Truth quenches untruth, love quenches anger, self suffering quenches violence. The way of non-violence is not meant for saint alone. It is for all. Such people are few in number but they are the salt of the earth. The world is sustained through such people and not through those who sin against Light and Truth.
(M.K. Gandhi)Misconception: uncharitable people have some times unjustly criticised Ahimsa or non-violence and attributed India’s downfall and degration to this doctrine. According to such men Ahimsa produces only coward and weak-kneed people. But this is far from truth because the rule of ahimsa does not demand that a man should yield to the enemy on the battlefield or that he sit deaf and dumb if somebody attacks his home or hearth.
Ahimsa in different stages: Ahimsa a taught by that great teache varies from stage to stage. Thus for a saint who derives food from any one, state or individual, cares for nothing except the progress and advancement of his soul, is enjoyed complete ashimsa- ahimsa in thought , words and deeds,- but as regards a layman, who lives in the world , it is recognised that for him complete ahimsa is neither possible nor practical ,nor even feasible. In him who shares the benefit and protection of the organised life of his country has the duty of defending it against wanton attacks. The weak, the helpless, the family, the religious places and the very religion must also be protected. In fact shirking from this would be considered as dereliction of duty.
Kind of Himsa- What true Ahimsa directs a house- holders to guard against is intentional and deliberate injury-injury for injury’s sake, for the mere fun and frolics without any thought of higher end to serve. While the injury involved in the every-day life such as walking , sweeping, cooking in the discharge of occupational duties such as a agricultural operations transports etc. and in self-defence i.e. safeguarding life and prosperity are in avoidable. In such cases it is the motive and not the actual violence that matters. It the motive is pure, that is, there is no undue best for power and pelf and the heart is not actuated by selfish desires the soul cannot be contaminated. What blame attacks to the surgeon , for example , who in order to save the life of a patient amputates his limb?
Ahimsa and Universal brotherhood:- The critic appears to have nourished the false idea about ahimsa, because the doctrine forbid purposeless injury to the minutest of insect. To understand it properly the ahimsa is message or universal brotherhood not confined to one class or community , but it extends its love comparison and friendship even to the most helpless, driven cattle. “Live and let live” is its motto. Do not harm any living being in thoughts, words and deeds in its sheet anchor. Even with regard ti sinner the advice is ‘Hate the sin & not sinner.’
Non-violence of strong:- Mahatma Gandhi, apostle of non-violence whose able guidance through thick and thin, contributed in so small way to the attainment of independence by India, has amplified the doctrine. According to him even a foreign aggression on a country can be set aside through complete non-violence. It is then non-violence, of strong and not of weak and disunited that is required. Surely a cat won’t spare a rat even though the latter sit still when the former attacks them. The weak and the helpless are non-violent in action because they have no power of resistance, but in reality they are not non-violent, for they harbour violence in their heart and simply await opportunity for its display. Gandhi Ji shunned this sort of non-violence of the weak & even preferred violence than non- violence toward off fear, where the victim is not a matched by non-violent means, did not, let the reader be reminded, the father of the nation tell Shri Patel that he felt happy to see the aeroplane carry men, arms and ammunitions to defend Kashmir because he felt and rightly too, that India was not organised on a vast scale on non-violent lines. Gandhi Ji also commended Poland for its armed resistance to Hitler.
A girl was one teased by a mischief-monger, who cast some non-sense remarks. The girl taking courage
slapped the mischief doer, and Gandhi Ji approved her act, when she make a reference to him.
Mr. Manu Bhai Shah, Union Minister for Commerce, told Indian Council of Commerce of an incident concerning Mahatma Gandhi and his concept of non-violence.
The Mahatma was once passing through a railway station when once people went to him to relate report how they silent when an English man was beating up an innocent Indian. The Mahatma once deplored their conduct “ My non violence is not non-violence at of the coward. If I were you, I would have taken him to task and if necessary slapped him” he said.
“Resistance to an evil is acting in accordance with the will of God” he once said,
Dogmtaism:- Jesus preached this doctrine of
Ahimsa more than nineteen hundred years ago. He warned,
“ All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
St. Methew.Resist not evil but whosoever shall smile thee on thee right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away the coat, let him have thy clock also, And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him the twain. Give to him that asketh the and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”
St. Mathew I, 39 to 42
The advice tenderd was remarkable , Jesus, however , did not follow the advice himself, for he once drove the money changers out of temple. Was Jesus wrong? No surely not. The apparent contradiction in words and deeds is due to the fact that in reading the scriptures, we become dogmatic. To avoid confusion Jainism makes a clear distinction between the duties of the saints and the laity.
How to combat an evil:- But the question is actually to combat an evil particularly when one is weak? Should one put up with agreesion? No, a most emphatic No. Non –restance to an evil is cowardice , we must ‘do or die means’ is should ,however ,be noted, as important, or even more important, than ends . Bad means employed to achieve good and may spoil the chances to graning those very ends. And the method prescribed is Sham('kke) Dam (nke) Dand (naM) Bhed (Hksn) which respectively means reconciliation, payment, punishment and disunion. In case should first be, if possible, thoroughly argued with the adversary. Who knows that adversary may be right and you or I in the wrong and the thing for which we are quarrelling may reasonably be belonging to the other party? If arguments canlead us tosome amicable settlements, there is nothing better.
But in case the other party does not come, round, despite the fact that the enemy has been brought to bag in a wordy dual than if considered advisible , say on grounds of superiority in strength or for any other cause about which those who can speak in the matter with authority and confidence , you may, just as the Britishers did in the case of the sturdy Pathans of the tran-north-western-frontier province of undivided sub-continent of India, pay something in cash or kind-give devil his due and finish him. It is a bad strategy always to be on the offensive. Do not be rash; keep the head cool even in the case of strongest provocation, weigh the pros and cons properly- defensive measures properly taken are as good as offensive. We should, in this regard,take lesion from the English who were on the defensive both in the World War I and II. But suppose payment of cash or kind does not produce the desired result, then act as advised by Shakespear:
BewareOf entrance to a quarrel but being in Bear’t , that the opposed many be beware of thee
(Hamlet Act I Sc. III)
Strike with your full might and full confidence. Presuming that for some reasons unforeseen even this fails then we have to seek disunion in the enemy camp, ranks and there is no alternative or substitute for this.
Tact and resourcefulness . It requires a lot of tact and resourcefulness to
save an awakward situation.
See how Jesus once handled it.
3.And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken adultery, and they had set her in the midst.
4. They say unto him Master, this woman was taken in Adultery in the- taken in very act.
5.Now moses in the low commanded is that such should be stoned ; but sayest thou ?
6. This they said, tempting him that they stopped down and with his finger wrote on the ground as though he heard them not.
7. So when they continued asking him he lifted up himself and said unto them. He that is without sin among you; let him first cast a stone as her.
8. And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9. And they which heard it convicted by their own conscience went out one by one, beginning at the eldest even units the last; and Jesus standing in the midst.
10. When Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said into her, woman , where are those thin/thing accusers? Hath no man condemned thee ?
11. She said, “ no man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.
(St. John Chapter VIII)
Ques. How do you propose to meet the situation such as that created by Mr.Bhutto the then Pakistan Foreign Minister in the Security council when he addressed the Indians as “These Indian dogs walked out of the council ,but no out of Kashmir?
Ans.S. Swaran Singh , the leader of the Indian delegation did well in not giving a box on the ears of Mr. Bhutto.
Such thing would have been against the Indian tradition of tolerance and good manners. He did well to walk out of the
meeting for this had the satutary effect on the same section of the council. The worthy Sardar Sahib , the son of a
bitch ,bite the leg of a man, it does not behove the latter to bite the leg of a former.
Budha from him whom they learnt our wisdom and tolerance our patience and firmness to purpose had his own way of dealing with such situation.
Once during his wanderings he met an arrogant farmer, who on being told that Budha was a holy mendicant began to uphold and hurl abuses. Budha craved leave to aks one question of the rustic. “ If you should offer me.” he said, “ a hundred silver coins and put them in my hand and I were to deny to accept what would happen to the money? To whom would it then belong.”
“ To me without a doubt.” replied the former. “If the coins be not accepted they come back to me and belong to me.”
“ Then, Sir,” said the Enlightened one, “ I do not accept your harsh words, nor your filthy language;
it does not belong to me but goes back to you and is yours . But I am sorry that I shall have one friend the less.”
We should , as advised by Budha, somehow, try to achieve a victory wherein everybody wins and nobody has the sense of defeat, which rakes ad creates trouble. It may be difficult but there is little doubt that type of victory is the most helpful and and during.
A non-violent resister, it should be appreciated, does not want to defeat the oppressor; his object is to win the friendship , understanding of the oppressor . Non Violent methods aim at defeating the man perpectuating the system. Properly understood it is a weapon of the strong based on the conviction that soul force is more powerful than physical force.
Physical force: Inspite of the best intentions argumentum baculum arouses feeling estranges sympathies & makes a complicated situationstill more complicated by giving rise to endless eddies of revenge and counter revenge, thereby ultimately spoiling the very purpose for which violence is employed. Its use therefore, is last thing to be commanded the settlement of differences. But to non-violence is put to use must be cause, unavoidability of circumstances and judicious mind.
The cause:- The cause for which the fighter takes up the gaimtlet and uses the arm of non-violence must also be righteous; our actions in order that this novel weapon may strike effectively must; proceed from a clear conscience. In the case of sinners many of bad men and women would have become good citizens by being treated kindly, who had otherwise become hardened criminals.
Incorrigibles. Jainism recognised that there are some people who remain incorrigible . For them there is no salavation. Men like Shabbuddin Mohamad Gori, Nadir Shah and Changezkhan must be liquidated and exterminated in defuse of the country, community, religion and whatever we stand for. It is however, the layman’s duties viz, the soldier duty to do it and not the saint who has given up all relations, attachments and aversion.
Foreign Aggression. What should be India’s attitude to foreign aggression? Should we yield to the treacherous invasions by chaos-moas and possible attacks by Ayubs, shoabs & others?
In answer to this we have the advice of the greatest exponent of non-violence of the present day- Mahatma Gandhi who said,
“ I do not say eschew violence in your dealing with robbers, thieves or with nations that may invade India ........ my method of non-violence can never lead to loss of strength but it alone makes it possible ; if the nation will it to suffer disciplined and concerted violence in time of danger.”
Gandhi Ji repeats the same idea in other words as below:-
“I would rather have, India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner remain as a helpless witness to her own dishonour.”
India expects every man and woman, old and young rich and poor, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh Christian, Jain and non-Jain, who prides to call himself an Indian , first and last, to do his or her duty in an hour of crisis, for who lives if the country dies, would we be able to save the honour of our mothers, sisters, and wives, temples, scriptures, culture anything that we hold dear and near?
Far how can a man die better
Then faceing a fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods?
Let those who are not considered fit for military duty pay like Bhamshah in cash and kind. If on military duty it would be no sin to kill the enemy, for them it is not our intention to kill just for self aggrandisement but in sel-defence. Nay we have even to liquidate the quishings amongst us though we should not take the law in our individual hands.
Ques: What do you think about the Budhist monks who burnt themselves to death in South Vietnam?
Ans: I am not aware of any such in
jurisdiction in Jainism. I so not think that even Budhism enjoins
Hara-Kiri, self immolation may melt the hearts of hose who have soft corners in them but not like those
of Neros, Hitlers and Czars. It is bad for a layman to be good; Prithviraj and Gandhiji
were martyrs to their goodness. In such cases we should act as our Givernment, constituted by law of
the land, direct us to do.
Fearlessness: It is essential feature of Ahimsa. See what Swami Ram Tirtha says from his personal experience.
“Lions may be tamed by a single glance, enemies may be pacified by a single look, and victory may be won by a single clash of fearlessness. I have roamed in, met tigers, bears, wolves and venomous animals. No harm was done to me. The wild bears were looked straight in the face, glances met, the fierce animals were out –scared and the so-called terrible creatures sucked away why was it? Supply an account of fearlessness. Rama was filled with spirit,” I am not the body, I am not the mind, the Supreme Divinity, I am God. No fire can burn me, no weapon can wound me. When a cat comes, pigeons close their eyes; they think the cat does see them, because they do not see the cat, never-the-less the cat eats them. Beware, if you are afraid, the cat will eat you up”.
Have you noticed that while walking in the sub-urban quarters, if you betray the least sign
of fear even dogs rush at us and molest? When we are pouring liquid is sure to be split. Pour the
liquid unhesitatingly, confidently, fearlessly into the receptacle and not a single drop will be lost.
An experiment was made in Paris, where a young lady was hypnotised and placed in a den of lions.
She had no fear of lions and the lions paid not the slightest attentions to her.
(Mr. Hudson in the Law of Psychic Phenomena)
The moment you fear, you are no body. If is fear teat is the great cause of misery in the world.
It is fear that is the cause of our woes and it is fearlessness that brings happiness in a
(Swami Vivekananda)One who has no ahimsa is never injured by tigers or snakes, because you have feeling if himsa in your mind, you are attacked by wild animals.
(Jain Saint Parbhuda Bharat pp. 125-126)
It is gratify to note that though they have made some mistakes the present Indian Republic has accepted the principle of leaving for England in connection with his education took the three vows in the presence of a Jain Saint—abstenance from wine, woman and meat. Punch-Shila which is ahimsa in action has now beanended the thought of the world and recalcitrants sooner or later perhaps sooner than later, shall have to come round and accept the principle under one world Government.
“Non-injury id the greatest victory where there is truth.”
Is quite logical and practical.
Here is some of delicious food for thought. No religion of the world has explained the principle of Ahimsa so deeply and scientifically as is discussed with its applicability in everyday human life in Jainism. As and when the benevolent principles of Ahimsa will be searched for practice by the people of the world to active that end in life in life world and beyond Jainism is sure to have the uppermost status and Lord Mahavira is sure to be respected as the greatest authority on Ahimsa.
The Rishis who discovered the law of non-violence in the midst of violence were better geniuses than Newton and Wellington.
Prof. Dr. Raman.
In ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ P. 48
True world peace could be won only through the application of spiritual and moral values and not
by the most terrifying instruments of destruction.
(Eisenhower, A.B. Patrika, 24-11-52)
Indeed in our strife-torn world Ahimsa has internationally become recognised as the only peaceful weapon which alone can counter-act the evil forces of violence threatening the very existence of the whole mankind. We have, therefore, all reasons to thank Jain Community for upholding the tenants of Bhagwan Mahavira so determinedly and so successfully throughout to out and half millennia.
(Dr. Melchers; Ambassador, Fed. Republic of Germany)
Ahimsa Shodh Peeth, an institute, set up in New Delhi, to propagate non-violence has decided to publish an ‘authoritative’ translation of Jain Scriptures—the Agam Texts.This has been considered necessary as the present Hindi rendering of the Agam Texts, is neither complete nor it has a simple language. The work, in 80 vols. --- each containing 400 pages, is likely to cost Rs. 1,000,000.
The translation work is being done with the assistance of Bihar Govt. In all, the peeth Proposes to undertake projects costing about Rs. one crore. It will undertake the publication on Ahimsa in Hindi explaining its philosophy in different aspects.
(The Indian Express 23-1-1963)Ahimsa is a basic necessity for a good life for invidiual community, nation & world without it, there can be neithr contentment nor prosperity nor peace.
Hon’ble Rajkumari Amrit Kaur .(V.O.A. Vol.II P. 92)The only panacea to heal up the wounded humanity is the principal of Ahimsa. It is the onerous duty of Jain community to spreat theri sublime principle of Ahimsa far and wide. Mrs. Roosevolt visited India, what struck her most in our country is our cultural morality of Ahimsa with which Indians fought out successfully.
(Hon’ble Sh. Mirilal Gangwal, Chief Minister of M.P)The Father of Nation owes his inspiration for the teaching of non-violence to the founders of Jain culture. There cannot be greater compliment to this principle than this undeniable fact.
(His Excellency Dr. B.Pattibhai Sitaramaya Governor M.P V.O.A. Vol.II Page 143)Brutal force cannot be met successfully indefinitely with similar brutal force, but only with non-operation towards those who have undertaken to use brutal force.
(Einstein)The Gospel of Ahimsa was deeply & Systematically expounded properly & specially preached by Jain Tirthankars more prominently by Lord Mahavira, then again by Lord Budha & at last it was acted in thoughts , word & deeds; symbolised by Mahatma Gandhi.
(Prof. Ian Yushan of China)
The complete & flawless practice of Ahimsa raises the man to Godhood. It gives light, provides delight & bestows might to its faithful & honest aspirant. Gandhiji aspirant to practice highest type of Ahimsa by becoming a nude Jain monk when Churchill had rebuked Gandhi ji by calling him ‘a naked faqir.’ He had informed Churchill, “ I would love to be naked faqir but I am not yet.”
(The life of M.K.Gandhi by Prof. L. Fisher. Page 473)A solf answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir anger. (Birble Proverb 151)
(Bible Proverb 151 )Munch in Lunch. Member of the Ant-eaters Association who seem to have eaten just about everything except ants, munched on roast hippoponpanus at their 20th anniversary luncheon. In one dinner the meat was cooked like dark-coloured roast beef rather tough & tasted the way it cooked. The hoast Mr.Gorden Leech, provided a two top hippo from Kenya.
Some member lunched previously on such things as bear from the dismal swamps, whale blubber from the Arctic. Australian Kangaroos and cral-eating seat from the Antarctic.
See to what depths we human beings can go to gratify the demands of our palaters. The Burmans, Chinese and people inhabiting the countries nearby them, do not spare rats, lizards and locusts; not to say of pigs and swines. Anything and everything raw or cooked, is good enough to be swallowed.