Ahimsa (Non Violence) is the greatest virtue for any human being

Ahimsa (Non-violence) is the highest virtue. It is accepted by each and every religion and sect in some form or the other. But is there anyone who follows non-violence 100%? The answer will be no in all the cases, because taking vegetarian food is also not out of violence. The vegetables like leafy plants, roots, fruits and also grains and pulses all are with life and eating them also is violence. So in the ‘Mahabharata’ (an Indian epic) in ‘Aranyaparva’ non-violence is defined as follows:
"There is no one on the surface of earth without committing violence.
But one should keep away from violence to the extent possible.
So keeping away from violence to the extent possible is itself called non-violence."
To all the living beings eating is a must to survive. So eating for survival is not violence. But living for only eating is not acceptable as non-violence. Hence one should only eat to live and not live to eat.
So doing minimum harm to the co-living beings for survival is to be observed by all the human beings. People in Polar Regions and in deserts may have to depend on meat for survival as they can’t find vegetation suitable for food. However in the countries like India one can comfortably live with vegetarian food safely, happily and healthily.
Nowadays the science has also declared that vegetarian food is the best for humans and the human digestive system is fit for vegetarian food and not for meat. The scientific fact that has been discovered is that the human digestive system is more similar to that of the herbivorous animals than the carnivorous animals.
Therefore what is decided is to live in least violence. That means almost in non-violence.
Definition & Types of Violence
Again in ‘Anusasaneekaparva’ of Mahabharata, it is said that not only killing animals is violence, but also thinking bad about others, hurting others by words and manhandling are also categorized as `violence’.
So violence is of four types and we should be more careful towards them. In another instance that is in ‘Santhiparva of Mahabharata’, it is said that non-violence is like a foot print of an elephant, in which all the other foot prints disappear.
That means all other virtues include in non-violence itself. Having kindness towards all the living beings is the greatest virtue to be adopted by the humans. Because everything is created by God and thereby all the creatures are His progeny and so the relation between all the living beings is nothing but brotherhood. On account of this brotherhood all the living beings have the equal right to enjoy the God’s creation i.e., the nature.
‘Vasavi Devi’, the Goddess of ‘Vysya’ (merchant) community has proved herself an embodiment of non-violence. The king called Vishnuvardhana forced her to marry him, otherwise he would declare war against her country. She consoled her father and brother not to resort to war and she along with her followers entered fire and sacrificed herself to avoid war and violence. This story may be a point of inspiration to Mahatma Gandhi to fight with the weapon of non-violence against the British Rule in India.
Gautama Buddha has propagated non-violence in his preachings. He forcefully stopped killing animals in some of the Yagas (sacred fires). He used to tell those who wanted sacrifices that if they felt it sacred to kill animals, they could kill Him instead of those poor animals. He has spread love and non-violence by his preachings in the world. The greatest Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’ also stood against killing animals in Yagas. In Anusasaneekaparva, ‘Bhishma pitamaha’ clarifies to King ‘Yudhistira’ (the eldest of Pandavas), his grandson, “Following non-violence is better and greater than performing ‘Aswamedha Yaga’, where there is violence of killing the horse used for this Yaga”. He added that killing and ordering or helping for killing are the greatest sins.
So the humble and sincere advice is to follow non-violence and proceed on the way of realization of Supreme God (the Ultimate) by following Sahaj Marg (The natural Path of Realisation) System of Sri Ramachandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur. To know more about Sahaj Marg and the effective use of this system, please read the other spiritual articles of this website labeled as Sahaj Marg.
Courtesy: Sri P. Subbarayudu (Preceptor) and Sri B.E. Sampath Kumar (Abhyasi) of Sri RamaChandraji Maharaj Seva Trust, Kadapa.


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