19. VIOLENCE AND NON-VIOLENCE

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  1. VIOLENCE AND NON-VIOLENCE

The world “Violence” and “Non-Violence” are, in ordinary references, applicable to such diverse situations in the practical life that no exposition of the issues involved can be complete, unless it takes note of these diverse situations and uses them as starting point.

According to diverse situations Non-Violence and Violence can be categorized as under.

Non Violence

  1. Non-Violence pure and simple- (based upon Divine love)-Here one sees his own Self and is beyond both friendship and enmity, and never does a single thought of violence enter his mind under any circumstances. This is possible when the state of pure and Infinite Love is reached and the aspirant is one with God.
  2. Non -Violence of brave- (based on Unlimited Pure Love)-This applies to those who, although not one with all through actual realisation, consider no one as their enemy and try to win over even the aggressor through love and give up their love by being attacked, not through fear, but through love.
  3. Non –Violence of strong- Suppose a physically strong man is insulted and spat by and arrogant man who is nevertheless weak and suppose that strong man who has got the power to crush the arrogant man, not only desists from hurling the arrogant man but calmly explains him the gospel of love. This action implies Non-Violence, but it is non-violence of strong.
  4. Non -Violence of the coward- (based on unlimited weakness of character and mind)-those who do not resist aggression because of fear and for no other reason, belong to this class.

Violence

  1. Non-Violent Violence (Based on unlimited love) - Violence done solely for defending the weak and where there is no question of self-defence or of self motive.
  1. Selfless Violence (Based on limited human love)- Violence done in self-defence when attacked treacherously and with no other selfish motive:-for example – when one’s mother’s honour is on the point of being violated by a lusty desperado and when one defends his mother; so also when the motherland’s honour is at stake and it is being attacked by enemies, the nation’s selfless effort at defending the motherland is selfless violence
  1. Selfish Violence (Based on and lust)- When violence is done for selfish motive by an individual or nation for power and selfish gains, etc

 Violence without hatred

Suppose a mad dog has run amock and likely to bite school children and teachers in the school destroy the mad dog in order to protect the children. This destruction of mad-dog does imply violence but there is no hatred.

Neither Violence nor Non violence

Situation-1-Suppose a man, who does not know person who comes to his help and the clasping is often so awkward that how to swim, has fallen in a lake and is being drowned and that there is nearby another person, who is good at swimming and who wants to save him from being drowned. The man who is being drowned has a tendency to grasp desperately the person who comes to his help and the clasping is often that it may not only make it impossible for the drowning man to be saved, but may even bring about drowning of one, who has come to help him. One, who desires to save a drowning man, has, therefore, to render him unconscious by hitting him on the head, before he begins to help him. Striking on the head of the drowning man, under such circumstances, cannot be looked upon either as Violence or as Non-Violence.

Situation-2-Suppose a man is suffering from some contagious disease, which can be only cured through an operation. Now in order to cure this suffering man as well as to protect others from catching this infection, a surgeon may have to remove the infected part from his body by the using knife. This cutting of the body by a knife is also among the things which cannot be looked upon either as violence or non-violence.

It will therefore be seen that while the non-violence, pure and simple is the goal of life. This goal has to be achieved by individual seekers of God by following “Non-violence of the brave”. The masses who have not the requisite intense longing for being one with Him, have to be gradually led toward this goal on the principles of “Non-violent violence” or those of “Selfless violence” according to circumstances. In this connection, it must be clearly understood that ‘Non-Violent Violence’ and ‘Selfless Violence’ are merely means of attaining the goal of life, namely pure and simple “non violence” ‘or the “Love Infinite”. These means must not be confused or otherwise mixed up with the goal itself.

Lesson on violence and non-violence for spiritual aspirants

If you are a perfect follower of non-violence, you give an oath that you will not hurt any creature. However, if you saw one dog killing three cats, what you would do – kill the dog? If you stood aside, you would allow killing of the three cats. If you keep silent, you are helping to kill three cats. If you kill the dog you are violent.

There is a tiger among the herd of cattle and you have a gun I your house that you do not touch, because of your oath of non-violence. You know you can kill the tiger and save the herd. What would you do? Kill the tiger, but (remain) detached-this is what Krishna teaches. Do not follow violence or non-violence, just be detached. You must kill for the good of the herd. In case of Arjuna, it was for the spiritual good of others, who were like tigers of lust and greed.

Is it right to go for war? Go for war if called and you cannot avoid it, but do not fight for the sake of killing. You just help and kill or be killed without fear and anger toward the killer. Few, very few can do so. Why do I want war? To make the things right for spiritual progress and advancement.

An spiritual aspirant has to put everything at stake for the sake of duty

As a rule, spiritual aspirants are indifferent to purely material well-being. They are prone to be indifferent to war as well as war-effect on the grounds that most wars are actuated by purely material considerations, But it is a mistake to divorce spirituality from material considerations. Material considerations do have a spiritual aspect and importance. Even spiritual aspirants, who are wrapped up in the super-sensible realities of inner life, can ill afford to ignore war, particularly when they are directly involved in it. Spiritual aspirants take their stand upon the reality of the Infinite Soul; it should, therefore, be easy for them to stake everything for the sake of duty which springs from the claims of the spirit.