Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 77 ► Understanding Violence and Non-Violence

Published: 10.07.2020

The way to lead a mundane life and the way to freedom are different. The world cannot run in the absence of attachment and religion cannot exist with attachment. There is a certain distance between attachment and freedom. This is the core principle of Terapanth. Usually people believe in this statistics but the way Terapanth has subtly contemplated over it perhaps no other religious commune has deeply thought about it. From -this point of view Terapanth has a special and different identity.

Non-Attachment is the Supreme State

If a child weeps before his mother she either slaps him hard or feeds him with a chocolate. Both these ways are employed to make the child silent. Those who discern this phenomenon from worldly perspective feel that the mother has slapped her child which is an irreligious act and if the mother feeds her child with a chocolate then they consider it to be a religious act. But in reality both are forms of attachment. The mother is attached deeply with her son. She doesn’t want to cause misery to her child. She wants to make him silent by both these ways. If the world has to run then attachment has-to be preserved because in the absence of it the world cannot survive. If someone asks me then I would say the way to religion is above both. It neither believes in slapping the child nor does it believe in feeding the child with chocolates. If religion has to be preserved then attachment needs to be annihilated. The more the attachment is, the more irreligion there would be. It is because of this fact that non- attachment has been given the highest importance. A lazy person possibly would not understand it. Only a great and wise man like Acharya Bhikshu is fit to imbibe the spirit of it. This is non-attached state, beyond all ties and relationships.

Way to Religion and Irreligion

Aeharya Bhikshu vehemently opposed creating an abode for the saints to observe penance. Why? Does a family person not require a place for observing penance? Even before recourses or shrines were present. These shrines were for personal use. Upashrayas were for the crowd. A family person cannot be fully non-violent. For his own convenience and for the sake of society he has to get involved with violent traits. But what compulsion is there for a recluse that he inspires to create abode for living and rules over it. Acharya Bhikshu felt that saints become attached with such places of accommodation so he vehemently opposed it. In fact the entire philosophy of Terapanth moves around non-attachment.

Mixture is wrong

Acharya Bhikshu is also reported to have said that religion and irreligion must not be mixed. There is no doubt about it that violence and non-violence are equally utilitarian. But, on the basis of utility no factor can be considered religious or irreligious. Bronze has its own utility and the silver also has its own utility, but when these two metals are mixed then the problem arises.

A customer once came into a grocery store. There was a transaction of one paisa. As the coin was of bronze, the shopkeeper touched his forehead with the coin and kept the coin in the moneybox. At that point of time another person arrived. He bought something worth rupee one and gave him a silver coin. The shopkeeper again touched his forehead with the coin and kept it in the moneybox. Again a third person arrived; he also made a transaction of one rupee, but gave him a counterfeit. The coin was a mixture of silver and bronze.

The shopkeeper threw away the coin and said, ‘Why did you make me- discern a counterfeit so early in the morning? Take it away; I don’t need such a counterfeit.’

A man was sitting at the shop and observing the phenomenon. He said, ‘Sethji (Sir)! You welcomed the bronze coin by touching it with your forehead; you did the same with the silver coin. Why did you throw away the third coin? It carries both silver and bronze.’ The shopkeeper said, ‘The real bronze has its own significance. If you get it early in the morning it brings good luck. The silver also has its own significance. Getting it early in morning brings good luck as well, but the mixture of both is considered inauspicious. So I threw the coin of mixture away’.

It is Important to have the Test of Touchstone

Acharya Bhikshu’s philosophy is very clear. He said, ‘From the perspective of religion non-violence has a significance. From the perspective of the world violence may also have its own significance but in religion if violence and non-violence are mixed then it loses its significance. In the world one has to follow the worldly rules but for it the touchstone of assessment cannot be held wrong. It is important for every person to understand the touchstone of purity of religion’.

Sources

Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Edition:
1999
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. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Bhikshu
  4. Bronze
  5. Non-violence
  6. Terapanth
  7. Violence
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