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The Quest for the Royal Road: Non-Violence: Basis of Human Culture

Published: 26.01.2016

Indian culture is spiritually oriented. Non-violence is the soul of spiritualism. Non-violence contains the essence of all religions. Any religion not related to non-violence can never protect any one. Religion without non-violence is like a body without life.- Although non-violence has such dignity, there are too many incompatibilities in its results. The area of its definition is so wide that quite often the central point gets eclipsed. From one point of view, it is the wide royal path, and from another point of view, it is a narrow pathway, with deep valleys on either side. When a mountaineer climbs the mountain along the pathway, he faces the constant danger because of the valleys on both sides of the pathway. If his attention is diverted even slightly, his foot can slip and then it is not possible to get information if that person is alive or not. The path of non-violence is narrower even than the edge of the sword. If that is the case, how can any person ever dare pursue that path?

It is true that the path of non-violence is very complex. At the same time, it is also true that no one can become great without proceeding along that path. The history of the world is a witness to the reality that anyone who became great had to necessarily follow the path of non-violence. Without this support, the individual would not even have the slightest trace of greatness. This greatness and utility of non-violence inspires us to analyse this concept fully and thoroughly so that it could be defined in an appropriate manner.

Before defining non-violence, I would like to give a few synonymous terms for it. There is a long list of words which are synonymous of non-violence. Each word by itself conveys the full implication of dignity of non-violence.

In this context, I do not intend merely to journey through words. That is why I would like briefly to comment on those words that have influenced my mind within and without.

One of the synonyms of non-violence is nirvana. In the context of the Indian tradition linked with the concept nirvana, this is man's supreme goal. At the state, the entire chain of misery is snapped and one attains the state of absolute, infinite and uninterrupted peace.

Another synonymous term for non-violence is smadhi. The human society is plagued by problems and longs for their solutions. Some of man's problems are internal and some are external. Non-violence solves all those problems and brings calm and ease to man. That is why non-violence is samadhi.

The word 'power' is also indicative of non-violence. Those who regard non-violence as the weapon of the weak are not familiar with its power of resistance. The power of non-violence cannot be hampered or hindred and it is inaffable.

Non-violence brings to man tripti or a sense of contentment. Hence, non-violence also means contentment. Violence leads to growing ambitions that push man towards endless misery. Contentment implies the attainment of inner peace.

The feeling of kindness implied by the word day a or mercy is not confined to the physical protection of a living being. It symbolises its spiritual awakening.

Non-violence is the greatest achievement of life. That is why it is also described in terms of achievement. He who has achieved non-violence, has achieved everything else.

The word utsava or celebration suggests a special state of mind. A non-violent person cannot experience even the slightest sense of despondency while following the path of non-violence.

Therefore, non-violence as 'celebration' has a greater practical implication.

The term ashvasta or assurance to protect expresses that power of non-violence which gives strength to innumerable creatures and protects their consciousness from being dragged downwards.

Non-violence, by bringing down the walls of mutual suspicions, creates an atmosphere of unshakable trust, which inspires one to march forward. From the point of view, one meaning of non-violence is also vishvas or trust.

Fear is the most prominent form of violence. A person who is seized with fear, cannot be at ease with himself and he keeps his environment calm. When one is gripped with fear, he also loses the sense of deciding what is right and what is wrong. That is why the pursuit of fearlessness is necessary. Freedom from fear by itself is non-violence.

It is clear after this discussion about some words that are indicative of non-violence, that it is indeed a very significant achievement for the human society. Human culture can blossom and bloom only on the ground of non-violence. Hence it is necessary to impart to it a value that would affect one's whole life.


Title: The Quest for the Royal Road
Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Environment
  4. Fear
  5. Fearlessness
  6. Nirvana
  7. Non-violence
  8. Samadhi
  9. Soul
  10. Violence
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