What is non-violence (ahimsa)?

One of the very important disciplines to be practiced by a spiritual aspirant is Ahimsa or non-violence. It is to be practised at all 3 levels: verbal, physical and mental.

Verbal non-violence: The aspirant should not utter lies either for his own benefit, for the benefit of others, for the purposes of profession, for protecting righteousness (dharma) or for his freedom. Only those who possess pure minds, who speak lovingly to others and who do not entertain feelings of anger reach heaven. Abusing others is prohibited! This is called vācika ahimsa dharma.

Mental non-violence: Mind should be freed from impurities. He should be content with what he possesses. Never be jealous when others prosper. Learn to enjoy their prosperity and share their happiness. This is Yogam. It is your luck to be bestowed with that yogam. A teacher should never be envious when his student prospers and becomes more famous than him!

He should be compassionate towards all forms of life and should not have feelings of enmity towards any living entity. More importantly, he should not seek any result from any good or bad deed performed. Only such persons are eligible to reach heaven! This is mānasika ahimsa dharma.

Physical non-violence: this is called kāyaka ahimsa dharma. He should strictly abstain from sinful activities and should not physically harm other living beings. The longevity of the person who abuses others gets shortened. Even after undergoing unimaginable punishments in hell when such sinner is reborn on earth his life will serve no purpose. This is because he will have a very short lifespan. Very short lifespan indicates that he has harmed other living entities in his past life.

Only that person, who while performing auspicious deeds, strictly abstains from using weapons, speaks lovingly to others and practices non-violence reaches heaven.



  • Shivaratri Feb 2017

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