Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Next on the list is ahimsa.
ahimsa has two parts. The first is not hurting others. The second is forgiving others who hurt us.

ஒறுத்தார்க்கு ஒரு நாளை இன்பம் பொறுத்தார்க்குப்
பொன்றும் துணையும் புகழ்
oṟuttārkku oru nāḷai iṉpam poṟuttārkkup
poṉṟum tuṇaiyum pukaḻ

says Thiruvalluvar!
Just having a goodwill to others is not ahimsa. One must also have tolerance and equanimity of mind.

That is the story of a sadhu who went to the river to have a bath. having compeleted it and having performed the rituals, he was coming out off the river. At that time he saw a scorpian caught in the river current and being carried away. The sadhu wanted to save it. So he lifted it out of the water. But the Scorpion immediately stung him. In reflex he dropped it. The Scorpion fell in the water and was being washed away the sadhu did not leave it at that. he tried again to lift it out of the water. Of course the Scorpion did not know that he was trying to help it. It stung him again. Undaunted he attempted again after a few attempts the goal was finally achieved.

A person was watching this episode from the bank of the river. He asked the sadhu why he would not stop after being stung by the Scorpion. It was ok for the first time, but after being repeatedly stung why he did not leave it alone.

The sadhu laughed and said it is his dharma to help those who are suffering and the dharma of the Scorpion is to sting anyone that it perceives as threat. If the Scorpion did not stop doing its dharma why he should stop doing his dharma.

Suppose somebody does us a very bad turn, we might get angry. With a lot of effort we might supress that anger. After that, though there is the temptation to punish the person we forgive him. Will this be ahimsa? Not really. The immediate reaction of anger negates that.

That is to say getting angry and suppressing the anger is not ahimsa. If your mind can be at peace while it is forgiving that deed, that would be ahimsa.
For one who follows ahimsa what he feels, what it thinks, what he says and what it does - are all in concurrence. And in spirituality this is very important.

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