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Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 21 ►The Different Facets of Non-Violence

Published: 12.06.2020

The value that has been given to non-violence in Jainism, the same value has been given to truth. In reality Non-violence and truth are not two different aspects. Where there is absence of non-violence, there is no truth. There is only one Mahabrat (great vow) and that is non-violence. In the material sphere it takes the form of non-stealing. As far as instincts are concerned it takes the form of celibacy. In the financial sphere it takes the form of Aparigrah (non-accumulation). To make lay persons understand the different synonyms of non- violence, different names such as truth, non-stealing and so on have been assigned to it. If we delve deeper into the subject then we shall find that non-violence and non-accumulation is different names given to the same reality.

What is Violence?

Any evil tendency or inclination is violence. An act of killing is a part of it. To tell a lie, stealing and so on are all evil tendencies, so these are all different forms of violence. It is quite strange then why people of religious bent of mind associate violence with only killing of living creatures and they fail to perceive lies, in authenticity, desire and accumulation also as different forms of violence. It makes it clear that non-violence has not been deeply understood. Lord Mahavira has repeatedly said that one who doesn’t get detached with extreme accumulation and violence never attains to any wise perception. In this sutra he has given equal stress on accumulation and violence. Even then our so-called religious persons are eager to renounce violence but their interest is not in the same degree of renouncing accumulation of wealth. Therefore the tendency of telling a lie and in authenticity never decreases.
We have to realize the depth of this question that only by observing and taking great vows like truth can we worship and inculcate the virtue of non-violence. So it is very important to realize this fact.

Acting of Non-Violence

The vast facet of non-violence that Jaina Tirthankaras have presented before us is not very clear in our perception. So we rather imagine the state according to our own mind frame. If we can perceive the immensity of non-violence fully then many such false notions and difficulties will be dispersed on their own accord. To begin non-violence one needs to control one’s evil tendencies. That is the restraint of life. The base of it is a pure state of mind. One who is dominated by ego, anger and greed the growth of non-violence gets retailed in his being. One who is unable to control one’s mind and instincts how he could be expected to bring non-violence in him. If such a person considers himself to be non-violent then it is ridiculing the very virtue of non-violence.

Evil traits such as animosity, resentment, jealousy, greed and desire go hand-in-hand with the penance of non-violence, is it possible? Perhaps it has been believed but this view is not true. Some people confine non-violence within a limit of not killing a living creature.

Not killing a living being is surely non-violence but it is not merely restricted within that. It is far ahead than that. Those who limit the scope of non-violence they might lament the death of an ant but they never shirk from an act of running a false case. They never lament over earning money by dishonest means. To full any small vested interest they never avoid causing a greater harm to someone. What kind of non-violence it is‘? It seems the definition of non-violence has been moulded according to one’s convenience. Whenever the personal interest intervenes one never hesitates his indulging in an act of violence and when there is no such interest then one merely acts of being a non-violent person. This is sheer injustice to such a great ideal of non-violence.


Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Celibacy
  3. Greed
  4. JAINA
  5. Jaina
  6. Jainism
  7. Mahavira
  8. Non-violence
  9. Sutra
  10. Tirthankaras
  11. Violence
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