Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 90 ►Non-Violence and Bravery

Published: 16.07.2020

Question—A non-violent society is simple, kind and compassion oriented. This is the reason why it lacks bravery and manhood. How far do you agree with this view? India had been under foreign subjugation for a long time. Is it not due to being her non-violent?

Answer—A non-violent society or a person is surely kind and compassionate but due to this lacks bravery or manhood is something that I consider a false allegation or an illusion. Such allegations are put by those who have no faith or sincerity over non-violence and the illusion belongs to those who have not understood non-violence. It is only possible when there is a conflict between kindness and courage, compassion and manhood. I do not see any conflict between these factors rather they complement or cooperate each other. Today this co-operation is missing so the way kindness and compassion are degraded so the courage and manhood have been made despicable.

The Indian philosophers have contemplated over non-violence in a very subtle way. Many religious texts have recommended non- violence to be made a part of Indian lifestyle. Though it doesn’t mean that they have forbidden resisting. Wherever there is property, accumulation in society, no religious text can forbid protecting it.

I was in Delhi at the time of Indo-Pak war. Once Dinkarji suddenly arrived there. During conversation he said, you all must be facing a dire problem as Indo-Pak war is going on. Neither do you consider war good, nor do you support it nor do you instruct your followers to participate in war. Instruction is a far cry rather you also forbid them to participate. Now in such a critical hour how would you defend your principles?

This is such an illusory question which is not limited to two or four persons. I neither consider war good not do I support it—till here the statement carries truth in it but as far as forbidding’ my followers to participates in war is considered it is not fair to put such an allegation because as long as accumulation is related with society violence and war have a significance. Accumulation gets associated with lust, lust gives birth to fear and fear certainly invites violence and conflict. One who lives in society and assumes the role of protecting it, if he denies war seeing all possible reasons, I consider it a concocted thought.

When I tum the pages of Jain history, I find the names of many kings and rulers who had deftly administrated their kingdoms. There are many Jain warriors who during their reign fought many battles bravely and had been victorious. If Jaina religion or non-violence had turned them into cowards then how would all this been possible? At the period of the first Tirthankara Rishabhdev a great conflict took place between Bharat and Buhabalia. At the time of the last Tirthankara Lord Mahavira a dreadful battle broke between King Kaunik and Chetak that left a mark on history whereas both of them were disciples of Mahavira. All these examples prove that in a state of accumulation and power, the situation of war had been arising and the believers of non-violence had also taken part in such battles with equal responsibility and valour because they were not unaware of the necessity and limitations of accumulation, violence and non-violence.

Accumulation, lust, fear and violence—they all are mutually connected to one another. The law of cause and effect. So to accept one and refute the other would not be acceptable. Along with non- accumulation non-violence can urbanely go well because non-accumulation, fearlessness and non-violence they complete a full circle but when a person accepts the responsibility of his accumulation to talk about non-violence at that point of time is shear cowardice.

For a social person war is a sort of violence that is indispensable. It is a sort of violence that cannot be avoided by a man living in society. In this context there is only a point that needs to be understood and that is I do not consider the violence caused during war as-non- violence. Some religion texts have considered fighting in war a means to attain to heaven religion and reach higher existence but I do not agree with it.

India had been a slave for many years. To consider the cause of this slavery due to non-violence would be unwise. History itself bears testimony to the fact that when non-violence was at its peak many developments took place then. Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha’s words of non-violence and compassion leave an influence that goes on till fifteen hundred years. Gupta period was popularly known as Golden Age. That dynasty also prospered during that age. Some fifteen hundred years old history is still singing the glory of victory.

After that the influence of non-violence went on lessening. The religious cults found giving advice to others of trapped in mutual conflicts. Conflicts, resentment, hatred left nothing untouched from being affected by such negative traits. In the name of religion wrestling and such other games of brutal light started taking place. The whole country began to disintegrate into small territories. Those cults also got disintegrated into smaller cults, race, caste and communes. The rituals kept on taking place at random day-by-day. These reasons were such that divided India into small segments externally and turned her weak and feeble from inside as well.

India had remained slave thought could also have been understood if Indians had turned against war. Whereas the situation was such that in the past thousand years many small battles had been fought on this land. The borders of small territories had always been on turmoil. When wars had been fought at a random rate here, when violence had flown in the veins of people here then what kind of faith is it on non-violence?

In my view the crux of the whole discussion is—Non-violence is an armour of brave men. Non-violence is the very life of freedom. The way Lord Mahavira had considered killing an act of violence, in a similar way is had considered the tradition of slave also an act of violence. Slavery and non-violence have no connection with each other. Similarly one’s own cowardice, the incompetence in war strategy, the excessive rituals being practiced and mutual conflict that had been the reason of India’s slavery for centuries cannot be associated with non-violence.

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. Buddha
  2. Delhi
  3. Fear
  4. Fearlessness
  5. JAINA
  6. Jaina
  7. Mahavira
  8. Non-violence
  9. Rishabhdev
  10. Tirthankara
  11. Violence
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