Monday, August 27, 2012

Ahimsa

I have been lent some reading material by a friend of mine, a large stack of back issues of 'The Sun', a literary magazine from the US, that is free of advertisements, and rich in thought provoking short stories, article, quotations, and photographs.  Each issue has a section called the dog-eared page, selections from works that have deepened and broadened the editor's understanding of the human experience.  One of the issues that I am borrowing features excerpts from 'All Men Are Brothers' by Mahatma Gandhi, and what Gandhi had to say on the idea of ahimsa piqued my interest.

He says:

In it's positive form, ahimsa (not doing harm) means the largest love, greatest charity.  If I am a follower of ahimsa, I must love my enemy.  I must apply the same rules to the wrongdoer who is my enemy or a stranger to me as I would to my wrong-doing father or son.  This active ahimsa necessarily includes truth and fearlessness.  As man cannot deceive the loved one, he does not fear or frighten him or her.  The gift of life is the greatest of all gifts; a man who gives it in reality, disarms all hostility.  He has paved the way for an honorable understanding.  And none who is himself subject to fear can bestow that gift.  He must therefore be fearless.  A man cannot practice ahimsa and be a coward at the same time.  The practice of ahimsa calls forth the greatest courage.

And another gem:

Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable. 

Some nice thoughts to start to week, no?





 

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