Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
10 December 2017
In the Sanskrit language, Ahimsa means non-violence and Himsa means violence. Ahimsa is mentioned in the Rig Veda, Patanjali yoga sutras and in the Chandogya Upanishad as well. Ahimsa, meaning non-violence, is also indicated in religion.
Ahimsa is also mentioned as a human value and it not only means physical violence, but it also means violence as thoughts by the mind.
It is easy for a man or a woman to understand that himsa is a physical violence to the body. It is not easy for a man or woman to understand that violence or himsa could be to the mind as well, not only to himself but for the other too.
It is difficult for the conditioned mind to understand that himsa (violence) could be inflicted as thoughts by the mind. This is why the scriptures indicate ahimsa (non-violence) as a human value to be lived every day and in every house.
Therefore, it is important for every man and woman to understand how himsa or violence could be inflicted by the mind in the form of thoughts.
Ahimsa (non-violence) by the mind is to be truthful, honest, loving, caring and to speak with every member of the family, including the friends and colleagues, with love, concern and respect, especially to their children or child.
Ahimsa is to accept everyone as they are in every moment. Himsa is to expect everyone to be what they should be in any moment.
Himsa (violence) by the mind is when a man or woman argues rationally or irrationally in the house, does not speak with love, care and concern, especially to their children or child.
Himsa (violence) by the mind is when you do not talk with some member of the family for any rhyme or reason or to a friend or to a colleague or to your neighbour.
Himsa (violence) is when you do not discuss openly with any member in the family. Himsa is when you are cunning and selfish for your very own reason and purpose.
Therefore, ahimsa (non-violence) is a human value. This is to mean that himsa (violence) by the mind to anyone in the family, especially to children or child or to friends and colleagues, is not human behaviour.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017
We are all gifted with a human birth. Such a birth brings with it values of behaviour and consideration for each other that are time-honoured and enduring. It is a privileged birth and endows each man and woman with the care of God’s creation. It is so and always has been so. The conditioning of man’s mind, however, casts a shadow across his or her awareness of this endowment. Thankfully, the gift of the scriptures and the deep understanding of the wise remind each one of us of our human values, as beautifully revealed in this article. There cannot be one of us who does not experience the impact of this article. It strikes at the heart of our humanity.
Julian Capper, UK.
German Translator‘s Note:
Dr. Shankar‘s article “Ahimsa“ expresses the deep love, care and concern of any wise human being. As an example I want to share in this note a concept which helped me, many years ago, to develop a clear understanding of violence by the mind:
There has been a psychologist named Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, who has experienced a lack of empathy in the treatment of his patients. He discovered that the lack of empathy is driven by violent language. Not only his patients are diagnosed, blamed and criticised by the words of a psychologist or psychiatrist, but this also happens in daily life between humans of any kind. The violent language is also in every single human being and does not allow to be compassionate even with oneself. The understanding of Ahimsa, gifted by life, made him develop a different kind of language which he called Non-Violent Communication. It is a language that helps us to communicate our needs without blame or criticism and without demanding or expecting the other to act in a certain way. This helps to find solutions which fit the needs of both sides. Dr. Rosenberg‘s Non-Violent Communication is a language of life and to study it deeply can help to connect oneself with everybody empathically, illusory though it may be.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.