Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 56 ►War: A Rare Opportunity

Published: 29.06.2020

Non-attachment has been an ideal of us. It transcends emotions-and is an eloquent speaker of truth. Truth also remains the truth but the same truth, relevant for different contexts and background if overlooked, may appear to have contradictions. If the expectations behind all these factors are understood then no problem would arise. There are some sutras based on non-attachment that are being made the subject of contemplation here.

On one hand non-attachment says—'विगिंच कोहं अविकंपमाणे'- witness your anger being unperturbed—'से वंता कोहं माणं मायं लोभं च' —renounce anger, pride, illusion and greed. 'तम्हा तिविज्जो णो पडिसंजलिज्जासि' —Hey Tribidh Purush don’t get scorched in the fire of possessing money, property and conflict regarding them. The aforesaid sutra inspires a saint to save himself from any conflict. 'कलह कलुष कि खान' एवं 'कलह कदै आछो नहीं' are a few sutras that inspire us to lead a peaceful life.

On the other hand non-attached men’s words invite a person to descend on a battlefield. 'जुध्दारिहं खलु दुल्लहं'—The opportunity of a war is rare. A person might get different opportunities in life, but to taste or use one’s power is an opportunity that one rarely finds. This opportunity is of war. No matter where the opportunity comes from fight, fight the battle employing all your power. Who knows whether such an opportunity would ever come? Getting an opportunity and losing it is cowardice. Augment your mental prowess and get ready to fight the battle with full decision.

Synthesis Provides Solution

An elephant once came into a village. Seven blind men went to see him. They could not see it with their eyes. They made use of their sense of touch to gain knowledge concerning an elephant. They touched the body of elephant from different places and on the basis of their imagination they assumed the shape of it. After a considerable length of time they reported their reaction-

First Person: An elephant is like a pillar.

Second Person: An elephant is like a bamboo.

Third Person: An elephant is like a roof.

Fourth Person: An elephant is like a stem of a banana tree.

Fifth Person: An elephant is like a flail.

Sixth Person: An elephant is like a belly

Seventh Person: An elephant is like yoghurt.

These seven persons reported contradictory views about elephant. They did not agree with one another. A quarrel broke out among them. After sometime a man came from the opposite direction who could see. Seeing these seven blind men arguing he stopped there. He enquired about the cause of their quarrelling. Those seven men presented their problems before him and said—‘Brother, please sort out our discrepancies.’ The stranger also got ready to sort out their differences. Everyone in the group said—‘I am telling the truth. I must be shown justice.’

The man with eyes assured them all of getting justice and said ‘Let us go to the place where the elephant is standing.’ All seven of them decided to go along with him. They walked and reached near the elephant. He made them all touch the different parts of the elephant according to their claims. They adhered strictly to their decision. The first person touched the leg of the elephant and said—look, the elephant is like a pillar.

Man with eyes: This is not an elephant; it is the leg of it.

Second Person: He caressed the tail of the elephant and said— ‘Look the elephant is like a bamboo.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant. It’s the tail of it.

Third person: He put his hand over the back of the elephant and said, look, ‘the elephant is like a roof.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant; it’s the back of it.

Fourth person: He held the trunk of the elephant and said- ‘Look, the elephant is like a stem of a banana tree.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant; it’s the trunk of it.

Fifth Person: He touched the tooth of the elephant and said—‘Look, the elephant is like flail.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant; it’s the tooth of it.

Sixth Person: He caressed the belly of the elephant and said, ‘Look, the elephant is like leather skin used to contain water.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant; it’s the belly of it.

Seventh Person: He held one of the ears of the elephant and said—‘Look, the elephant is more like yoghurt.’

Man with eyes: It’s not an elephant; it’s the ear of it.

The man with eyes explained all of them and said, ‘You all have considered a part of elephant as the elephant so you all are wrong’ whatever you have seen or perceived is a partial point of view.

A single limb cannot be the whole elephant. If all your information is compiled together then the shape of an elephant becomes complete and you all get correct. The man with eyes logically made all the blind men realize what the elephant is. If they had considered all these limbs individually as an elephant then they could not encounter the truth.

From philosophical point of view it is ‘Naybad’. Jaina philosophy accepts seven ‘Nay’. If individually this entire ‘Nay’ is considered truth then it would be a great mistake. The nature of an object is established through ‘Nay’, but it never splits any other religion. From the view point of splitting the image of truth can never be caught. If every ‘Nay’ is analysed then truth can never be found. The truth is encountered only when all seven ‘Nay’ are synthesized.

Context of the Meeting of Two Saints

Farid once set off along with his disciples to some place. Travelling he reached near Kashi. Kabir’s hermitage was situated there. Farid’s disciples said to him—‘Gurudev, when we have come this far can we not think of meeting saint Kabir? We have certain queries in our mind. How do saints meet and exchange information is something that we want to see and hear.’

On the other hand Kabir’s disciples said to him, ‘We have heard that saint Farid has come here. We must invite him in our hermitage. You sit with him, talk at length then we would also be enriched. If you grant us permission then can we call him?

Farid and Kabir—neither of them had any inquisitiveness nor did they have any distance but the disciples were keen to set up a meeting. They said, ‘We shall meet, sit together, laugh and cry, but won’t say anything, there would be no conversation.

Truth cannot be said

Farid came to Kabir’s hermitage. He stayed there for two days. During that period they both sat together for two hours but neither of them spoke a word. The disciples got tired having waited for such a long time. They got bored sitting this way.

Farid rose to leave then his disciples said, ‘When Kabir had nothing to say then why did he invite us to come here?'

Kabir’s disciples said, ‘If Farid had to remain silent then why did he come here? Why did he stay here for two days?’

Both these saints disciples surrounded them and said, ‘we had a lot of hopes. We wanted to know something from you, why don’t you say something?’ Farid rose and said, ‘Disciples! Truth is incomprehensible, it cannot be said. Words cannot reveal it.’

Whatever is said can be a part of the truth. To acknowledge a part as whole is a mistake.

The main cause of conflict among sects is this. The truth of scriptures must become the truth of realization and for this penance is a must.

Truth can be attained

Tirthankaras know the truth. They do not speak on the basis of any scriptures. Whatever they say, they say out of realization. But to express that truth, they have to take the support of words. Words are disabled, how far they can lead, and Truth is beyond words so to consider it is a sheer imagination is also not right.

The point worth contemplating is Naybad (asserting one’s view without contradicting others views). It never tries to reveal the truth as a whole. By it every part can be analysed. If those parts are added it may create a vast treasure. Wherever a part of truth is found a feeling of acceptance must be there then many different parts of truth can be realize.

The second point is—truth cannot be said, cannot be heard, and cannot be read, but can be attained. A born blind man denies the existence of light when he hears about it. He says—If there is light then tell me how it feels when touched. What kind of smell does it have? What does it look like? What does it taste like? Even after explaining at length he does not accept the existence of light.

A Step towards Attainment of Truth

Once Buddha arrived in some city. Some people took a blind man to him and said, ‘Bhante (Lord), tell him something about light’. Before Buddha could utter a word he said, ‘As long as I don’t smell light, taste it and feel the touch of it, I am not going to accept its existence.’

Seeing the interest of the blind man Buddha said, ‘I would not commit the mistake of convincing-you about anything. Truth is such a factor that cannot be transmitted through words. You do one thing. Go to any eye specialist and get your eyes operated. According to Buddha’s instructions he went to an eye expert and got his eyes treated. His eyes got back the vision. When he could see then light was also visible to him. He went to Buddha and said, ‘Bhante (Lord)’! Whatever I said before was my ignorance. You have turned me wise. I have understood that light cannot be known by touching it or tasting it.’

Two Perception of Truth

Light and truth are not different. Where there is light, there is truth. If truth is not perceived fully then at least it must be known partly. The opportunity of war is rare, this is also a truth.

To fight is a perception; not fighting is also a perception. It is important to understand both these perceptions. Ghee also has utilization and tobacco also has its own utilization. But their utilization remains valid as long as they are different. The moment they get mixed their utilization comes to an end.

Fight, fighting is a good, is a perception. Don’t fight, fighting is very bad, is also a perception. Who should you fight with? Fight with your inner soul, fight with your gross body. इमेण चेव जुज्झाहि किं ते जुज्झेण बज्झओ. What benefit is there to fight with something mundane? If you need to fight then fight with your gross body. Fight with your negative traits. Don’t fight with someone else. One who fights with others gets injured and dies.

A bird seeing the reflection of its image in the mirror starts fighting with it. In such a combat she breaks her beak. If the time of fighting gets extended then she even dies. This kind of fighting is never desirable. One must fight with oneself, with one’s negative factors, negative ‘feelings, negative habits and negative instincts. A person who is ready to fight such a battle always aims high. If the goal is high then the means must also be high. To attain higher achievements one who uses higher means can only be victorious, he can sing the glory of his splendid triumph. Regarding this context the two lines of a song are being recalled-

लक्ष्य है ऊंचा हमारा, हम विजय के गीत जाएं|

चीरकर कठिनाइयों को, दीप बन हम जगमगाएं||

If one wills to overcome all the barriers to go ahead then the person doesn’t stop seeing the darkness. He himself becomes a lamp and shows others the way. To draw a conclusion it can be said that no truth is impersonal. We must realize the relative truth and live it. This relativity is only capable of making us realize the truth.
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. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Buddha
  4. Contemplation
  5. Ghee
  6. Greed
  7. Gurudev
  8. JAINA
  9. Jaina
  10. Kashi
  11. Pride
  12. Purush
  13. Soul
  14. Sutra
  15. Tirthankaras
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