Wikipedia has described non violence as a) General philosophy of absenteeism from violence because of moral and religious principle. b) Behavior of people using non-violent actions.

In modern history Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Leymah Gbowee and many others have been proponents of non violent movements in their respective countries. Their movements were for specific causes prevalent during those periods.

Non-violence is common to all religions of this world.

Non-violence or Ahimsa at personal level has always been an integral part of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism in which behavior of the people at large is maintained at kindness, love, care and compassion towards all living things including animals and plants. All these ancient religions are originated from India.

Buddha said that the only escape from violence is to remove the causes of violence from one’s own heart. To remove these causes one must first refrain from violence on the external level so as to create the proper karmic context.

Buddhists extend their respect for life to animals, plants and minerals.

Jesus always advocated non-violence and forgiveness.

Hindu religion says there is one religion i.e. religion of love, compassion, forgiveness, harmony and peace amongst the people living on this earth. And there is only one message that is the message of non-violence. Non-violence has found its expression and application in Hinduism.

Islam teaches non-violence. Quran says, God does not love violence. In Islam violence is considered as death while non-violence is life.

Mahavira (599-527 BC), 24th and the last Tirthankara (the highest order of monks of Jainism) was strong proponent of non-violence. He proclaimed, “Ahimsa Parmo Dharma” i.e. non-violence is your most important duty. And it should always be in your thoughts, words and actions. Even intent to injure others, causing loss to others, hurting others sentiments and violence committed in your dreams is against the tenets of ahimsa.

As per Jainism, non-violence involves respect and reverence for all sentient and non sentient beings. This includes practice of non eating flash and following vegetarianism and vaganism. It advocates non harms to all beings and caring them.

Non-violence is the essence of Taoism which was promoted by Lao Tzu.

In modern history Mahatma Gandhi is considered pioneer in promoting non-violence and making it a weapon against mighty British Government. He was born and brought up in Gujarat state of India, where Hindu and Jain religions are predominant. He inherited non-violence from such an environment where ahimsa is considered as supreme duty of a person.

Ahimsa is a positive love leading to universal brotherhood, where there is no place for hatred, jealousy or resentment. There is only pure divine love. Followers of non-violence open up their heart and mind to entire human race and a deep love for all creations of God, because we all are interconnected to one another. Its doctrine is ‘to love self is to love everyone and to hate another is to hate the self.’ One must practice love and compassion at every possible opportunity. Do not ‘defeat’ your enemy with swords and bullets but ‘win’ them with your love.

Non-violence is for common people and it must pervade the whole being and should not be applied to isolated acts. Non-violence is truthfulness, humility, tolerance, kindness. It is the soul force or the God head within us.

Principle of non-violence believes in oneness, not only in all human beings but oneness in all those lives on this planet earth and beyond.

Non-violence is a behavior of those they are brave and courageous. It does not permit anyone running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between cowardly flight and violence, one must prefer violence. Non-violence is a summit of bravery, not a cover for cowardice. At the same time it is also said that non-violence is not possible without humility.

Human beings are not perfect in all respect. They are bound to commit some mistakes during the course of their livelihood. Anyone among us can commit mistakes. Hence the principle of non-violence says, ‘hate the sin, not the sinner.’ We can win our opponent by love not by hate which is considered as a subtlest form of violence. We cannot claim to be non-violent when we have elements of hate in us. Followers of non-violence must invariably love his enemy. In a nutshell non-violence means the largest love and the greatest charity.

Practicing Non Violence:

As Mahavira said, non-violence must be in your thoughts, words and actions. It must be in your every cell, every vibration and in your ‘being’. If you are able to control your thoughts, words and actions, you can practice non-violence. First, you must learn to control your body and your actions. Do not retaliate on provocations. Your body language and your actions must be dignified. In the next step, control your words. Do not say harsh words to anyone. Practice forgiveness and also practice observing silence as long as you can. Once your actions and spoken words are in your control, finally you must learn to control your thoughts. Make sure to make them pure, full of love, compassion. Do not even think of injuring others. Every soul born on this earth is a manifestation of God. Love everyone, serve everyone to the maximum extent you can. Do not hate or insult anyone.

After regularly practicing above non-violence is now in your thoughts, words and deeds.

Let us finally ponder over the word ‘Non-violence’ or ‘Ahimsa.’ Both these words mean absence of violence.  These words are drawn from ‘Violence.’  There is always an input of violence in both these words. On the other hand, when we talk of Peace, it is not Non-Anger, Love is not Non-Hatred, Riches are not Non-Poverty, and then why there is not a suitable word in place of Non-violence? In my opinion, we should start thinking changing the word which is devoid of violence and is full of peace.

I urge upon the knowledgeable people of English, Hindi and other languages and respective authorities to coin a suitable word to substitute Non-violence and Ahimsa. A suitable word that comes to my mind is Mahkingatma.’ This word has been derived from three names of Mahavira, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Moreover in Hindi, ‘Maha’ means Large and Atma means Soul. Thus Mahkingatma means big soul as large as that of a king. In non-violence, one must have a big soul or heart. Both Non-violence and Mahkingatma have same alphabet count i.e. eleven. Similarly for non-violent we may us the word Mahkingatmak.

Gita also promotes Non-violence where non-violence and other virtues are said to be created by the God in following verses.

buddhir jnanam asammohah ksama satyam damah samah
sukham duhkham bhavo ‘bhavo bhayam cabhayam eva ca  Gita Ch. X V 4.

ahimsa samata tustis-tapo danam yaso ‘yasah
bhavanti bhava bhutanam matta eva prthag-vidhah  Gita Ch X V 5

It says, Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, self-control and calmness, pleasure and pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy are created by Me alone.

On this very special day of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in whose memory, we are celebrating World Non-Violence day, I dedicate this article to this great soul of last century.

Let peace, happiness, love and universal brotherhood prevail on this beautiful planet earth.

Keep reading and giving your valuable comments.

God bless you all.

Quotes for Thoughts

I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If we ourselves remain angry and then sing world peace, it has little meaning. First, our individual self must learn peace. This we can practice. Then we can teach the rest of the world.”  ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

“Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak. Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.” ~ Cesar Chavez

That’s all nonviolence is – organized love.”  ~ Joan Baez

“The power of nonviolence is not circumstance-specific. It is as applicable to the problems that confront us now, as to problems that confronted generations in the past.   It is not a medicine or a solution so much as a healing process. It is the active spiritual immune system of humanity.”  ~ Marianne Williamson 


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