JVBL - Souvenir 2007 - Ahimsa, Non-Violence : Form & Nature

Published: 04.01.2008
Updated: 07.01.2011

JVB London - Souvenir 2007
on
Ahimsa
Non-violence

Form & Nature

Indian culture is dominated by spirituality and the soul of spirituality is ahimsa (non-violence). It is the quintessence of all religions. The religion that is not connected to ahimsa cannot protect anyone. Bereft of ahimsa, religion is like a body without a soul. Despite its praise and adoration by all, we come across conflicting views as regards the form and nature of ahimsa. The circumference of its definitions is so vast and expansive that sometimes its centre disappears. From one point of view it is an extensive royal road but from another it is compared to a steep and narrow path hemmed in on either side by deep valleys. The path of ahimsa is narrower than the edge of sword. In a situation like this how can anyone dare to tread it?

It is true that the path of ahimsa is tangled and complicated but it is equally true that no one can become great without following this path. The history of the world bears ample testimony to the fact that those who became great had to take the path of ahimsa. One cannot touch the periphery of greatness without its help. Keeping in mind the usefulness and significance of ahimsa it becomes imperative for us to undertake a fundamental and universal analysis of its form and nature that might define it properly.

Before I endeavour to analyse and define it, I want to impart meaning to the words that illustrate it. There is a long list of words that are synonymous with ahimsa. Each word is in itself a vehicle of the solemnity of its all-pervasive meaning. In this context, as I have no intention to traverse the domain of words, I deem it fit to make brief comments on the words that have left a deep impression on my mind and heart.

A word that substitutes ahimsa is nirvana - the state of peace and happiness that a person achieves after annihilating all desire. Nirvana is the supreme goal of a human being in the nirvana-based tradition of India. When a person achieves this blissful state of mind, worldly suffering comes to an end in its entirety and a fountain of unique, abundant and perpetual peace gushes forth.

Another word for ahimsa is Samadhi (an exalted state of the mind free from desires, attained by meditation). The society is plagued by a plethora of problems hence it yearns for their solutions. Some of these problems are intrinsic while others are extrinsic. Ahimsa encompasses all of them and gives good health to an individual hence it is called Samadhi or what we call a state of super consciousness.

Shakti or power denotes ahimsa. The people who take ahimsa for the weapon of cowards are not aware of its power of resistance. The power of ahimsa is indestructible and indescribable. Bhaya or fear is the greatest form of violence. In a state of fear one loses the power to distinguish right from wrong. It therefore, makes it imperative for everyone to practise fearlessness. In reality, abhaya or fearlessness itself is ahimsa.

Sources
JVBL, Souvenir 2007
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  1. Abhaya
  2. Ahimsa
  3. Body
  4. Consciousness
  5. Fear
  6. Fearlessness
  7. JVB
  8. JVB London
  9. JVBL
  10. London
  11. Meditation
  12. Nirvana
  13. Non-violence
  14. Samadhi
  15. Soul
  16. Violence
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