Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

The topic for the Satsang on Sunday, 19th August , 2012 was Ahimsa (Non-Violence)

Following is the speech made by Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.

Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra
“Ahimsa Paramo Dharama is a sentence we must have referred to often. We know it but it becomes a different thing when we have to practice it. We never took it for practice. We retaliate and react and that satisfies us. We can keep trying but someone or other will get better of us. And we’ll fail. Ultimately we’ll give up and when someone apparently is hurting, not to react becomes impossible. You see, this whole concept has to come from within us and our within is full of dirt and cruelty. We don’t think good of others. It may be our neighbour, it may be our relations and hardly when we see them, we think well of them. One who practices Ahimsa Paramo Dharama is one who has that kind of deep feeling – Maintaining goodwill constantly, thinking well of others, that’s the kind of mind that can speak out Ahimsa Paramo Dharma. But we have not cultivated it, we have to actually work at it. We have to continuously think well of others, be helpful whenever we can; and it can seep into us. Though we may not be able to help others, but internally we’ll wish well.
In yoga, there is something called Parikarmas. One of them is Maitri, which is a Bhavana (feeling) that has to be cultivated – Feel well for others. Karuna is another – Trying to be sympathetic, kind and it can be an internal feeling of empathy. So we have these kinds of contrary thoughts integrated in our personality right from early times where we think well of others, we learn it, we practice it. This kind of feeling we have. We don’t necessarily have to help someone physically. This can come at a later stage. But this preliminary feeling can start.
Let us carry a smiling face. Let us speak some pleasant words. Let us put up a pleasant appearance. These things are not impossible to do.’

“Ahimsa is a very huge thing because it is related to our whole life. There is some or other Himsa happening in every moment of our life. Jainism explains Ahimsa in great depth. At night there are more insects coming out which die when we walk over them. When we breathe, living organisms in the air also die. When digging in soil, organisms die. These things cannot be stopped because human life is dependent on other lives. This is bound to happen.
But yoga is talking of Ahimsa at another level. It talks of self-evolution, self-development. If we can become aware, it can be helpful to reduce Himsa. Probably we can do our best to reduce Himsa by not walking outside at night, be aware when walking, look down and walk instead of talking on the mobile phone or being distracted.
Yoga talks of practicing more at an internal level than the external. We live life less on the physical level and more on the mental. When Himsa comes into the mind, it reflects on our Karma. As the mind, so the action. There are many causes of Himsa. One of them is Avidya (Ignorance). We do not understand whether the other person has understood what we are saying. They have their own understanding levels and limitations. There is no one exactly like us in the whole world. So why should we feel hurt if someone does not understand us or says something that does not suit us? We feel hurt and keep reacting.
So yoga says, accept people as they are. Stop hurting others, no matter how they behave. Do not label anything as wrong. Everyone is right in their own way. A child or a grown man will act according to their own understanding as will a religious minded person or a modern minded person.
Now if we feel something is wrong, we are hurting ourselves. That is the main Himsa. Because after getting hurt ourselves, planned and unplanned and reactive Karmas begin. And we hurt others in turn. We hurt others because we are not able to uplift ourselves. If we pull ourselves down all the time, everything in the world will hurt us. But if we don’t get hurt, we will not care for hurting others and we will automatically walk on the path of Ahimsa.
In Bhagwad Gita, many Slokas talk on this subject – What happens in anger, Raga and Dvesa. The result is Himsa. The solution is Sthitapragna i.e. do not let the mind get disturbed. So we have to change our outlook towards life or Himsa will continue.
A dog barks and bites but we accept it the way it is. We accept all kinds of animals as they are, then why not accept fellow human beings as they are?”
Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
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