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Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 72 ►Non-Violent System of Society

Published: 07.07.2020

Today turmoil is found everywhere. So, it becomes imperative for everyone to think over this point seriously and find out what is the sole reason of it? It is so because whatever is in the roots it will eventually show on the surface. Turmoil is on the surface now. There must be definitely something wrong in the roots. Therefore we need to find the root of it. As long as it is not detected the turmoil cannot be erased. The root cause of turmoil is violence. When violence is in the roots, there are ill-thoughts, resentment, then how on earth there could be non-violence, positive feelings and love on the surface. If peace is desirable than one needs to accept non-violence. On the basis of it only creation of a non-violent society can be thought about.

Individual and Society

It is an uncontroversial factor that the place of the application of non-violence is the person only. If the person can become non-violent then why society and nation cannot be non-violent? After all society and nation are not different from a person. Along with the effort of turning an individual non-violent the society must also be inspired by non-violent thoughts and feelings. The way to peace can be found through this effort only. Non-violence is an ideal for the society, but we should not over imagine it because it brings disappointment in most of the cases. The whole society did not will tum non-violent, it has never been possible nor is it possible now. It is however not necessary that factor-like resentment, deceit, addiction, illusion, greed must not be there in the society. As long as there are living creatures in this world, to root them out completely would be quite impossible. So we must imagine something that is possible to establish. From this point of view we must not think that we would completely change the world.

Right Perception

Let us consider that if adequate effort is given then some people might turn non-violent but those few people are almost like nothing at all. A very few people would tum completely non-violent. So let us leave this idea for a while. First of all we need to do something and that is the feeling of extreme hedonism, extreme accumulation and extreme violence that have taken possession of every individual needs to be eradicated.

Today the aim of life has only got wrong. Most of the people have considered hedonism and accumulation the goal of life. It is equally true that without violence and accumulation life of a family person cannot run. The way without railway-tracks no engine can move, in a similar way a family person cannot sustain without violence and accumulation but that cannot be the goal of life. Therefore, it is very important to change one’s perspective.

A person once said in the context of conversation— ‘Whatever is necessary for life, I consider it non-violence. Then he gave an example from Gita. He said, ‘In Gita, Lord Krishna persuaded Arjuna to fight the battle. Had it been violence than how Lord Krishna would have said so?’ I said, ‘Lord Krishna certainly had inspired Arjuna to fight the battle because there was no alternative left at that point of time. Even if the war had become extremely necessary then also it was an act of violence. To suppress the evil forces and the sinners he had inspired Arjuna to fight the battle but how could violence become non-violence by it?’ Even today we need to raise these questions first because people consider earning money by hook or by crook, a virtue of life or the ultimate goal. In my view it is absolutely a wrong perception and needs to be changed. The first step to create a non- violent society would be this only.’

Yardsticks of a Non-Violent Society

Man’s mind is in turmoil. The root cause of turmoil is violence. It expresses itself in myriad forms. There are four main reasons of it—

  1. Attachment
  2. Expansion of desires
  3. Communal interest
  4. The feeling of proving one’s supremacy

In my belief if these four reasons are erased then the plan of establishing non-violent society would materialize on its own accord. From this point of view even a non-violent society would have these four yardsticks—

  1. Identifying oneself with every living creature
  2. Control over desires.
  3. An aversion towards communal interest
  4. Cessation of the feeling of one’s supremacy.

If such four virtues are incorporated in a society then the society would automatically move on the path of non-violence and would transform itself into a healthy society.

Although violence and accumulation cannot be renounced fully by a family person but he can at least reduce the rate.of violence caused unnecessarily and extreme accumulation. If a family person owns nothing then he cannot be happy and if he accumulates" too much of wealth then also he cannot remain happy. His way is the middle path. I don’t mean to say that he must not own something, it is not my point. My point is that his state of mind must always be toward less and less violence. He must have a certain control over himself. It neither creates any trouble for a person nor does it intervene in the affairs of society. Contrary to this if a person inclines towards extreme accumulation then naturally other persons would be exploited. If a person consumes the food of other ten persons then the rest nine persons would automatically remain hungry.

Equal Distribution

In the Terapanth commune there is a tradition of equal distribution. If saints beg for water and if ten glasses are brought and if ten saints wish to drink water then each saint will get a glass of water. No one has the right to drink water from someone else’s share. If a saint breaks this rule then he has to repent arduously.

Once it happened. There was scarcity of water and the number of saints was more. The leader of the saints instructed them to drink water in right measurement. One of the saints, violating the instruction of the leader, drank water without limit. The leader then observing his responsibility asked him, ‘How could you drink water without measuring.’ He answered reluctantly, ‘I was thirsty so I drank water.’ The leader then said, ‘Everyone was thirsty. How could you drink water from others’ share?’ He could not answer this question nor did he accept his mistake. As a result he was expelled from the commune.

If a person living in society becomes too accumulative then indirectly he becomes an exploiter of others. Therefore, in a non- violent society there is no place for an over accumulative person.

Root Cause of Conflict

The workers want to put their least effort and earn good wages at the, same time. The owner of the mill wants to exploit more productivity from these workers and pay a little amount of remuneration. They wish to skip even the bonus if possible. This is the reason why both these parties keep alleging each other. The strikes ensue. In the end both these parties have to bear the loss. They do not merely fight with each other but also the nation has to bear a great loss. The civilians or the commoners become a victim to such tussles as well. This way no one wins and the gorges between them keep on getting expanded.

Base of a Non-Violent Society

Now-a-days every person is busy accumulating wealth. In a situation akin to this, how could the trait of non-violence is nurtured? When the trait of accumulating things ceases then only the trait of non- violence would be developed like Sulas.

Sulas was the son of a butcher. His father would kill some five hundred buffaloes a day. His childhood was spent in a violent environment; his trait of non-violence was active which is why he was not in a favour of killing any innocent animal. When the father’s end was near than he called Sulas and asked, ‘Son! Would you do me a small favour?’ Sulas said, ‘Father’ What is there to ask?’ The father said, ‘After my death you have to accept the responsibility of being the head of the family and the owner of the house.’ Sulas immediately obeyed him and accepted the condition.

Shortly after the demise of his father all his family members and his kith and kin gathered and got busy in handing over the charge to him of being the master of the house. There was a tradition concerning the charge of being a house owner where killing a buffalo was part of a ritual that was mandatory, but he could not perform the task. At this hour a strange scene presented itself. He was insisted time and again by his close relatives but he adhered stringently to his principle of not killing a living creature. At last the argument of proving it as the last wish of his father was presented. His family member said, ‘You have to obey your father’s command and for that using sword has become very necessary. You cannot avoid it.’ He tried to make them understand but no one got convinced. At last Sulas got an idea. He asked, ‘Is it of utmost necessary to use sword for me?’

Everyone replied in affirmative together, ‘Yes’. Then Sulas held the sword in his hand and got ready to strike his leg with the sword. The family members were shocked to see the scene and said, ‘What are you doing?’ Saying this much they held his hand. Sulas said, ‘Why are you all stopping me? You all were saying that using sword for me was necessary. As a matter of fact I am obeying your command only. The pain that would be caused to me by striking sword there would be no less pain felt by the buffaloes. Therefore it is feasible to use the sword over my leg. Hearing this everyone became silent and then said, ‘whatever you wish to do you may do but do not strike your leg with the sword. We declare you the owner of the house without using sword. This way without killing he got the post of the head of the family.

This is the base of the dream of creating a non-violent society. Lf every person owns such traits then non-violent society would be formed on its own accord. ‘Anubrat’ is working in this direction. To be an ‘Anubrati’ means he would try to make his life happy without making others unhappy. He would feed himself but would not snatch bread from others. When such a situation would arise then automatically the plan of creating a non-violent society would become successful.

Sources

Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Edition:
1999
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. Deceit
  2. Environment
  3. Gita
  4. Greed
  5. Krishna
  6. Non-violence
  7. Terapanth
  8. Violence
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