Ahimsa - The Science Of Peace: [11] The Scope

Published: 10.01.2009

Others too do not like to be subjected to the violent activity you do not like to be subjected to. The compassionate treatment you expect is also expected by all others. This is the gist of all what the Jain order preaches.

Brihatkalp Bhashya

The qualification of being called an Arya (noble) is not to kill or oppress beings. In fact, he who does not kill or oppress beings is called Arya.


Do not do to others what you yourself detest.


I do not want to turn my stomach to be a graveyard of other beings. He who has saved one life has probably spared life of all humanity.

Kuran Sharif 5/35

The Scope

[Since the publication of this book I have often come across two questions: Can ahimsa effectively help us tackling the two gravest problems we face, those of terrorism and deteriorating environment? And is it practically possible to popularize the ahimsa way of life? I have already touched on these two problems in the last chapter. But the continued escalation in the intensity of these problems requires that we give them further thought. They have multiple dimensions, which means that we need comprehensive methods for tackling each one of them. It is beyond the scope of this additional chapter to go into detailed discussion of every aspect of the problems and their solutions. However, it is pertinent to provide pointers to inspire readers to formulate practical solutions suitable to their individual surroundings. I have tried to do that to the best of my ability with the hope that such islands of peace may expand and join together to form continents of peace and mushroom into universal peace.]

The gravest maladies haunting this planet today are terrorism and ever-increasing pollution. These damaging conditions are breeding grounds for many other problems, including the increase in diseases, new and old, in spite of the rapid developments in the field of health sciences. There are no simple solutions to these problems. However, ahimsa, put into practice as a way of life, provides a progressive solution to such problems. It does so by tempering and diluting undesirable or dangerous social attitudes.

As already discussed, Ahimsa as evolved by Mahavir is infinitely wider than the word’s simple meaning. He made a single point explode in all directions, breaking the limits of a concept or a doctrine and turning it into a universally applicable principle. It evolved into such a dynamic principle that it does not change fundamentally when shifting from one area to another. It is a way of life covering every facet of life from the mundane to the spiritual and from the least evolved to the most evolved. If worked out properly and earnestly, it can provide solutions to a wide range of problems almost at every level. It does not act like a medicine that attacks a disease; rather, it acts like nourishment that improves the overall health of the body and gives it the strength and resistance to prevent and fight diseases in general.

Because of space restrictions, we shall confine our discussion to the two gravest problems in this context, those of terrorism and environmental degradation. Much has been said and written about political, religious, social and individual causes and ramifications of terrorism as well as environmental degradation. We shall not go into the details of every individual field, but instead look briefly into root causes and proceed to speculate about how the ahimsa way of life can be effectively utilized in that context.


Prakrit Bharati Academy
D.R. MEHTA, Founder & Chief Patron

First edition: 1987
Second enlarged Edition May: 2004
Third Edition July: 2008

© All rights reserved with the author

Printed at:
Raj Printers & Associates, Jaipur, India

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  1. Ahimsa
  2. Body
  3. Dhammapada
  4. Environment
  5. Mahavir
  6. Space
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