custom university admission essay kansas state master thesis inventory management editing services reviews master thesis canibus bbc schools homework help great short essays online

sex movies

سكس عربي

arabic sex movies

سكس

maturetube

سكس xxx

Ahimsa - The Science Of Peace: RELEVANCE TODAY

Published: 16.01.2009
Updated: 30.07.2015

RELEVANCE TODAY

‘The concept of ahimsa has become irrelevant in modern world’ - many people support this idea. There is a genuine basis for this, because this is the age of competition, the economic mindset, and technological progress. All this steers towards the mundane or materialism which, in turn, is conducive to violence (himsa) rather than ahimsa. The supporters of ahimsa are being consigned to oblivion.

However, if we profoundly and pragmatically study the true situation, and if we sincerely try to diagnose the ailment, another reality will be revealed to us. In fact, it is the present condition that needs ahimsa most. It would not be out of place to recall that the famous phrase ‘Ahimsa is the loftiest among duties or religions.’ (Ahimsa paramo dharma.) is from the epic Mahabharata, which is about a great war. We find many historical instances of war-torn, violent and complex periods in which ahimsa has provided far-reaching solutions. Why not look into them and analyze them?

How to affect the spread of ahimsa? It is a tough problem, especially in the present circumstances when violence is widespread and ever growing. It is impossible to change the complete life style of the whole society overnight. Then should we just wait for the change to come naturally in due course? But that would mean going for reconstruction only after complete destruction.

When we look into the past, we find this to have been a possibility. This was because, even after destruction, enough was left to facilitate reconstruction or regeneration. But the destructive machinery we have created today is all consuming. It will probably destroy the atmosphere on which all life depends. From the scale of centuries or millenniums, the process of regeneration of life will shift to the scale of eons and more. Given these stakes, we cannot brand this destruction inevitable and accept the prevailing conditions.

We should not forget that not to oppose evil amounts to supporting evil. A sincere endeavour never becomes worthless under any conditions. If nothing else, it leaves an imprint of its existence on the fabric of space and time, a seed that sprouts whenever the conditions are right and conducive. Even if favourable conditions are absent now, we must strive for the goal, no matter how difficult the endeavor may be.

As long as we continue to define ahimsa in sacralized, ritualistic terms as non-killing and non-hurting, it will remain a matter of sentiment and will continue to be governed by the flickering state of the human mind. The definition should not be confined to this narrow verbal meaning, but should be elaborated-as Mahavir did-as a way of life in which balance is emphasized and discerning attitude or vivek is made the means of implementation. This is imperative because ahimsa is neither an exact term nor static. It is relative as well as dynamic. It varies from person to person and time to time depending on one’s spiritual level and circumstances. When it comes to defending the country, the duty of a citizen changes - he may have to resort to violence. When it comes to his treatment of his fellow humans and animals, his duty shifts to protecting living beings. At one place he is governed by courage, valour and aggression, and at the other by compassion and sympathy.

The discipline of ahimsa at every level does not mean that a criminal is not to be punished. It is a dynamic principle, as given by Jains, and its application is also dynamic. Ahimsa literally means absence of himsa. Thus, when in application it means do what leads to the absence of violence, and that does not convey not punishing a criminal.

It sometimes seems that in the face of growing violence it is futile to talk of turning the other cheek. That is because we are under the general impression that turning the other cheek is a display of humility and weakness. However, in the context of ahimsa it is not so. Abhaya is the true expression of ahimsa and abhaya means absence of fear, which in turn comes from strength, not weakness. However, what exactly this strength means and how can it be put to use should be well understood.

Weakness gives birth to anger, hatred, vengeance and many other negative attitudes and feelings. Weakness, both of body and mind, blocks the fulfillment of our desires. Unfulfilled desires cause sorrow and pain, which in turn culminate in feelings of hatred and vengeance. Inability to correct the situation gives rise to anger. Although anger is harmful to us, it satisfies our ego and we derive contentment by harming others. We forget that anger sprouting out of hatred and vengeance multiplies the destructive power of physical weapons to dangerous proportions. The only way to pacify hatred and vengeance is through self-control attained through inner strength.

By removing weakness we reduce anger and the other passions, but it is not so easy. Weakness should be removed from exactly where it is. It has first to be pinpointed. It should be understood that the strength or power we utilize to remove weakness can go astray, and this complicates the matter by increasing weakness, anger and consequent ill effects.

We have to recognize the exact place of weakness in our individual system, i.e. whether it is in the body, mind, or brain, or in the individual, society or politics, or in some other area such as economics. First, see the patient and his environment, then understand his weakness, and then seek the treatment. Of course, there are certain cures that are universally applicable and give an all-round health. These methods should be made active perpetually.

Ahimsa is a feeling inspired and backed by strength. Anger and other such feelings are consequences of weakness. However, like weakness, power also has many guises. Generally speaking, a being is a combination of strength and weakness. Thus the directions his life takes multiply depending on various combinations of the intensities of this strength and weakness. This is the reason a control over strength and weakness is required. And this comes through discipline or self-control. Ahimsa appears to be the most efficient system of discipline.

It is only a handful of people who follow the path of violence and promote violence. The larger majority who indulge in violence are mere followers on whom violence is thrust for one reason or another. In fact, it is easier to accept and follow the path of ahimsa than that of himsa, which involves comparatively larger physical, mental and financial resources. If efforts are made in the right direction, the influence of ahimsa can be spread in a much wider area. Violence is like a forest fire that consumes everything in its path. The best and most effective way to contain it is to dig trenches of ahimsa so that it comes in contact with a void alone.

To fight himsa with ahimsa is easier said than done. The problem becomes all the more complex when it relates to society and nation. Individual decisions become easy when the problem is viewed with reference to an individual in isolation from society. To tackle the problem at the social and national level requires the enormous moral strength, conviction and devotion of a Gandhi.

How do we go about promoting the feeling of tolerance and co-existence? Is it so difficult? In order to seek a solution to some problem, it is best to look for the cause of the problem. If that cause can be removed, the problem will slowly die its own death. Any other solution will be temporary. In case it is impossible to completely eradicate the cause, then a long-lasting balance has to be achieved where cause is reduced to an almost benign level and enough strength is given to the system to sustain and maintain that level. Ahimsa can provide such a solution because it has universal application beginning from reforming an individual’s attitude right up to international relations.

Mahavir’s ahimsa way of life involves three vital factors - dynamism, discipline, and balance or equanimity. These factors are linked with the ahimsa way of life, forming a mutually dependent progressive cycle of development. When any one of these factors improves it automatically brings improvement in other factors and the whole system.

Sources

Prakrit Bharati Academy
Publisher:
D.R. MEHTA, Founder & Chief Patron

First edition: 1987
Second enlarged Edition May: 2004
Third Edition July: 2008

© All rights reserved with the author

Printed at:
Raj Printers & Associates, Jaipur, India

Share this page on:
Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Abhaya
  2. Ahimsa
  3. Ahimsa Paramo Dharma
  4. Anger
  5. Body
  6. Brain
  7. Dharma
  8. Discipline
  9. Environment
  10. Equanimity
  11. Fear
  12. Gandhi
  13. Himsa
  14. Mahabharata
  15. Mahavir
  16. Space
  17. Tolerance
  18. Violence
Page statistics
This page has been viewed 1312 times.
© 1997-2022 HereNow4U, Version 4.5
Home
About
Contact us
Disclaimer
Social Networking

HN4U Deutsche Version
Today's Counter: