Is non-violence out-of-fashion in the 21st century?


intentBlog: Is non-violence out-of-fashion in the 21st century?

London, UK - 13 August 2006 - Mahatma Gandhi said, "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." Ahinsa is a concept which advocates non-violence and a respect for all life.

Ahinsa is Sanskrit for avoidance of hinsa, or injury. It is interpreted most often as meaning peace and reverence toward all sentient beings. Its first mention in Indian philosophy is found in the Hindu scriptures called the Upanishads, the oldest dating about 800 BC.

Latterly, Ahinsa was introduced as a political doctrine to the West by Mahatma Gandhi. Inspired by his actions, Western civil rights movements, led by such luminaries as Dr Martin Luther King Jr, engaged in non-violent protests. The more recent popularity of yoga and meditation in the West has also served to introduce many westerners to Ahinsa and related concepts, at an individual level. Non-violent Communication, developed by the American Dr Marshall Rosenberg and practiced and taught around the world, is inspired by Gandhi's example.

Mahatma Gandhi drew many of his concepts of truth, nobility and ethics from the doctrine of non-violence. Gandhi's concept of life and Ahinsa, which led to his concept of Satyagraha, or peaceful protest, also stem from his association with the doctrine of non-violence.

Literally speaking, Ahinsa means non-violence towards life but it has much higher meaning. It means that you may not offend anybody; you may not harbour uncharitable thought, even in connection with those who you consider your enemies. To one who follows this doctrine, there are no enemies. A man who believes in the efficacy of this doctrine finds in the ultimate stage, when he is about to reach the goal, the whole world at his feet. If one expresses love - Ahinsa - in such a manner that it impresses itself indelibly upon one's so-called enemy, then, according to the doctrine, the recipient must return that love.

This doctrine tells us that we may guard the honour of those under our charge by delivering our own lives into the hands of the man who would commit the sacrilege. And that requires far greater courage than delivering of blows. Ahinsa or non-injury, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-injury is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahinsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand.

Yours ever


DK Matai
The Philanthropia, ATCA, mi2g.net


intentBlog: Is non-violence out-of-fashion in the 21st century?

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