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A Culture of Ahimsa for Universal Peace

Published: 15.04.2014
Updated: 30.07.2015

8th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action


There could be many reasons for violence in a person’s life, but the truth is that each one of us is materialistic to the core. We live in a long unending series of desires. Every moment, each sense brings in many new desires. All these desires reach the heart to analyze, synthesize and sense fresh desires or demands for more. These desires for new choices keep repeating, keep increasing. One doesn’t know how these desires are created or controlled. It’s also true that our life is governed only through desires. Unless we come to a conclusion about these desires, understand and monitor them, we are lost in the crowd.

As I had said earlier our bodies are produced by our parents. We grow from a liquid state to the present solid figure. We are the trees from the seeds and will bear fruits. But the soul is not produced or created by parents. It enters the physical body after about three months of conception. Before coming, the soul resides or dwells in another body which may be of an animal, bird or that of a human being. It will govern the body in its manner until it’s transformed into a human soul. The soul and the body should synchronize. Only then the soul will use this body like that of a human body. Otherwise, we will face the music of violence. The inner animal which governs the body will make the world dance as it is the main cause of violence in the world.

Now the question is why we are unable to achieve success in controlling violence. All our efforts are in vain, even after so many conferences and resolutions. The answer is simple - our education doesn’t talk about it. Mothers give no such lesson at home. The new (modern) woman believes in narcissism and enjoys lessons (fruits) of feminism. Secondly even their mothers didn’t know about this phenomenon. Whole is the new generation devoid of moral values, humaneness and love? Who will, then, bring peace?

The career-oriented education is responsible for creating a materialistic society, working with intellectual strength. It adds fuel to the fire. It is full of arrogance, attacks, superiority complex and arguments, which in turn disturbs peace. Not only this, it takes us away and away from our soul, humaneness.

Education today covers (teaches) the subjects and not life - our life is not governed by subjects. Subjects mean career, a source of building (fulfilling) dreams and bringing up family. It’s not what we see around us. People get lost in their careers and forget themselves. One gets connected to the outer world only through desires, ignoring the inner self. The person has no chance to even think who they are. One lives without knowing the self. Then how can one's decisions be right. One thus lives like a rootless tree. One cannot feel the presence of parents, who are responsible for the fruits of education inside the body. The ever increasing desires are the cause of greed, envy, violence. The more you get, the more you want. This starts encroachments, loot and killing. Nations get engaged in wars. On the other side economic disparity becomes a major reason for violence, besides communal conflicts add immensely to it. If we want peace on this planet, we should first and foremost create good human beings, with hearts full of humanity.

The only way to bring about a transformation is by first changing the present education system, teaching about manhood and womanhood as it should be taught. The new generation seems to be losing it. It’s not just about the physical body (language). Just have a look at the students and youths of today. You will find that there is no glow (aura) on their faces, even when it is a mixed group of both boys and girls. Their faces are emotionless, whereas indeed feelings and emotions are the strength of mankind. Let us restore the heart and soul to their pristine glory in the present system of education. It requires wisdom and vision to enter life. Information and knowledge alone are not at all important in life. They both keep changing with time.

A second step should be, which I doubt we’ll ever take, is to educate women towards motherhood. Talk to the child while still being nurtured in the womb in order to transform his or her soul into a human soul.

Thus we are going to create a human society with body, mind, intellect and soul. If the women of this earth come together, they can transform the earth in one generation. Neither, will their children misbehave towards other women nor would they indulge in any sort of violence.

Today, violence is becoming all powerful, because most people have strong faith in it. People have started to believe that non-violence will not work whereas the use of violence will get their work done instantly. A violent person doesn’t need any preaching, nor any propaganda. Those who preach non-violence, how much faith do they themselves really have in non-violence? They are non-vegetarians... meat eaters. How much impact will that voice have when it lacks conviction? Taking life even by  mistake is violence.

True happiness is found when wealth loses all its glamour and comforts fail to give any pleasure, … then  satisfaction or contentment is born. Then the worldly temptations lose all their charm. There has to be a balance between affection and aversion and desire. Shakespeare has said that there is nothing good or bad in the world. It is our thinking that makes it so.  One should think of society as a whole but we end up becoming individualistic or selfish.  I may be rich because of my good deeds. But others may be doing wrong then what should I do ….. Should I disengage myself from society in the name of being good?

A person with an euphoric conscience gets much attached to life, he fears death. The principle of renunciation makes our conscience alive. Renounce greed, violence, -anything which is surplus. Live frugally. There should be no attachment to materialistic things, no pride, no arrogance. But when we do have wealth we forget its usefulness and get attached to it.

In past too there was enjoyment and indulgence, but that era was not materialistic, there was abstinence and restraint. Possessions are not possessive, it’s our desires which get attached and this is the reason for our attachment to our body. We need to learn to differentiate between the two. All our inner senses are possessiveness from deep within us and this is what ties us to our worldly possessions, to our materialistic wealth. Wealth is fleeting material. It can not belong to anyone.

Our desires are just our wishful yearnings. They are imperative. But these  desires of ours make us weak. Nonviolence is not based on cowardice. Its basis is equality, inclusion, restraint, renunciation.

But violence is always done for possession. We resort to violence when we want to possess something. In modern times possessiveness is the only religion - it is above everything else. Our conscience has become pleasure-oriented. We don’t have that kind of moral values and character to escape from this blind rat race.

It’s not easy to get result from nonviolent actions or speeches on nonviolence. Many of those who talk about non-violence don’t truly believe in it themselves. Then how can their words carry the force of conviction to convince others? Attackers don’t believe in convincing people. They are known just by their actions.

When one starts living for oneself instead of society, the use of his possessions and procurement becomes a social problem through jealousy or competition. Greed continues unabated. The person stops sharing  his wealth  with society. It means his conscience is dormant, it is not awake. The collection of material goods is not rationalized by its usefulness, but it is an expression of desire only. When wealth loses all its glamour and comforts fail to give you any pleasure, … satisfaction and contentment are born.  Then the worldly existence loses all its charm. We get greater powers than the powers of money if we look at body, mind, speech, breath etc. to open up the gates of happiness.

People have been enjoying wealth in the distant past too, but today, everyone wants to get it by hook or by crook in an unrestrained manner. It adds to bodily comforts. In case we want to get rid of these traits we should focus more on the internal senses, feelings and emotions about violence and practice controlling desires and thoughts of violence.

Another aspect of countering violence is through the practice of love, love as inaction and not as reaction. Reaction is always conditional and depends on others’ action. Passion is conditional; Non-violence is love. It is true and simple where we are open to friends and foes alike. A culture of ahimsa can prevail only if the present system of education is radically changed and moral and spiritual values become its integral part.


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        Page glossary
        Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
        1. Ahimsa
        2. Aura
        3. Body
        4. Greed
        5. International Conference On Peace And Nonviolent Action
        6. Non-violence
        7. Nonviolence
        8. Pride
        9. Soul
        10. Violence
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