BLESSING OF AHIMSA
July 28, 2013 Comments Off on BLESSING OF AHIMSA
Ahimsa (non-violence) is one of the foremost vows of good life. It is a supreme duty of man – ahimsa paramo dharmah – thus scripture declares. In the regeneration and divinisation of man, the first step is to eliminate the beastly nature. The predominant trait in beasts is cruelty; therefore wise sages prescribed ahimsa. This is a most effective master-method to counteract and eradicate completely the brutal, cruel nature in man. O earnest aspirant: Ponder the great significance, and immense importance, value and blessings of ahimsa and start its practice now – this moment.
Ahimsa is not merely non-killing as some think. Ahimsa is perfect harmlessness and positive love also. It is to abstain even from the slightest thought of harm to any living creature – mentally, verbally, or by deed. There is no excuse nor exception to the above rule. Harsh words to beggars, servants or inferiors is himsa (cruelty). To fail to relieve pain or trouble in another is negative himsa. To approve of another’s harsh actions is against ahimsa. Avoid strictly all forms of harshness, direct or indirect, positive or negative, immediate or delayed. Practise ahimsa in its purest form, O Saumya, and become divine. Ahimsa and divinity are one.
Ahimsa is a weapon of the strong. It cannot be practised by weaklings. Ahimsa is supreme love. He who embraces ahimsa embraces all, loves all. To begin with, stop all physical violence, stop speaking vulgar and harsh words. Then attack the mind directly. There will be inner agitation. You may think of doing violence. Check this thought-wave through prayer, worship, meditation, enquiry, pranayama (yoga breathing), satvic (pure) food, and study of sacred books. Generate again and again currents of love by cultivating the feeling that ‘everything is the Self’ (atma-bhava), or ‘everything is the Lord’ (Narayana-bhava).
You will fail one hundred times, but it does not matter. Stand up again. Make fresh resolves and stick to them tenaciously. March on boldly with steady steps, O knower of thyself: Never despair. Study the lives of the apostles of non-violence – Lord Buddha, Lord Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi and others, again and again. Keep their mental picture and ideals before your mind’s eye and draw inspiration from them. Carefully watch your conduct, thought and speech and deeds daily and you will grow steadily in the practice of non-violence.
– Swami Sivananda