Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Miinimization of Violence is Nonviolence in Itself

Original hindi article at niramish hindi blog : LINK 
Posted by : Shri Hansraj Sugya  
Translation by : shilpa mehta

Many people say that vegetarian food also causes violence and talking about non-violence with respect to food is wrong. But, the effort to minimize violence is non-violence in itself. Simultaneously, it is a way to firmly walk the path of non-violence. The constant struggle to minimize even necessary violence is a ladder to reach the height of non-violence. When micro-violence is inevitable, then keeping discretion and avoiding unnecessary malice and cruelty, is nonviolent mentality.It is suitable to nature and environment.

When the micro-violence inevitable, avoiding malice and cruel expression, avoiding lay discretion, is the practice the non-violent attitude.
Philosophers and seers have presented and proposed three dimensions of non-violence. The first one is on the basis of numbers, for example harming of ten beings is more (double as much as) violent than harming five. The second is on the basis of the evolution stage of the being, for instance, there are beings with one, two, three, four and five sense organs, and killing the one is more violent than the previous in that order. This prudence and discretion is scientifically and ethically justified. The third dimension is - the thought process behind the violence. There are many categories of mentality behind a seeming act of violence, starting from unknowingly to knowingly, selflessly to selfishly, necessarily to cruelly, as per the disposition of the person performing the act. To classify any act of apparent violence, we need to first look at whether the mentality behind the act was cruelty or kindness, selfishness or charity, senseless behavior or sensible endeavor
For an illustration, consider a thief wanting to steal killing a man sitting there to be able to steal, a driver accidentally killing a pedestrian, or a doctor operating to save a life but the patient dying on the table. All three cases result in death, but the driving reasons are different and thus the amount of violence attributed cannot be the same. Even in courts of law, when a person is convicted of a violent crime, the punishment varies as per the status of mind behind the crime. 

चित्र: द जैन युनिवर्स
The concept of "LESHYA" has a beautiful anecdote in jainism. Six pedestrian tourists were passing somewhere. On the way they saw a berry tree full of fruit. One of them said, we are hungry, let us eat some fruit here. One said, I will cut the tree and help all of you have your fill. The second said, no need to cut the whole tree, let us just cut one branch, it will be enough for us. The third wanted to cut just a twig while the fourth wanted to cut off just a bunch of fruit.  The fifth said, no, instead of breaking a whole bunch, let us pick individual berries. But the sixth one said it is enough to pick the fruits which have already fallen down to fill our stomachs. This man is the best example of non violent mentality. Therefore violence and non violence are decided on not just the act but an overall purview of the whole picture. 
We need to think in terms of the whole picture, the reference and the context of the acts we are classifying.

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