Ahimsa - Nonviolence
Ahimsa - Nonviolence
by Chandra Om
May the Lord
bestow upon us
the Divine way
Of all the virtues involved in the science of yoga, there is none higher than ahimsa. Ahimsa is the golden thread that runs through all yoga practice and is the foundation on which all Yogis build the inner spiritual life.
The one message of all saints and sages is the message of unconditional love. Practice of ahimsa develops this pure, unconditional and universal love, and is the highest of all traits found in the mind, speech and actions of all perfected souls. There is only one religion—the religion of love, of peace. There is only one message, the message of unconditional and universal love.
Ahimsa is the supreme duty of a Yogi, and the bedrock from which all other virtues are born. If you are established in ahimsa, you have attained all virtues. Ahimsa is not merely non-killing. The true meaning of ahimsa is complete harmlessness in thought, word and action, including criticism of any creature. Ahimsa is true strength. No Self-realization is possible without Ahimsa. My Guru always said, “Violence pollutes the mind and dims the spiritual light. Be gentle and helpful always.”
First control the physical body and do not give in to the lower and diabolical retaliation tendencies. This may be difficult in the beginning—remain calm, reflect and meditate. Remember the Guru and the teachings of forgiveness from all of the masters. Very soon, the old samskaras (past impressions) will begin to subside and the mind will become calm. Eventually, you will gain tremendous strength and resolve, and the lower, reactive nature will be transformed into the sublime, gentle and kind nature of the true Self.
After controlling the body, begin to control speech. Make a solemn promise to speak only loving, truthful words, mindful that no harsh words be uttered. Observe silence. Just as with the conquering of physical violence, the violent speech tendencies will slowly diminish and be gone completely.
Eventually, you will learn to conquer all thoughts involved in harming or injury. This is sometimes the most difficult samskara to conquer, but you must always remember you are not your thoughts—they are merely a product of Prakriti, or nature.
The Yogi eventually controls all thought projection, and the most important of all these is to control harmful thoughts. Never think of injuring anyone. Every time an injurious thought appears, remember the one Self dwelling in all. By injuring any aspect of God, you injure your own Self. By loving any aspect of God, you love your own Self.
The imperishable force of God protects all who are rooted in ahimsa. The practitioner of ahimsa loses all fear and finds God very quickly, realizing the unity and oneness of Consciousness. All beings love life and have an equal right to live free from violence. The Yogi who realizes this will be in harmony with all creation. Love all. Serve all. Hate none. Insult none. Eliminate the beast nature within.
Ahimsa is a weapon of the strong. It cannot be practiced by weak persons. Learn to cultivate supreme discrimination. Ahimsa is on many levels. As you go deeper into meditation, you will see the most subtle aspects and the reality of ahimsa automatically dawns. If, in your self reflection, you realize you caused cruelty or hurt someone in the past, apologize and make a solemn determination to avoid causing future harm. The Yogi respects everything. She is strict with herself, but very gentle with others.
Do your best, do not worry. If others cannot see your goodness or that you are trying to do better, that is a reflection of their consciousness. Never give up. Keep saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you. I am sorry for any harm I caused. I did not know what I was doing at the time. Please forgive me.” This may be done mentally, psychically.
Only when you are calm and in harmony with karmic laws, can you remain unaffected by someone hurting you and learn to use emotions in a way that is not harmful. Do your best. Eventually, all the love will dispel hate. Be patient. Keep mediating and working toward honesty and love for everyone.