Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 12 ►Secret of Non-Violence

Published: 07.06.2020

Every living creature in this world bears the fruit according to his/her karma (action). This span of exploration of different worlds may persist for extremity. The day or the moment when a living creature sets himself free from the clutches of all karmas (actions) that very moment, this exploration stops. In this context a simple question many arise as to who binds oneself with karmas? What is the process of setting oneself free from it?

A person himself binds him with karmas. Karmas (action) have been classified into two parts—auspicious actions (karmas) and inauspicious karmas. Committing a good action is considered a virtue whereas committing an evil act is called a sin. By virtues a living creature enjoys the material bliss. In a similar fashion sins are responsible for his misery and anguish of all sorts. Every living creature aspires for happiness and fulfillment. No one prefers misery. Whether he likes or dislikes he experiences it. He encounters troubles. This isa harsh reality. The reason is clear. If he is the doer of virtues and vices then he has to bear the fruit of it as well.

Bondage caused by Actions

For the sake of argument it may be asked that a creature with one sense doesn’t possess a mind, then how does it bind itself with Karmas? It is time that such creatures are devoid of mind and speech but still they have consciousness. As they have consciousness they are also committing good and evil acts such a creature gets involved in respiration. In this way it keeps on binding itself.

It has to be clearly understood whether a creature is of one sense or five senses weather subtle or gross as long as it lives in this worldit keeps on binding itself with Karmas. Some of our old brothers and sisters are in view that in foreign countries-or in big metropolitan cities the rate of getting bound with Karmas is comparatively much more. But I want to ask this simple question where on earth doesn’t the bondage take place? They must understand there is no place where the process of bondage doesn’t take place. There is certainly a point in it and that is if a man is governed by his conscience he can avoid getting bound with Karmas to a certain extent. But this conscience is not confined to any particular place. It can be used anywhere. It can be used in village. Then it can be used in a city. If it can be used in one’s own house it can also be used in a hotel. If this very conscience is missing then even in a religious place one cannot avoid getting bound by Karmas.

If a person is free accumulating karmas then he is also free from setting himself free from Karmas. In other words it can also be said that every living creature is responsible for his own actions. No one else comes to bind him or set him free from Karmas. Some people believe that everything happens with the will of almighty God. But Jaina Philosophy doesn’t approve of this fact. It always lays emphasis on self from getting bound by Karmas to setting oneself free from them all the responsibilities are imposed upon the person. We repeat every day in Arhat Vandana से सुयं  मेअज्झत्थियं  मेबंधपमोक्खो तुज्झ अज्झतंथेव’. I (Sudharma Swami) have heard from Lord Mahavira himself and also have experienced myself that bondage and freedom both lies within you. The essence of this statement is that if a person wants he can bind himself with Karmas and if he wants he may also set himself free from it. The entire power of getting bound and freedom lies in his own hands. No one can interfere in it. The other person can make someone change his seat, can make someone laugh, can make someone cry and if he shares enmity with someone then he may also kill the person concerned. But no one can make someone a sinner or religious for that matter.

One who kills he certainly becomes a sinner and gets himself bounding this action. Here is a significant point to ponder over that one who dies he dies once and for all but the assassin has to die end number of times with this instinct of his. The writers of scriptures say that if someone kills someone brutally then he gets bound by this action immensely. As a consequence of this bondage he has to die repeatedly. The question may arise what is meant by repeatedly here.

“Does he have to die some five, six, seven or ten times? That is a very trivial matter. Even countless number of times may fall short. It may go on for ever for the worst of all. Therefore we must always remember this sentence from Bhagbatbaniपुरिसातुमंसि नाम सच्चेव जं हंतव्वं ति मन्नसि You are the one whom you want to kill.

One who deceives Gets Deceived?

A person deceives someone and takes hold of his property. Apparently it seems that the person who has taken hold of his property is deceiving him. But from the spiritual point of view he is deceiving himself. This act of deception will deceive him time and again. This action of deception will repeatedly return back to him. A violent act meant to harm others will strike back, there is a popular proverb कांकरै री मारौपंसेरी री खावै’.


Monks and nuns have been asked to follow Iryasamiti. The meaning of lryasamiti is to watch every step while walking so that no living creature gets trodden under their feet. This doesn’t mean that this mean has been introduced exclusively for the monks and nuns and doesn’t apply to family persons. Although like monks and nuns every person doesn’t need to adhere to this rule stringently but at the same time abiding by Iryasamiti is equally important and effective for all. A person making effective use of it can avoid violence caused as a consequence of walking. I feel that there are a few family persons who remember to follow Iryasamiti, while walking.

Most of the people are not even familiar with the law of Iryasamiti,to abide by it is a far cry. There are small insects found in every nook and comer of the road. People walk as if blind folded. Millions of insects get trodden under their feet and die. Sometimes I wonder seeing these people what is the utility of eyes for them. Even those who keep a watch must not be under the impression that they are doing some great favour to these small insects. Rather the favour is done to oneself. With this the person saves his own soul from getting heavy. Insects also survive naturally Goswami Tulsidas has expressed this fact in the following lines:

तुलसी दया  पार कीदया आपकी होय
(जो) तू किणनै मारै नहीं, तनै  मारै कोय

There is no doubt that it is a very significant statement. All brothers and sisters must have a subtle understanding of it. If the perceptions are clear then non-violence can be effectively followed. It is important to have a clear understanding of non-violence.

Some people are of the view that non-violence is not to harm others and such preaching make a person weak and coward. It basically advocates cowardice or worthlessness in a person. I want to ask a simple question whether killing others or torturing them is the only act of courage. Those who deem this tendency as the only symbol of great will are no doubt at fault. They have not understood what a strong will actually means. If they come to realize what strong will means they would never raise such questions.

Base of Mutual Co-operation

The law of non-violence is the only law that enables all living creatures, whether big or small live happily and peacefully. On the contrary if the law of violence is praised and accepted then no living creature can live peacefully or happily. I think people carry a lot of misconceptions regarding the laws of violence and non-violence. If the true essence of non-violence is grasped then to practically implement such laws will not be difficult. I am quite certain about it.

Violence is also of two kinds—necessary violence and unnecessary violence. The kind of violence without which life comes to halt is a kind of necessary violence. This includes violent activities concerning the consumption of food and water or travelling. The kind of violence that is not absolutely necessary for one’s existence is unnecessary violence hunting. Hunting, stealing and such other activities fall under the category of it. Monks and nuns try and save themselves from committing both these kinds of violence. Non-violence is Mahabrat (the ultimate vow) for them. Jaina Tirthakanaras were very practical. They could clearly perceive that hardly people would be found who could save themselves from violence completely. People involved with their families and society would rather find it impossible to avoid committing violent activities. He can avoid committing such violent acts to a certain limit. That’s why they never preached avoiding violence completely for people bound by family and social activities. They have been asked to follow non-violence up to certain extent. The significance of their preaching lies in the fact that people entrusted with responsibilities concerning their families, society and nation must certainly avoid unnecessary violence and also try to save them from committing possible necessary violent activities. Consequently such a person had been able to perform all his family, social and responsibilities towards his nation without trouble. The law of non-violence never become an impediment in the way of fillfilling such responsibilities.

Believers of Violence and Non-violence

In this context a point needs to be clearly understood that even necessary violence is after all violence and not non-violence. Some people believe that necessary violence is also a kind of non-violence. Acharya Bhikshu vehemently opposed this view. He said, ‘I never prevent anyone from closing one’s necessary activities. A person is free to do them. But how violence caused by even such actions be prevented?

Just because they are necessary violence, they cannot become non-violence. If such yardsticks are introduced of measuring violence and non-violence according to one’s needs and conveniences than the very law of non-violence, would split. It doesn’t follow one’s necessities.

To-day the law of non-violence is being consolidated. Even communist countries like Russia and China are being attracted towards it. The Buddhist sections there have come to accept the law of non- violence they have started talking of mutual co-operation and equality. They are trying to put an end to their mutual conflict by means of reasoning and contemplation peacefully. I believe that it is one of the greatest victories of the law of non-violence.

Socialism versus Equality

Some people never grow tired of singing the glory of socialism. They might have their own views regarding them. But I personally feel grit there is no great difference between monarchy and socialism. Where there is a rule of one person in particular in monarchy there is a rule of a particular party and the party is governed again by a person in particular. That very person can unleash so much of atrocities upon poor public as a monarch may do. If monarchy is replete with episodes of cruelty then we also find such episodes in the history of socialism.

I am fully convinced of the highest ideals of socialism. I am myself a great devotee of it. But, I do not support the socialism that says if the cupboard is small in size then the books must be cut short in order to fit them in the cupboard. If someone is having a lot of wealth then snatching all his wealth to distribute among poor is not healthy a proposition. My perception of socialism is synonymous with equality, to perceive and treat everyone equally. To practically implement the ideal of equality the only means is non-violence. Equality can never be developed by violence. Where there is no equality no true socialism can descend there.

Following non-violence benefit family, society, nation and the entire race of living creatures. The person shares the larger share of benefits here. He saves himself from the bondage caused by accumulation of Karmas. We must all initialize this fact that every living creature has an existence of its own. Some people regard soul as a part of the almighty or the universal soul. But according to Jain Philosophy every individual soul is complete in itself and independent. If one’s soul is independent then the body is also independent, the instincts and respiration are also independent. This way let us proceed a little further. Every individual soul is free for its bondage and freedom. That’s why one is free to choose one’s happiness and misery.


Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Arhat
  4. Arhat Vandana
  5. Bhikshu
  6. Body
  7. Consciousness
  8. Contemplation
  9. JAINA
  10. Jain Philosophy
  11. Jaina
  12. Karma
  13. Karmas
  14. Mahavira
  15. Non-violence
  16. Soul
  17. Swami
  18. Vandana
  19. Violence
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