Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 45 ►This Way I Got the Training of Non-Violence

Published: 24.06.2020

First Lesson of Non-Violence

At the age of eleven I got invited by reverend Kalugani of being a Jain Muni. The first vow that a Jain muni has to take at the time of his initiation is non-violence and the fifth vow is Aparigrah (non- accumulation). Pujya Kalugani shortly after my initiation told me a few words of wisdom, ‘You have become a monk now. A muni has to perform all his activities with awareness. Each step of yours must be taken with awareness. When you walk you have to walk carefully so that no tiny life is trampled under your feet and dies. While speaking, you have to speak with awareness so that no one gets offended by your words. While eating, you need to be aware so that you do not deprive anyone or snatch his right. Your conviction or faith must be on equal distribution, so that you never claim your ownership of something. You neither should cling to any material object nor should have any resentment against any living creature.’ No sooner had I become a Muni than I learned my first lesson of non-violence. This consolidated my faith in non-violence. This image of my faith has not yet been demolished.

Behaviour of a Non-Violent Person

Shortly after a week of my initiation, I started reading the 'Dashvaikalic Sutra’. I read there, ‘While walking is aware, be aware while standing, be aware while sitting, be aware and sleep, be aware and eat, be aware and speak.

Every action must be done balancing it. Along with this lesson I was also told, ‘Without any reason do not tamper with nature. Don’t mutualize it because a seeker of finding balance in everything cannot mutualize any object.

The third lesson that I got—‘पुढोसत्ता'—every living creature has a free existence. So you have no right to oppress, hurt or making someone wounded. You do not even have any right to make someone a slave or dominate others. If a person oppresses someone, hurts or makes? Someone wounded, dominates others, then it is the person’s misuse of right. A person making such an effort cannot be non-violent.

Legacy of Values

I merely did not learn the theoretical principles from reverend Kalugani but his behaviour in life helped me get the practical lessons of those virtues. He never spoke against any other cult. He got this virtue in legacy. Since the time of Mahavira this principle had been prevalent. Adrakumar told the master of Ajibak community Goshalak‘ I am not criticizing any person in particular. I am criticizing only the thought that is unfair.

AcharyaBhikshu internalized this principle. He never criticized any person or any religious community for that matter. Reverend Kalugani kept this tradition alive. He advised not to get excited while discussing scriptures. He used to say, ‘To get excited at the time of discussing scriptures is a first sign of defeat. Discussing religion emotionally is also violence.’ His peace and politeness left a very strong impression on my mind. Whatever he taught me he practiced as well. The synchronicity between his words and actions were the outcome of non-violence. A devotee of non-violence cannot even speak the bitter truth, then how he could accuse someone bitterly. This lesson helped me to remain controlled, calm and collected.

Background of Non-Violence

Non-violence and truth are synonymous. Without non-violence there can be no truth and without truth there can be no non-violence. To abide by the truth I got the training, ‘Don’t be afraid of diseases. Don’t be afraid of misery or grief nor be afraid of death. The ghosts and portents haunt those who are afraid. A fear stricken person can never get free of fear. He renounces penance and loses restraint. I learned the lesson of fearlessness from my guru and then realized that fearlessness is the platform of non-violence and truth. Without it non-violence and truth can never be imagined.

A person who clings to his accumulated wealth he can never be fearless. How on earth he could be non-violent in a situation like this? Fear in itself is violence. If intimidating someone is violence then getting afraid is also violence. Therefore, don’t be afraid nor intimidate someone. This is dual principle of fearlessness. The value of non-accumulation is deemed important because without it fearlessness is not possible. When one gets attached to materials, fear arises along with that and to achieve that violence is caused. Fear of death is also presented because one is attached with one’s body. Attachment is a kind of accumulation.

Violence and accumulation cannot be discriminated. Similarly non-violence and non-accumulation cannot be differentiated. I came to learn all these lessons from reverend Kalugani.

Training of Fearlessness

The base of non-violence is fearlessness and its defence jacket is tolerance. Reverend Kalugani by setting an example of his life taught both these virtues. He developed both tolerance and fearlessness in his life. It became an easy lesson for me to learn.

In Bikaner King Gangasingh was ruling. He used to be considered a very powerful, influential and a man of strong determination. Reverend Kalugani was spending his ‘Chaturmas’ at Sujangarh. King Gangasingh came to Sujangarh. He had come to visit Kalugani. Due to some reason he did not enter inside. While sitting in his car he made a sign of salutation. Reverend Kalugni did not pay attention to that. This created a state of turmoil among shravaks.

The king saluted him and Kalugani did not even bother to see him. What would be the consequences of it? The king will certainly be furious. It was not fair. What could be done then? MantriMuni and a few Shravakas spent the entire night worrying about this matter. Reverend Kalugani went to sleep at the usual hour. He seemed to have no worry nor was he affected by any fear. He said addressing to all of them, ‘Why are you worried so much? I did not deliberately ignore someone. l wasn’t aware so what I could do. Now what for should l be afraid of?’ This state of fearlessness in him could be seen relevant to any situation in life.

Victory of Tolerance

‘Chaturmas’ was going on at Bikaner. A sect of Jainism opposed reverend Kalugani vehemently. The opposition went to such extents that although physical weapons were not used but the armour of abusive words were used at random. Seeing the audacity of this opposition reverend Kalugani gathered monks and nuns. I-le instructed all of them saying—Let them say what they can, you have to remain silent and peaceful. No excitement must be shown on your part. Come and go on your own way. The arrows that are being thrown pointing at you, you have to bear them with peace. But intolerance must not be responded with intolerance.’

In some context a muni responded, influenced by emotions. He was asked to go for repentance. This incident created an opportunity for other munis to remain alert. The positive result of tolerance came. The negative emotions got defeated, a state of tranquillity won. Vengeance was defeated, peace got victorious. This lessons of tolerance influenced me so much that in the same Bikaner I could prevent a dangerous situation from arising eventually.

An Accident Avoided

It had been a year or so after I had become ‘Acharya’. The ‘Chaturmas’ for that year was at Bikaner. After having completed my ‘Chaturmas’ I was taking a stroll. Some thousands of people accompanied me. No sooner had I stepped outside ‘LalKotri’ of Bikaner on the main road a big procession of some leader of any other cult came from the opposite direction. We were standing face to face at Rangri Chowk. Who would leave the way for whom? This kind of whispering began. The atmosphere ahead was full of excitement and impulses. One could simply not imagine that the other group would leave way for us.

On the other hand excitement went on increasing among people of our group. I could hear a few words slipping out of their mouth— 'Why should we leave [our way? Are we weak?’ One of the most influential shravak of Terapanth sect Ishwarchandji Chopra did not want us to leave way. I observed the whole situation and drew a conclusion at last. People were busy talking among themselves when I turned my way to RangriChowk. Reluctantly all the people followed me. A big mishap was avoided from taking place.

This news reached king Gangasinghji. Having got informed about the situation he cracked a joke and said—‘AcharyaTulsi is junior in position but he really did a colossal job. He kept the prestige of Bikaner this way. Had he not done so God knows how many people would have been trampled, died and it would finally lead to a big chaos?’ I strongly feel that reverend Kalugani’s Bikaner Chatumas only taught me the practical lesson of tolerance. Due to this reason only I could exert influence of tolerance and could utilize it many times in my life.

Take Opposition as an Entertainment

I once wrote, ‘Whoever opposes us, we take it as an entertainment’. To take opposition as an entertainment is Samyayoga. This penance is a very significant penance of non-violence. I got its practical training during the journey of Malwa. Reverend Kalugani was on a journey to these two places Jabra and Ratlam. There some people of a Jaina sect vehemently criticized the principles concerning non-violence of Terapanth sect, not merely that they also pasted pamphlets on the walls and roads in opposition against it so it affected the entire environment of the city.

Reverend Kalugani tried to convince the crowd by clearing all their doubts concerning the principles of Terapanth. But he never replied resentment with resentment nor did he try to publish any pamphlet of criticism. He bore every opposition peacefully. A scholar of Ratlam said to reverend Kalugani after some days, ‘I have been watching this situation for the last couple of days. You have replied opposition not with opposition but with peace. Therefore theopposition was one-sided. You avoided the whole opposition as amere entertainment. It is possible only when non-violent facultiesare developed. I have deeply felt it.”

After having listened to the scholar Kalugani said, ‘Panditji! A person whose digestive power is weak he starts vomiting seeing someone vomiting. I have made my digestion strong so it never happens to me.’ It was the consequence of this lesson that in my short life I have become opposition as an entertainment many times.

Tolerance: Security Jacket of Non-Violence

The security jacket of non-violence is tolerance. In the absence of it development of non-violence is not possible. Reverend Kalugani’s life had been an embodiment of tolerance. Once in his middle age index finger of his left hand was affected badly by a poisonous cyst. His pain was unbearable but the journey on foot continued. He never used the instrument that the doctor has brought for him for operation. He remained deeply imbued in meditation. He suffered this physical pain almost for two and a half months. His tolerance and balance at that point of time was truly miraculous.

For a non-violent person it is very essential to free himself from unconsciousness. This state of non-attachment or consciousness only gives birth to tolerance and power. Without it to be tolerant is impossible. Reverened Kalugani’s behaviour and values knowingly or unknowingly influenced my life. For this in the ground of my mind the seeds of non-violence started sprouting. From time to time I also applied them. I would like to mention one of my applications here.

I wrote a book titled’ Agnipariksha’. It mentions the great pious lady Sita’s ‘Agnipariksha’ (fire examination). Some parochial groups spread the poison of communalism. They tried to influence the masses. As a result the book created a fiasco. To calm the situation many efforts were made but the fire of opposition was not put out. At the end the High Court of Madhya Pradesh that had declared the book innocent was taken back and chaos was prevented this way. An influential and popular minister Mr.JayPrakash Narayan regarded it as a massive application of non-violence.

Taking back this book became a talk of the town. At this point an author said, ‘Acharyaji taking back this book was not justice to the world of literature on your part.’ I told him explaining—‘l am a devotee of non-violence and saint in the first place then a writer. As long as non-violence is concerned my behaviour and action must be neutral. I have a steadfast faith over this principle. I want to strengthen this faith.’

Sources

Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Edition:
1999
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. Bikaner
  3. Body
  4. Chaturmas
  5. Consciousness
  6. Environment
  7. Fear
  8. Fearlessness
  9. Guru
  10. JAINA
  11. Jaina
  12. Jainism
  13. Kalugani
  14. Madhya Pradesh
  15. Mahavira
  16. Malwa
  17. Meditation
  18. Muni
  19. Munis
  20. Non-violence
  21. Pradesh
  22. Ratlam
  23. Shravak
  24. Shravakas
  25. Shravaks
  26. Sujangarh
  27. Sutra
  28. Terapanth
  29. Tolerance
  30. Violence
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