The Soul of Lord Mahavir, in one of his earlier incarnations, took birth as an elephant. During a forest fire many animals took refuge in a small, overcrowded spot. The elephant, tired of standing, lifted one of his feet to ease the strain. A little hare took over the spot where the elephant’s foot had been. Not to hurt the little hare, the elephant remained standing on three legs for ten days until the fire burned out and the animals could move away. While in an animal’s body, Lord Mahavir had the “ahimsaa” Spirit.
Our planet Earth is popularly known as mrityu lok or the World of Death because death is inevitable here. We all know that someday we will die. However, it should be noted that our planet is an important transition place in the spiritual evolution of the Soul. We learn and leave – experiment and go ahead. In the evolution of consciousness, ahimsaa plays a very important role.
Keeping this fundamental wisdom in mind, let us examine the role of ahimsaa in our lives. With few exceptions, all lives commit violence in different degrees. It is hard to follow the rules of nonviolence strictly in life. Hurting and killing are common. Everyday thousands of people meet with accidents or die.
Ahimsaa will promote peace, happiness, intelligence and will evolve our consciousness. After many lives of fear and violence, it washes away the evil and negative instincts of the mind which are solely responsible for all types of human unhappiness, sickness and crimes. Ahimsaa is the energy of the Soul. Ahimsaa is the dynamic flow of consciousness. Ahimsaa means fearlessness. Finally, you reach the high state of consciousness where you have no fear of anything. You are established in the finest state of consciousness where you are master of the self. All are friends and beloveds, and no one is an enemy. Nature’s elements – sky, air, water, fire, mountains, and rivers – become your friends. Animals and birds become your friends. You become a divine instrument in the hands of God. The world bows down to real Ahimsaks like Lord Mahavir, Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.
Ahimsaa is to be practiced in small steps:
- Cultivate good-will for all.
- Speak only what is needed at the time. Speech is energy and one should learn to preserve it. Speaking too much is to be avoided.
- Aspire to help one person every day – either by word or deed.
- See the good points of others and speak out at the proper time.
- Ignore the faults of others.
- Be truthful to your work and practice efficiency and skill.
- Think of the greatest good of the greatest number.
- Earn enough to do charity and to meet personal needs.
Ahimsaa is the highest form of religion. It is not only related to killing or eating meat. Its boundaries extend further and cover a wider range of life and consciousness. It really means to have “no ill will” whatsoever. It is called “adroha.” It is one of the virtues of “sheel” which is very important in the life of high Souls. Mahabharat mentions:
“Adroha sarva bhuteshu Karmana manasaa giraa Anugrahashcha daanam
Cha Sheelmetat prashasyate”
Great importance has been given to the virtue of ahimsaa in Patanjali Yog Darshan, Gita, Ramayana, Puranas and Shastras. Saint Francis of Assisi was a great friend of birds and animals. All beings understand the language of love and friendship and resent or react violently to thoughts of hate and violence.
May humanity continue to navigate towards the eternal north pole of ahimsaa which will give the right sense of direction when humanity gets lost in the turbulent waves of hatred and violence, wrecking the ship of life
Om Peace and Love. Om Peace and Joy. Om Peace and Enlightenment. October 2006