Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 06 ►Role of Non-Violence

Published: 04.06.2020

We are not merely souls, nor are we merely bodies. We are a combination of soul and body. Our thoughts are soul oriented, happiness is soul oriented, bliss belongs to soul and power also comes from soul. But these attributes cannot manifest on their own. Body becomes the medium through which such attributes are manifested. If there is no body then soul alone cannot manifest. Consciousness is an attribute of soul, but -it appears only with the co-operation of body. The way a stick supports blind man, in as much the same way the body becomes the medium through which soul is manifested. From this point of view our body is a very effective medium. But at the same time we must never forget that the stick supports a blind man as long as he is able to walk. After reaching the destination the stick loses its importance. In a similar way the body remains effective so long as the soul realizes its true form and attains pure consciousness. After realizing its true nature there is no need to hold one’s body.

True Nature of Life

In Jaina tradition the two words are very much prevalent—‘paryapati and Prana’ Paryapati is the inherent negative power that shapes and forms every little cell of a living creature (paudgalic). Prana is the life energy. The word ‘Prana’ is very significant. The question arises what is Prana? Is it merely the respiration‘? Does it lie in veins? Is itour heart then? Does it lie in our brain? None of them is Prana’. Prana is something on the basis of which we all live. Although Prana is directly associated with living creature but still that inherent energy is relative. This is the reason why it has been defined this way- ‘पर्याप्त्यपेकक्षिणी जीवनशक्तिप्राणा:’. The life energy that enables living creatures to channelize their instincts to reach saturation is Pranamy is relative.

Prana is of ten kinds:

  1. Auditory
  2. Visionary
  3. Olfactory
  4. Taste
  5. Touch
  6. Power of mind
  7. Power of speech
  8. Power of muscles (physical strength)
  9. Respiratory
  10. Digestive

The first five kinds are associated with satisfaction of instincts. Mind power, power of speech and physical strength are associated with the saturation of mind, speech and physical comfort. The respiratory prana is associated with respiration. Digestive prana is associated with consumption of food.The energy that controls eyes, ears and functioning of other instincts is the instinctive prana (life energy). If there are no eyes then the darkness prevails everywhere. In a similar way a person finds it almost impossible to live without nose, ears, tongue and other important organs. As the instincts get weaker and weaker the life energy also gets dissipated. Similarly mind, speech and physical strength are also related to life energy. With the lessening of mind power one’s capacity of reasoning also declines. If the power of speech is affected then it is impossible to express one’s emotions or thoughts. The physical strength is the most important of all. If there is a body then the existence of instincts, mind and speech is possible. If the body disappears everything disappears along with it.

Who is the Sinner?

A very significant question arises what causes sin? The common notion is that the mind is the sinner. It has even been said—-‘मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयो:’. Mind is responsible for man’s imprisonment and freedom. Mind only binds and mind only sets free. But Jaina Tirthankaras had added a new concept concerning this matter. According to them our instincts have three mediums of expression mind, speech-and body. Mind alone does nothing. The retribution of body has its own significance. Mind and speech together accumulate sins but the ultimate action is done through the body. Where lays the existence of mind and speech other than the body? Body is they only medium that controls the smooth functioning of mind or speech. Body is visible. Who watches the mind? Any thought may arise in the mind. It doesn’t necessarily find expression but the follies caused by body are loud and clear. In scriptures penance of sins caused by body has been greatly emphasized than the penance caused by the mind. The perversions of mind can be set right by the mind itself but the mistakes caused by the body leads to greater punishment. The important factor that needs understanding in Jaina philosophy is that mind, speech and body—all three have been regarded as the medium for one’s bondage or alternatives of renunciation. All these three mediums have been equally accepted.

Difference between a Family Person and a Recluse

A family person also meditates and a recluse also meditates but, there is a great difference in their meditation (Samayik). A recluse renounces in three karani and three yogas but a shravaka’s renunciation doesn’t follow the same rule. A shravaka may behave like a saint for some time but doesn’t become a saint. He is an owner of his property and deeply attached to it. His business is running at a full swing, he may be running a factory, he is deeply involved with the income and expenses of it. Even if he gets involved in Samayik (meditation) his relation with the worldly events doesn’t get severed so easily. Shortly after the time of mediation gets over, he again claims ownership of his property.

Gautam Swami once asked Lord Mahavira—‘Bhante (Lord)! A shravaka gets involved in Paushadh. He renounces all the tendencies that lead one to commit sins. Is he following the paushadh with three karan and three yogas?

Loard Mahavir asked him in return -" A shravaka has taken Paushadh. Stealing takes place in his house at night. When the time of paushadh has passed would he start looking for the thieves or not?"

'Certainly, he will look for the thieves', Gautam said. Why?' Nothing belongs to him, then why should he look for the thieves? In a similar way when he gets involved in samayik he says that his mother doesn’t belong to him, his wife doesn’t belong to him and so on. If someone insults them at that point of time then shortly after his samayik gets over doesn’t he argue or quarrel with him? The significance of this example is ‘that renunciation by a shravaka is at the superficial level but at some deeper level his attachment is not severed. A shravaka is quite intelligent and religious too at the same time, but at the sudden demise of a close relative he gets bewildered and starts weeping. What to say about a shravaka even some saints lose their tranquillity and reveal their weakness at such a hostile situation. Why talk about others, even a stalwart of knowledge and wisdom Gandhar also could not control himself in such a situation. Therefore we must understand carefully that mind, speech and body all three are the medium by which sins are committed. Since all these three are responsible for sins that’s why they have been referred to as Mandand (punishment of speech) vachandand (punishment of speech) and kayadand (punishment of body).

The respiratory life energy (श्वासोच्क्षछवास प्राण) is related to respiration. One who has realized आयुष प्राण की पूरक आहार पर्याप्ति है his anchorage becomes food. So long as he keeps consuming food he remains alive with the power of that life energy (आयुष बल). The moment he stops his balanced diet, life energy comes to a decline. With the cessation of life energy the person dies.

The life persists on the basis of life energy. When life energy comes to an end life also ceases. Dissipation of life energy is violence. Life comes to an end automatically at certain point of time but if someone deliberately ends it then he is called a violent man. It is an act of violence to kill a living creature. That is a gross violence. The writers of scriptures have regarded thinking ill of someone as violence too.


Non-Violence in Its Purified State

Violence is prevalent in every corner of the world today. Violence in the field of politics is a common phenomenon. The election at Chikmangaloore has disturbed and affected innumerable lives. In Karnataka the situation is such that everywhere politics is being discussed. In fact pamphlets have been pasted on the walls of hotels describing clearly that people can have their meals but no one can discuss politics.

Millions of people are involved with politics. They are busy defeating one another. A few brothers asked me, ‘Who do you support?’ I said, ‘I am not in favour of any party. I don’t want to get entangled in the mire of party and politics. My job is to preach moral values to everyone.

Some people associated with the cow rescue movement came to me and said, ‘We need your support.’ I said, ‘It is not my job to get associated with any movement. I am against an act of killing. I cannot support the killing of cows, buffalos or sheep for that matter. From life’s perception every living creature is the same. My whole effort here is to reduce cruelty and enhance compassion, to reduce violence and to enhance non-violence. To stop gross violence is not pure non- violence in my view. The pure non-violence is to transform one’s heart and turn the person into a non-violent person. As long as the violent man’s heart is not transformed he would continue committing acts of violence in some way or the other. He cannot be stopped. The ideal step would be to spread non-violence keeping far away from politics.


Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Brain
  3. Consciousness
  4. Gandhar
  5. Gautam Swami
  6. JAINA
  7. Jaina
  8. Karnataka
  9. Mahavir
  10. Meditation
  11. Non-violence
  12. Prana
  13. Samayik
  14. Soul
  15. Swami
  16. Tirthankaras
  17. Violence
  18. shravaka
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