him by hitting on the upper part of the side of the face. This event has actually occurred. He has nothing to take or give. He does not rob money or anything. He has only this much of insanity (naśa) as to kill a person.

Why does this happen? The chemicals of gland become imbalanced and due to that imbalance a person cultivates interest in violence. This imbalance has bodily cause. Today violence is getting strength due to bodily elements also.

Cause of aggressiveness

These days the quantity of phosphorus is largely going into the body and the quantity of magnesium is decreasing. This also is a cause of aggressive tendency. If the quantity of lead, copper, and zinc enters the body in excess it makes individual aggressive. The vessels of today look nice. People cook food in them, boil milk, but they do not know how much the pots coated with zinc cause harm in the stomach. Today if someone is asked to boil milk in handy(earthen pot), and prepare khichaṛī(mixed preparation of rice and cereals) in hāndi, people will say of which past century you are talking. It is a matter of atavism or backwardness. In today's etiquette, culture and civilization such glare is needed by seeing which heart gets allured. But this is not known that the milk, khichaṛīand kahī(a preparation of curd and gram floor) boiled in hāndi do not harm at all whereas the eatables and drinkables cooked in these pots are very much harmful, and give rise to instigating tendencives. This is one of the reasons for tendency to quarrel, tendency to clash, tendency to be excited, and tendency to be intolerant.

There will be difference in taste also. The taste which will be in the milk boiled in kaāhi (flat iron pot) will never be in the milk boiled in tin-plated pot.

Causes of violence

Many objects being in daily use affect our tendencies. But the situations for the development of civilization and comforts have changed so much and demands have increased so much that it is not possible to go back to the past situations. Even after knowing also people are not willing or prepared to accept this thing that we may go back and once again prepare food in earthen pots. It will be like mere imagination. But even then, we shall have to accept this truth that these circumstances have been created by our changed feelings.

If we see holistically we find that bodily activities, chemicals formed in body and minerals going into the body generate their effects and become the cause for violence. If the right side of our nervous system is more active, then tendency of haughtiness and brazenness is generated. Thus, physical causes also are creating obstacle for the development of non-violence.

Lack of faith

The fifth obstacle for the development of non-violence is lack of faith. We have no faith in non-violence. We may ask any one, he will say that with non-violence nothing works. Only rod can move. It has been accepted that development of atomic weapons is for balance of power, for world peace. People feel the danger that by atomic weapons the world will be destroyed but those countries which have atomic weapons they give the answer that the stock of atomic weapons is for balance of power. If one nation has atomic weapons and another nation does have then the former can destroy the whole world. But if the atomic weapons are with two nations then no one can dare to attack the other. That nation will hesitate to indulge in such madness. This whole (game) is for balance of power.

In fact, human being has no faith in non-violence. His faith is in punishment, in weapons. This lack of faith is also a great hindrance for the development of non-violence. Human being has formed non-natural beliefs. Because of these he cannot think of non-violence. His entire life is based on non-natural beliefs.

Reality: artificiality

If we think in seclusion, then we shall ourselves realize how much is real and how much is artificial. Without diving deep, it cannot be known, and delusion continues. That delusion can be removed only when truth is known.

Once, a person was going on a foreign tour. The officer (at the airport) said, "Your passport is fake." That person asked, "How?" The officer replied, 'The photo glued to the passport has your head bald but now there are plenty of hair on your head. And therefore, this passport is fake." The person said, "Sir, photo is not fake, my hair is fake."

Today there is great problem in getting hold of the basic position. Officers also come under delusion. We also have fabricated a net of fake principles, such a web that it is difficult to understand the truth.

Lack of effort

The sixth obstacle for the evolution of non-violence is lack of effort. We do not make any effort for the development of non-violence. If there is faith, then effort may be there. If there is no faith, there will be no effort. How much of effort is going on for violence? In the whole world, how much money is spent on weapons? If the money spent on weapons is used for human welfare, then no human being will be hungry. Entire poverty will be abolished. Then there will be no worry for health, no worry for bread, no worry for house and no worry for clothes. If the money spent on one Five-year Plan, or on armaments, is spent for human welfare, for solving the problems of poor then perhaps within five years the world may become free from poverty. How much effort is being made for practice of violence? There is rehearsal; there is daily training of military people. From one point of view all these efforts are for violence.

Development of trans-sensory weapons

Many scientists are engaged in newer and newer weapons. New ways are being discovered for violence. Atomic weapons are also left far behind. Weapons of trans-sensory power are being developed. Very strange situation has come in the field of weapons. We have heard that in olden times such art (yidya) was used which would make the entire army of enemy sleep. This is an old story but the scientists of today also have discovered such weapons by using which the army of enemy becomes puzzled and inactive; it cannot do anything, and becomes useless. Whatever is to be done one-sidedly that will be done. Such a state has also been discovered that no one will be required to go to war field. While sitting in the laboratory a scientist can get everything occurred. Today there has begun a competition for trans-sensory weapons. In this America, Russia and other countries have made too much of progress. The situation of space war has also arisen. Such a fast and multidimensional effort is being made in the field of violence. No effort is being made in the field of non-violence.

The believers in non-violence themselves are fighting. The sphere of religion is sphere of non-violence but today that also cannot be said to be a sphere of non-violence. In it there is so much of tug of war, and tension that it has itself become a battle field. Today non-violence itself is in a very poor state. For it there is neither faith nor there are efforts to develop it.

Want of training and effort

The seventh obstacle in the development of non-violence is absence of practical efforts. Today no one is practicing non­violence. If there is use, then anything can develop. So long as there is no new research, no new discovery no practice or training till then nothing can develop.

For non-violence, there is no research going on, no new practical efforts are being made and there is no training also being given. We have not seen anywhere that hundred people are taking training in non-violence or in entire India there is any center for training of non-violence.

Without practice and training or without research nothing can develop. We have the principle of non-violence utmost or some life events or life stories of some noble persons. From that sometimes we get some motivation, our mind gets shaked and in the mind this feeling arises that non-violence is good or that those noble people have led the life of non-violence.

Motivating event

The king of Punjab Raja Ranjitsingh was going. All of a sudden one stone came and hit the king on his head. There was all-round search as to who threw the stone? While searching, his people reached near a tree under which one old lady was standing. They caught hold of her and brought her to the king and said, "Oh king! This is the one who has wounded your head with a stone. She alone has thrown the stone as no one else was found." The poor old lady started trembling. There was a bizarre situation. The king asked her, "Have you thrown the stone?" She replied trembling, "Yes, Your majesty." The king inquired, "Why did you throw?" she replied, "I am very poor. For two days, there was nothing to eat. I am living in such poverty. I have a small son. I thought that I should give him something to eat. I was standing under the tree. I threw stone to pluck the fruit and suddenly it so happened that the stone did not go there and came this side and hit your head. This is true and now you may do whatever you want to do."

The king immediately asked his military officers to give some gold coins to her and release her. Everyone was astonished. What sort of punishment is this? Is it a punishment? She should have been hanged. Such a prize to one who hurt the king on his head! They did not speak. The king said, "You do not know that by throwing stone on the tree the tree gives sweet fruit. When tree gives sweet fruit then shall I give bitter fruit? This can never happen. Give her reward and release her."

How much inspiring is this incident. One who has calm and balanced mind what sort of decision he makes and how he develops non-violence Had the mind been unbalanced immediately punishment would have been given that 'go and hang her, kill her'. The decision of balanced mind is full of non-violence. Such events motivate people for non-violence.

Principles of non-violence: contemporary psyche

Principles of non-violence inspire for non-violence. The principle of non-violence is that what you do not want for yourself, do not do it for others. You like happiness and do not like unhappiness then do not inflict pain on others, do not cause them suffering, do not torture them. This principle inspires for non-violence. These principles and these events shake our head, we like them but they are not with us for long. Once we hear, mind is motivated but when we confront a situation we surrender and we forget non-violence. The problem is that human being only loves hearing. In olden times, it was listening and in modern language it is reading, both are the same. In olden times, there was no situation of reading, only there was hearing; the preceptor will say and the disciple will hear. There was no writing and therefore there was no reading. The hearing of olden times and today's reading are one and the same.

Let constructive change take place

The next step after hearing (śravaa) is reflection or contemplation (manana). In both the situation of hearing and reading whatever be the amount of hearing, contemplation of even twenty percent of it is not there, not even ten percent. The third stage is realization or practice (nididhyāsana). From this (as if) there is emancipation now. A combination of all these three alone can reach us to real situation. In the process of 'Life Science' attention has been paid to this formula that one has to know good principle, contemplate on it, that is, its Anuprekṣā, and then its practice, nididhyāsana. When all these three are there, a new faith gets developed. We have only to change the present situation. The gap between knowledge and conduct cannot be filled up until all these three things are not there. Without the synthesis of these three this transformation cannot take place. We can find out many defects. Many defects were found about the system of education. Not only today right from the beginning of free India it is being said that our system of education is not good, but what modification should be in it, what constructive change should be, very little of this is seen.

Let us learn the formula of creativity

One painter put his painting in the market and wrote beneath that please mark wherever there is deficiency. In the evening the painter saw that the entire picture was filled with marks. He thought it was terrible loss.

Next day he put one more painting and wrote please correct wherever there is deficiency. He went in the evening and saw that the painting was as it was; there was no change in it.

We can find out many deficiencies, our attention can go to mistakes, and put marks but where there is the matter of correction nothing happens. We should not merely notice deficiency but do something constructive.

Process of change

There are two words—theoretical and practical. In every sphere these are expected. Whether it is the sphere of religion or of education we have to understand the theoretical aspect and also the practical aspect. Can change of habit and cultivation of new faith be its exception? For cultivation of faith also we shall have to take help of both these. The first aspect is theoretical which comprises of two things—hearing (śravaa) and contemplation (manana); to know the principle and to contemplate on it, to do its Anuprekṣā, to have post-reflection on it.

The other thing is practical, nididhyāsana, repeated practice. Hear, learn, discriminate and negate. That which is worth abandoning is to be negated and that which is conducive is to be practiced. This is the total process of change. Without appropriating this process the matter of change of faith is never possible.

Healthy social structure

Development of non-violence is an important basis of healthy social construction. It’s important observation consists in hearing (śravaa), contemplation (manana) and practice (nididhyāsana). So long as there is no association of knowledge and conduct with education or with devotion in religion till then there does not seem to be any solution of this problem. Without this association neither a religious person can be a good religious person nor can a student be a good student.

For the development of society and for the development of morality two things are necessary—there should be knowledge and there should be good human behaviour. One human being behaves in a good manner with another human being, and does not have ill behaviour. This is possible only when the entire principle of hearing, contemplation and practice is put to use and it is repeatedly observed. Today the principle is talked about but its practice is not carried out.

The basic principle of 'Jīvana Vijñāna' (Life science) is religion and education (vidyā). In both the spheres there should be blending of theory and practice. By using this blend, we can provide a new direction to the development of non­violence, a new dimension and a new momentum.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anuprekṣā
  2. Body
  3. Contemplation
  4. Discipline
  5. Environment
  6. Gene
  7. Genes
  8. Genetics
  9. Karma
  10. Life Science
  11. Non-violence
  12. Punjab
  13. Science
  14. Space
  15. Sādhanā
  16. Vidyā
  17. Violence
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