The Gnani Purush shows the world the way to non-violence.
In the ocean of violence there is always violence, but if one wants to practice total non-violence, it is only possible through the reading and contemplation of the words spoken by the Gnani Purush Param Pujya Dadashri. There are many people who practice overt, gross ahimsa, but it is extremely difficult to know it and understand it at its most subtle levels. It is not easy to know these levels, so how can one even begin to talk about attaining them?
If one does not understand what constitutes the entire spectrum of ahimsa starting from the visible to the subtlest living beings, such as life forms present in air and water, and if one does not understand intent-violence (violence through inner intent which causes a new karma) and intent-death (the ultimate of all violence: violence against the self), then whatever ahimsa one practices will be in vain. One will be stuck at the level of mere words and gross mechanical actions.
Only the One who is absolutely non-violent, can show others the true nature of violence. Such a One is eternally established as the Self. These are the tirthankaras and the Gnanis.
In this book, you will find information about violence and non-violence, from the gross to the subtle-most levels, as exposed by the Gnani Purush. He is absolutely non-violent in a world filled with violence.This book has been compiled with the intention that people of this time cycle, suffering from violence from every direction, achieve salvation for this life and lives to come.
Who can escape effect violence (visible acts of violence, intentional or otherwise; violence perceivable by all the senses)? Even the Tirthankars themselves, at the time of their ultimate liberation, with their last breath, killed many airborne life forms. If they were held responsible for such violence, they would be compelled to take birth again for the karma caused. Would liberation then ever be possible? So what was it that they attained, which gave them exclusive protection from the laws of karma and achieves liberation? These very mysteries are understood and can be explained only by the Gnani Purush himself, because within him manifests the exact same knowledge that is to be found in the hearts of all the Tirthankars. Dadashri has revealed this knowledge and has made it accessible to everyone. This book will, without doubt, serve as a very useful guide for those who practice ahimsa and desire liberation.
- Dr. Niruben Amin
Satsang with Dadashri commences….
PROGRESS TO PEAK OF RELIGIONS: NON-VIOLENCE
Question: Can you please elaborate on the subject of Ahimsa (non-violence) in the progress in religion and spirituality?
Dadashri: Ahimsa itself is religion and ahimsa is spiritual progress. The definition of Ahimsa is: to maintain the awareness to not hurt any living being, even in the slightest degree, through your mind, speech and actions. When this principle remains firm in your conviction, and awareness, then progress will occur in spirituality.
Question: How do you benefit in life with the mantra ‘Ahimsa Parmodharma’ (Ahimsa, the highest religion)?
Dadashri: Every morning before leaving home, you should recite the inner intent, ‘I do not want to hurt any living being, even in the slightest degree, through your thoughts, speech and conduct’. Repeat this five times. Having done this, if you do end up hurting someone anyway, then you must take note of it and repent for the mistake.
Questioner: How is it possible, in this day and age, to live a life without hurting any living being?
Dadashri: All you have do is to have and protect your intent that you do not want to hurt any living being, and repent for the times you are not able to maintain it.
Questioner: Is it really possible to live a life in this world filled with myriads of living beings without hurting any being? Can we satisfy every living being surrounding us in every circumstance?
Dadashri: Whoever desires to do so, can do so. If the goal of ahimsa is not attained in one lifetime, it will be attained in two or three lifetimes. If your goal and decision is firm and you maintain ahimsa in your awareness, then absolute ahimsa is inevitable.
Non-violence Prevails Over Violence
Questioner: What should one do to stop violence?
Dadashri: The intent of non-violence must arise within continuosly. Lord Mahavir has left behind a very clear distinction between violence and non-violence. He knew that an era of violent times was approaching and therefore He said, “Face all violence with non-violence.” If someone uses the weapon of violence, you should use the weapon of non-violence against him. Only this approach will lead to happiness. Violence only stops with non-violence.
Questioner: People are frequently violent. How can they be changed to become non-violent?
Dadashri: You have to make them understand. You have to explain them, ‘ The Lord resides in every living being. If you hurt any living being you will incur the liability for the hurt and violence caused. This results in an obstruction in spiritual progress as the veils of ignorance multiply. The consequence of this is further misery and a birth in lower life formss.’ People will indeed understand this when you explain it to them in this way. Violence spoils human intellect.
Questioner: I may feel strongly about practicing ahimsa. What can I do when an individual does not believe in it at all?
Dadashri: If you feel strongly about practicing ahimsa, then you should practice it and calmly explain it to others whether they believe in it or not. They will start to believe in it if you use this approach. If you make an effort, then one day you will succeed.
Questioner: What should we do if they are not receptive to it even after explaining ahimsa calmly and with love? Should we allow the violence to continue, or should we attempt to stop it forcefully?
Dadashri: You should pray to whichever The Lord you believe in and say: “Dear The Lord, make everyone non-violent.” Pray in this manner.
The Problem Of Bedbugs
Questioner: What should we do about the growing infestation of bedbugs in our homes?
Dadashri: Many years ago, we had the same problem in our household. I could not bear it when the bedbug bit me on the neck; so I would pick it up and put it on my leg, and let it bite me there. How could we send the poor insect away hungry when it is hungry and has come to this restaurant of ours? It is not right to let it go hungry. You will not have such strength of non-violence. Therefore I ask you to simply catch it and put it outside. At least you can get some peace of mind knowing that it is not in your bed.
Nature's law is such that even if you were to throw out a hundred thousand bedbugs, if tonight only seven of them were to bite you, then seven will not leave without finishing their task. Even if you were to kill them, seven bedbugs would still bite you, whether you throw them far away from your home or you do nothing. They will bite you regardless of what you do.
That is why I do not put up any resistance. I allow them to bite me when I am awake, or else they would bite me in my sleep. At least they do not bring containers to carry away extra food with them. All they do is eat their share and go home. There is a sense of satisfaction that this body has fed so many other lives. These days it is hard to feed to feed even two individuals.
Bedbug Killer, Are You The Creator Of Bedbugs?
Questioner: What steps should we take to deal with all the bedbugs, mosquitoes and cockroaches in the house?
Dadashri: To prevent them from infesting the home, you should clean the home and keep it clean. You should catch the roaches, take them outside and throw them far away, but you should not kill them under any circumstance.
Once I was invited to a very prominent man’s home. He made the statement that bedbugs ought to be killed because they bite and suck blood. I asked him where it was written, that the bedbugs should be killed. I explained to him that a person has a right to kill a bedbug only if he is able to create one. The general rule is that you cannot destroy what you cannot create.
Questioner: So why do the bedbugs come to bite?
Dadashri: They do so because you have a pending debt with them. Your body does not belong to you alone. It is not your property in the first place, you have ‘stolen’ it and so the bedbugs are stealing from you. When they bite you, your accounts are being settled and your debts are being paid off. So from now on, do not kill them.
One Cannot Steal From The Lord’s Garden.
Let us say there are mangoes growing in your neighbor’s garden, and some hang over the fence that separates your yard and his. The neighbor’s religious beliefs are different. He does not believe in ahimsa. He is quick to punish and hit anyone who picks his fruits. People do not touch his fruits out of fear. Now if you can refrain from stealing from your neighbor’s garden, why can you not refrain from killing the bedbug in the garden of the Lord? Do you understand that you are stealing from The Lord’s garden?
Suffer The Penance In Front Of You
Questioner: But what if the bedbug bites severely?
Dadashri: Blood is the food for the bedbug. Do you expect it to eat rice and ghee? Will they eat it even if we make it nice and creamy for them? No, because blood is its food.
Questioner: But is it fair to just let it continue to bite?
Dadashri: Do you not occasionally fast as a means of penance? In that penance, do you not tolerate the pangs of hunger? Then why not accept the bites of the bedbug as a forms of penance? This penance presents itself directly to you. It is the basis for liberation or moksha. Why must you create your own kind of penance? Why not endure the penance that presents naturally? Naturally occurring penance is the cause of liberation, whereas self-created penance is the cause of worldly life.
Questioner: Yes! That is a very good point. Let the penance that presents happen. Fasting is tough and requires a lot of effort.
Dadashri: Yes. In that you are creating circumstances for penance. Whereas here penance occurs spontaneously, you do not have to invite it. So feed all the bedbugs that come to you. Treat them with kindness and then send them off.
Non-Violence: A Gift From My Mother
My mother, Zaverba was thirty-six years older than me. One day I asked my mother if the bedbugs were also biting her and she replied: “Naturally dear, they will bite. But the poor things eat their share and are off again. They don’t bring any containers, they simply eat their share and leave!” Blessed is this mother. Blessed also is the son.
Once I came home after fighting with someone at school. My mother took pity on the other child and told me that I should not have hurt him. She told me that the poor boy did not have a mother, so who would take care of his cuts and bruises? She even told me that I should not hurt anyone and that it was fine if someone were to hurt me because I had a mother who would take care of me. Now tell me, is such a woman not worthy of being the mother of a Mahavir?
Questioner: It is the other way round nowadays. Nowadays parents teach their children to fight back.
Dadashri: Not just nowadays, it has always been that way. It has nothing to do with the current times. This is the way of the world. There is a choice. One can become the disciple of Lord Mahavir, and be free. The other choice is to become a disciple of worldly gurus, and be bound. The latter creates further miseries. The Lord is vitarag (One devoid of all attachments). He is absolutely non-violent. It is better therefore to be a disciple of Mahavir.
Keep Everything Clean: Do Not Use Insecticides
Many people do not kill bedbugs. Instead they put their mattresses out in the sun to heat. In my household I would tell them not to do even that. Why trouble the poor bedbugs in the sun? People would still protest, wanting to be rid of them. It is a misconception to think that the population of the bedbugs decreases by killing them. They may appear to decrease but the same number will be found the following day.
We should simply keep everything clean and tidy. Maintaining cleanliness is the key to eliminating the problem of bedbugs. It is a crime to use insecticides and repellants on them. Besides, the chemicals do not destroy them; the insects just reappear elsewhere. You will not see a single insect at certain times, while at other times they seem to be abundant. This is because insects are seasonal. During such times, no matter how much insecticide you spray, they will keep thriving.
Payoff Your Debts Fast
Questioner: One bedbug takes only the portion that is part of the overall account, does it not?
Dadashri: I have always paid off my debts to them, which is why I encounter just a few now. Even now, if a bedbug were to visit me, it would instinctively recognize that it is not going to be harmed. They know me. They also know the nature of other individuals that are likely to hurt and kill them. They have this ability to know this because they too have a soul within.
Moreover, there is no way out for you without paying off your debts. You will have to feed blood for having taken blood from beings in the past. You will have to repay whomever you have troubled. All your accounts will have to be paid off. Have you seen a blood bank where people donate blood? This here is such a ‘bedbug bank’ which acts like a ‘blood bank’, where a record of all your pending accounts are kept.
Drinking Blood or Settling Accounts?
So allow the bedbug to bite you and do not let it go hungry. How can the poor, hungry bedbug leave without being fed at such a noble household as yours?
If you cannot tolerate their bites, just take them outside, but if you do have the strength, let them feed off you and then let them go. In doing this, they are doing you a big favor. They liberate you from your sense of attachment to your body. The message the bedbug comes with is, “Why are you asleep (spiritually asleep)? Get your work done!” They are like the watchmen that stand guard to alert you.
The Law Is Maintained
Questioner: Mosquitoes are a nuisance! What can we do about them?
Dadashri: Understand that anything in this world that aggravates you, does so within the prescribed limits of nature’s law. Your suffering, too, is within this law. If you want to be free of these mosquitoes, sleep inside a mosquito net, but do not kill them.
Questioner: So should we should preserve their life, not kill them?
Questioner: What if we utter ‘Sri Rama’s name as we kill them, would it not mean that they would attain a higher life forms in their next life?
Dadashri: You will go to a lower life forms for inflicting the suffering on the mosquito.
Questioner: Do mosquitoes bite saints?
Dadashri: They bite even the Lord. They used to bite Lord Mahavir a lot. They simply would not leave without collecting on their debts.
Your Own Debts
Recognize that when a single mosquito even touches you, it is exact. It is meant to be. If you were to be bitten on your hand, it would not be able to bite you on your leg, even if it wanted to! How can this world be wrong when it has been arranged with such precision? This precise arrangement is the ‘regulator of the world' and continuously keeps this world in ‘regulation’. I am making this statement based on my own vision.
‘Hitlerism’ Prohibited Everywhere
No one in this world is in a position to hurt or hinder you, therefore should anything happen to you, do not blame the world: the fault is your own. Everything that you experience in your life is the echo of all the meddling you, yourself did in your previous life. You will not have such echoes if you had not meddled.
Not even a single mosquito can bite you unless there had been some previous interference on your part. Even if you were lying in a bed full of bedbugs, not a single bug will touch you, if you have not interfered in your past life. What is the law behind this? People think thoughts like, ‘kill all these bugs, and get rid of them’. This is interference. Do they not use spray insecticides? This is Hitlerism, gassing human beings to death. Yet the bugs say, you wont affect us much. Our generational propagation will not cease.
Therefore when your interference ceases, all accounts will be cleared. Without causes of interference there will be no ‘bites’ of any kind.
When can one tell if all debt has been paid off? In the midst of a swarm of mosquitoes, not a single mosquito will bite you. Even the bedbugs will forget their natural tendency to bite. If a very angry and violent man rushes in here suddenly, his anger and violence will vanish when he sets his eyes on me. His thinking will change: this is the power of ahimsa.
It is vyavasthit (scientific circumstantial evidences) that arranges everything. The mosquito is not aware that it will bite Chandulal and Chandulal is not aware that he will be bitten, but vyavasthit unites the two. Vyavasthit determines the time of the event, when the air pulls the mosquito to its location, and it is also vyavasthit that pulls it away after the event. It is vyavasthit that frees them from their account so they both can go their separate ways. The mosquito can even fly for miles to settle accounts with anyone who has been interfered in the past.
No Difference Between The Thorn And The Mosquito
When a mosquito bites, people blame the mosquito, but when a thorn pricks them, what do they do? There is no difference between a thorn and a mosquito. In the eyes of The Lord, they are both the same. The Soul within them does not bite. Everything that hurts you is merely ‘thorns’. Why is it that you do not see the fault of a thorn when it pricks you?
Questioner: It is because one does not see a living instrumental entity.
Dadashri: The mosquito appears alive and therefore he assumes, ‘this is what bit me.’ He is under the veil of illusion, not knowing the reality. Therefore, the world appears real to him. The Self never does anything. It does not bite anybody. The world is simply an interaction of non-Self elements, and it is there that the accounts are caused and settled. The Self never punishes anyone. The world is constantly hurt by the sharp ‘thorns’.
If a person is struck by a falling rock, he will look up to see who threw the rock at him. When he does not see anyone, he remains quiet. However, if he catches someone throwing even a small pebble at him, he will become very angry and confrontational. Why does he react differently in each situation? This is because his perception is false.
According to Akram Vignan, the thorn that pricks you and the person that hurts you are both nimits (they become instrumental in the process where vyavasthit brings to you the results of your own past karma). The fault is really yours. You would not be hurt if you stepped on a flower, but if you stepped on a thorn, it will prick you for sure. The same applies to people, so you must be careful when you interact with anyone. Whether a thorn pricks you or a scorpion stings you, it is the result of past karmas. Whose past karma? Your own past karma. Others are merely instrumental in delivering the results of your own past deeds. What fault is it of the instrument?
Therefore, walk with caution. This is a very different kind of world altogether. By nature it is absolutely just and exact. Throughout my life, I have assessed the real nature of things and events. I have arrived at a wonderful conclusion which when known to the world will bring lasting peace and harmony.
The right To Life For All Living Beings
Think about why a cat preys on mice and other insects, but it will never touch a mole, even if it is hungry! Why is that?
You receive food without any effort because of your virtues (results of good deeds in your past life). A laborer, on the other hand, has to toil for money to buy food. Therefore, from now on make sure that you do not hurt any living being whether it is a human, an animal or an insect. On the one hand people pray to The Lord while on the other, they continue to hurt the very beings within whom The Lord resides. How much courage does it require to kill animals or insects? People go around killing snakes and insects too readily, yet is it such a brave thing to do? You can only destroy that which you are capable of creating.
A bedbug is a bedbug by the relative viewpoint, but by the real viewpoint it is a Pure Soul (shuddhatma). Do you want to kill a Pure Soul? If the bedbug is intolerable, pick it up and put it outside. Man looks for his happiness through killing. How is it possible to kill and find happiness at the same time?
Questioner: What should we do if we have an invasion of ants in the house?
Dadashri: Just keep the door of that room shut. People find ants annoying, but in nature, such a nuisance will last only a few days and when the time comes to an end, it will disappear. So just keep the room closed. You can even discover this on your own, if you were to analyze everything; whether this nuisance is permanent or temporary.
Questioner: Most of the time the ants head for the kitchen, so how can we keep the kitchen closed?
Dadashri: That is just a false belief. Understand that you must move away from wherever the nuisance is. Keep two separate cooking areas in your home if you can. Keep a spare stove in your home. Can you not forego a fully cooked meal for one day? Killing is a very serious matter.
Questioner: We only kill them if they get in our way. We do not go out of our way to kill them.
Dadashri: For those who want to kill insects, such a situation will present itself to them. Those who do not want to kill will come across circumstances that will accommodate their intent.
If you make an effort, ‘never to kill’ and try, then your circumstances will change. Unless you understand the law that operates this world, the practice of killing will not cease and as a result you will not be able to break away from the habits of this worldly life. If you accidentally kill an insect, do pratikraman and ask for forgiveness.
Questioner: Will the use of insecticides affect us?
Dadashri: The very moment you kill anything, a change occurs in the subtle subatomic particles within you. Innumerable living organisms within you die. The killing you do externally is proportionate to the killing that happens internally. There is an entire cosmos within you, just as there is on the outside. So kill as much as you want to, but understand that the same destruction is taking place within you, for there is as much within the body as there is in the universe.
There are so many ‘thieves and pickpockets’ around that one is never safe. But if you never have a thought of picking someone’s pocket or stealing from someone, then no one is going to steal from you. In the same token if instead of violence, you choose non-violence, you will not come across any circumstances of violence. That is the way of the world. If you understand this world just once, your problems will be solved.
The fault is of the entity that endorses.
Questioner: During the rainy season when there is an abundance of mosquitoes and flies, the municipal authorities tell us to spray our houses with insecticide. Is that not a sin? But if we do not use the insecticide, there will be an outbreak of disease.
Dadashri: What is the difference between this and what Hitler did with his bombs? This is ‘Hitler’ on a very small scale.
Questioner: But we are talking about the whole town here!! It is filthy in the rainy season and there are flies and swarms of mosquitoes everywhere. The local authorities are forced to use insecticides.
Dadashri: What difference is it make to you what the municipal authorities do? You should simply have the intent not to kill. Your only intent should be: "It would be better if things were not so."
Questioner: Then does the responsibility lie with those who carry out the work in the municipal authorities?
Dadashri: No. It does not concern them.
Questioner: Then who is responsible?
Dadashri: The workers merely carry out their orders, but the head officers who give the order would be liable.
Questioner: But for whose benefit do the officers give the orders?
Dadashri: They are simply doing their duty. This is not for us.
Questioner: But we are the ones who file complaints about the nuisance of mosquitoes.
Dadashri: The ones who do not wish to hurt, do not complain. They are not responsible. Those who complain are responsible.The liability therefore, falls on those who approve and endorse it.
Questioner: So is it dependent upon each individual’s inner intent?
Dadashri: Yes, your inner intent will determine the degree of liability you incur.
Questioner: If a mouse or a bird dies in a water tank, the tank will need to be cleaned out and disinfected. Will the use of the disinfectants, not kill all the living organisms in the tank? Who will be accountable for this sin? Is it the one who does the disinfecting or the one who makes others do it?
Dadashri: Both the direct doer and the one who makes other do, are responsible. Our intent must remain that of non-violence. We should not have an opinion to kill.
Questioner: The inner intent is to prevent disease. If the water in the tank remains contaminated, the people who drink it will fall ill.
Dadashri: Yes, the wrongful deeds continue. If you take into account such wrongful deeds, then such deeds are constantly taking place in the world.
You have to take care of yourself and not worry about anyone else. Each individual must look after himself. Every living being has brought with him, his life and time of death. That is why the Lord has said that no one can kill anyone. This statement however, cannot be declared publicly otherwise people may abuse it.
Who do you suppose will clean the contaminated water-tank in the household of ten people? It will be the person with the ego. He will say that he will clean out the tank because he is the right person for the job. All the liability without doubt will fall on that person - the one who takes on the doer ship.
Questioner: But he is doing it out of compassion.
Dadashri: Whatever it may be, he still commits a sin for which he will have to repay in the next life.
Questioner: Then what should one do? Drink the contaminated water?
Dadashri: You cannot alter the circumstances. The person with the ego will not refrain from taking on the doer ship of cleaning up the tank. You will still continue to get clean water. You will always find someone with ego that will clean the water for you. Yes indeed, everything in this world is at your disposal, but it is your merit karma that falls short. Your obstacles in life will be proportionate to the amount of ego you exercised. When this ego is uprooted and its support is destroyed, the whole world will be yours. You will not lack anything. The ego is your only obstacle.
Violence In Educational Istitutions
Questioner: Students of agriculture have to catch and kill butterflies in order to study them. If they do not carry out their assignments, they will be given a failing grade. So what should they do? Is there sin in what they are doing?
Dadashri: Before starting their assignment, they should pray to The Lord for an hour and ask for forgiveness for having to face such a task. They should maintain the intent of non-violence and wish that they did not have to carry it out. ‘ Dear Lord, I ask for your forgiveness. Let my circumstances be free of all violence’.
Questioner: It is really the instructors that inspire such assignments, so should they not be held liable in sin?
Dadashri: Yes the binding of karma gets distributed sixty-forty percent. Sixty percent of the liability is the instructor’s the one who commences the deed) and forty percent is the student’s who carries out the deed.
Questioner: Is everything not under the control of vyavasthit? These people are merely the instruments, so why do they end up binding demerit karma?
Dadashri: Such violence should not unfold in our life, but it still happens. This is the result of demerit karma. Would you be happy if you had to slaughter goats in your work?
Questioner: I would not like that. But Dada what if one has no choice in this matter?
Dadashri: If one has no choice, then he should carry out the deed with total repentance. He should repent everyday for one hour. Can you or any scientist for that matter create even one butterfly?
Questioner: No, it is not possible Dada.
Dadashri: Then how can you kill something that you cannot create?
All these people should pray to The Lord and repent. They should question why they have to undertake such tasks. A farmer should question why he became a farmer. There is a lot of violence in farming, but it is not as great as that of killing butterflies. Killing butterflies is an outright himsa.
Questioner: Not only do they kill the butterflies, but if they happen to catch a good specimen, they also take pride in presenting it for a better grade!
Dadashri: Whatever degree of pleasure they experience, they will have to experience the same degree of sorrow from the karma that presents its result. They will have to suffer just as much misery and bitterness as the pride and happiness they derive from it.
Separate Account Book of Sins
Questioner: If one man cuts grass, another chops a tree, another kills a mosquito, another kills an elephant and another kills a human being, there is violence involved in each act, but are the consequences not different in each case?
Dadashri: Yes the consequences will be different. The blade of grass is not significant.
Questioner: But is there not a presence of the Soul in the grass as well?
Dadashri: That is true. But the grass suffers in a state of dormancy.
Questioner: So the degree of the sin one binds is proportionate and directly related to the amount of suffering felt by the other entity?
Dadashri: Yes, the amount of sin is based on the degree of suffering of the other living being.
Questioner: Many people have beautiful gardens surrounding their homes.
Dadashri: There is nothing wrong with that. The only reason for telling people not to keep gardens is because a lot of precious time is wasted in maintaining them and not because of the violence it involves.
Questioner: But are we not instrumental in causing this violence?
Dadashri: There is nothing wrong with being an instrument. The whole world is instrumental in forms. Everything just continues to happen in this way. You do not have to concern yourself with the single-sensory organisms because you are not inflicting any pain on them. Some people unnecessarily become overly concerned with such forms of violence. Nevertheless, you should not deliberately pick leaves from trees unnecessarily. You should not indulge yourself in meaningless things. If you need to break a twig, you must ask the tree for its permission.
Questioner: Is there not a difference between walking on grass and walking on a footpath?
Dadashri: Yes there is, but the difference is insignificant. People have been misled into making an issue out of small things while the important points have been overlooked altogether. You commit greater violence when you become annoyed and irritated with people, because such behavior hurts them.
The Role of Karma In Farming
Questioner: Is there sin in farming?
Dadashri: There is sin everywhere. There is sin in farming and also in the business of selling grains. There are so many tiny organisms involved in this. When people sell grain they are also selling the insects in the grain. The money was taken for the insects. The insects are eaten with the grain.
Questioner: But when the farmer nurtures one plant and kills the weed around, is it not sin?
Dadashri: Yes, indeed there is!
Questioner: Then how can he farm?
Dadashri: Sin and virtue is intrinsic in all work. The farmer kills some plants and nurtures others. He will bind virtue for the ones he nurtures, and sin for the ones he kills. There is twenty five percent sin and seventy-five percent virtue, so there is a profit of fifty percent.
Questioner: So does the sin get deducted from the virtue or vice-versa?
Dadashri: No, it does not work like that. Both the positives and negatives are recorded. If the positives and negatives negated each other then you would not come across a single unhappy person. And if that were the case, no one would seek liberation, because everyone would be perfectly content here.
The whole world is binding both sin and virtue. Virtue occurs alongside sin. But the Lord has said that one should do the kind of business where the profits outweigh the losses.
Special Pratikraman For Farmers
Questioner: In your book we have read the prayer: “Let no one be hurt in the slightest degree, through the medium of my mind, speech and body." But we are farmers. We grow tobacco and to get a good crop, we have to break off the tips of every plant. Thousands of plants are cut in this manner. How can we avoid this kind of sin?
Dadashri: In your mind you should be repenting. That is all you have to do. As you snap the tender leaves, you should repent from within as to why such a task has befallen you and why you are engaged in such an occupation. That is all.
Questioner: But the sin will occur anyway, will it not?
Dadashri: That is true. But you do not have to worry about that. You do not have to worry about the sin that is happening. From within you must repent and inquire how you ended up doing this violence in this life. Maintain the inner intent of non-violence and be resolute in that.
You would not be able to repent unless you have this understanding. On the contrary you would happily throw away the cuttings without thinking. Do you understand this? If you do your work the way I tell you, your liability becomes mine. There is no problem when you throw away the plants, but you should always repent for it.
Questioner: I understand. Compared with the farmers, the businessmen do greater sin, but even more than the businessmen, it is the people who sit at home that do the greater sin. Sins are committed through the mind and not the body.
Dadashri: You have to understand this fact. It is not necessary for others to understand it. Let them believe what they will; whatever they believe is correct for them. But for your purpose, you have to understand what I am saying.
Questioner: What should we do when we have to spray insecticide on the cotton crop? There is violence in it, is there not?
Dadashri: Any work that is unavoidable must be done with a condition contingent upon doing pratikraman.
You do not know how to conduct yourself in this worldly life, but once I show you the way, you will cease to bind new sin.
If you are a farmer, you are bound to bind sin, because you destroy countless lives when you plough the land and harvest the crops. For this very reason, I am showing you how this sin can be reduced. I am giving you the medicine to wash away your sin and if you use it, you will incur a lesser liability and you will be able to enjoy the worldly happiness.
All farmers incur a liability from the violence involved in the type of work they do, which is why every farmer must pray for forgiveness from the Lord and do pratikraman for ten minutes each day for committing such violence.
Virtue And Sin Do Not Affect The Self-Realized.
Questioner: Is it not a sin to use insecticides in farming? Is the manufacturing of insecticides a sin?
Dadashri: Yes it is, because it is made with the intention of killing life. One buys and uses the insecticide with the intention of killing. So that is all sin.
Questioner: But the motive behind it is to produce better crops.
Dadashri: I know what makes the crops grow; what supports the farmers and their farming. I know and understand the real foundation behind all things happening in the world. People do not have this knowledge of the real doer and that is why they assume the doer ship of their acts. They believe that the crops grow because of their efforts and actions. The farmers believe that the crops grow better because they use the pesticides. To give support to one’s actions with this belief of doer ship is a very grave sin. Once this wrong belief of doer ship is taken away, there is no attachment to the action, and therefore no resulting consequences.
Questioner: So then what happens to the independent individual effort?
Dadashri: The true definition of purushaarth( highest inner endeavor) is to observe and know the events that are happening, nothing else. Furthermore, the thoughts that arise in your mind are your ‘files’ (Dadashri’s word for anything or anyone that you have a karmic account with). These too, you must simply observe and not interfere with.
Questioner: Then should one farm or not?
Dadashri: There is nothing wrong in farming.
Questioner: What about the liability of sin in farming?
Dadashri: After Self-Realization (Dadashri imparts The Self in The Gnan Vidhi), sin does not touch you. You are Pure Soul; you are no longer ‘Chandubhai’(worldy name, the reader should substitute his or her own name). As long as you believe that you are Chandubhai, you will bind sin. Do you believe that you are Chandubhai?
Dadashri: So then how can sin bind you? There is no more charging of karma. Whatever farming you have to do, is your ‘file’, which you deal with, with equanimity.
And if you have this, ‘I am Pure Soul’ within you continuously as I have given you, then no amount of insecticide use will affect you. This is because ‘You’ are Pure Soul and ‘Chandubhai’ is the one spraying the insecticide. If you feel sympathy or remorse, then you become Chandubhai.
Questioner: Does the farmer incur any binding of karma in making, selling, buying or using the insecticides?
Dadashri: No. When the manufacturers of insecticides ask me what will happen to them, I tell them that nothing will happen to them, as long as they follow my instructions.
Questioner: So does that mean that as long as a person says, ‘I am Pure Soul’ he can continue to do violence?
Dadashri: It is not a question of doing violence. There is no violence in ‘I am Pure Soul’. There is no ‘doership’ or anything to be done in the state of the Pure Soul.
Questioner: So from the worldly perspective of one’s general conduct or behavior, is it not considered a wrongful deed?
Dadashri: From the worldly perspective it is sin. However it only becomes a sin when one becomes ‘Chandubhai’. After this Gnan, you are no longer Chandubhai. You have become the Pure Soul and you have constant awareness of it. This awareness is called shukla dhyan (pure meditation) and to have the awareness of ‘I am Chandubhai’ is ahankari dhyan (egotistical meditation).
So many people have taken this Gnan, but never once do they misuse it. On the contrary they ask me whether they should stop or change their occupation. I tell them that if it happens naturally then they may do so, otherwise they should continue with it.
Occupations Involving Violence
Questioner: My friend does not understand why it is wrong to manufacture pesticides when one acquires such an occupation as a result of one’s past karmas. How can the butcher be blamed for selling meat when he is only doing what his karma dictates? He is paying his dues according to his karmas.
Dadashri: Yes and your friend would continue to presume this if he did not question it. But because of his merit karma, he is now questioning this. This is tremendous merit karma unfolding. If one did not question such things, the violence would continue causing much harm to inner living beings in addition to the external harm. This results in decline in spiritual awareness. He becomes blunt and insensitive. The external violence is insignificant because in reality it does not reduce the number of insects killed. It is the subtle life formss within oneself that are killed and as a result brings about insensitivity in a person.
Questioner: Whenever I meet my old friends, I tell them that they ought to leave their occupations and I give them examples of many successful people whose lives have been ruined as a result of their occupations, but they do not heed my advice. Many have even quit after becoming ruined.
Dadashri: It is because of tremendous sin that one comes to do business involving so much violence. It would be best if you were to become free of such trades. There are so many other ways to make a living. A man once told me that of all his businesses, his grocery business was the most lucrative. When I asked him what he did if his grain became infested with bugs, he told me that he would do everything possible to get rid of the insects, but he could not eliminate them completely. I assured him that there was nothing wrong in what he was doing, but in selling the grains, he was also charging for the weight of the insects that remained in the grain and so he was selling lives for profit.
The Jewelery Business Is The Best
Dadashri: People with a lot of merit karma in past life acquire professions with the least amount of violence. The business of selling diamonds and precious gems would be one such profession. There is no scope of violence here. But nowadays even in this profession people have learned to do business dishonestly. Nothing prevents one from doing this business honestly if he wants to. In this profession no living beings are killed, but other kinds of violence can occur. Second to that would be the gold and silver business. The butcher’s business involves the highest amount of violence. Next comes the potter, who does a lot of violence when he fires his ware. It is all violence.
Questioner: Regardless of the kind of violence one does, whether it is charge violence (violent intent) or discharge violence (violence in action), is one not still held accountable for it?
Dadashri: Can you not see people suffering? They are constantly suffering the results of violence. There is nothing but suffering…
People in occupations that involve violence do not have any radiance on their faces and they appear unhappy. The farm hand toils and is unhappy because of the effects of his past life violence. His landlord appears happy as he does not have to toil and is enjoying the fruits of his merit karma. This has been the law of life, the law of karma all along. The process behind which one acquires the kind of work he does is a natural one. One could not run away from such a business even if he wanted to. If all parents of our nation thought, ‘we do not want to send our son in the armed forces because he might get killed’, then we would not have a defense force. Yet all nations have a defense force. This is the natural law. Nature is at work here and nature brings forth the results, so do not be concerned unnecessarily.
Hoarding Is Violence
Questioner: Businessmen make an excessive amount of profit. Many of them make money without putting in any effort. Some do not even compensate their workers adequately. Is such behavior not violence?
Dadashri: That is all violent behavior.
Questioner: What kind of violence is it when a person gives money obtained through devious and violent means towards a religious cause?
Dadashri: If that money is donated for a charitable cause, whatever amount he sacrifices, his liability will be reduced accordingly. For example, if he earned a hundred thousand rupees and donated eighty thousand to build a hospital, then his liability will be reduced by whatever he donates. He will still be liable for the remaining twenty thousand rupees. So it is good that he spends it for a worthy cause. There is nothing wrong with it.
Questioner: Is it not violence when people hoard money?
Dadashri: That is violence. Any kind of hoarding is violence because hoarding deprives others of the use of money.
Questioner: People accumulate money by mass killing of other human beings so that they can live lavishly. What is that called?
Dadashri: That too is wrong! One will be punished according to the amount of liability one incurs. The best way to live is to keep as little as possible.
Confront In Peace.
Questioner: You say that one should not steal, and not do violence. But if a person steals from us or cheats us, should we confront him or not?
Dadashri: You have to confront him. Do it in such a way that it does not affect your peace within. Very calmly and deliberately ask, ‘brother, what wrong have I done that you are stealing and hurting me?’ If he has stolen something worth a hundred rupees do not confront him with anger. If you do you would have sustained a loss of five hundred rupees. You will incur a greater loss by becoming angry with him.
Violence Ceases Through Opposition.
Questioner: Is it considered subtle violence to cheat a person, to torment him, to steal from him or betray his trust?
Dadashri: It is all violence. In fact, it is a greater violence than the visible violence and its consequences are also greater. To cause someone mental distress, hurt, cheat, betray or steal from him is raudradhyan (adverse internal meditation that hurts others), the consequence of which will be a life in hell.
Questioner: Is it right to give more importance to subtle violence, as opposed to gross overt violence such as cruelty to helpless animals, their slaughter and violent exploitation? And when one remains neutral towards such violence, is his approach appropriate?
Dadashri: No that is not right. One should always oppose any forms of violence. By not opposing it, you are condoning it. If you are not doing one you are doing the other. Therefore whoever it is, be it an ordinary person or a Gnani, he must be opposed to it, or else it would be the same as encouraging it!
Questioner: Can we become instrumental in stopping violence against humans, animals and other living entities, when their suffering has come as a result of their own karma?
Dadashri: Regardless of the consequences of their karma, if you do not try to stop the violence, it is tantamount to encouraging it. So try to stop it.
If you see a wounded person, you should stop to help him. Do whatever you can to help him. Even though he is suffering because of his past karma, you should still maintain your intent of non-violence. If on the other hand, you do not stop to help him, you will bind karma because violent intent will accumulate within you. This world will not liberate you. You have to liberate yourself.
Questioner: Is it imperative for those interested in making spiritual progress to make an effort towards stopping violence? If so, how can that be achieved?
Dadashri: If one is desirous of spiritual progress but makes no effort to stop violence, then it is the same as encouraging violence. All spiritual aspirations must be coupled with efforts to stop violence.
Questioner: Why is there no awareness to prevent gross visible violence under such circumstances?
Dadashri: It is absolutely necessary to prevent all such violence. You have to make every effort to do this. If necessary, you should organize groups and elect people to represent your cause to the government. This will yield stronger results. Everyone should have strong feelings against violence. These feelings have to be strengthened and encouraged.
Questioner: But Dada, ultimately these are all accounts and consequences of past karma, are they not?
Dadashri: Yes, they are, but you can only say so after the fact. If you dismiss them as accounts beforehand, things are likely to be ruined. If those who thrive as so called ‘ascetics’ were to come to your village to abduct the children, you must try to stop them. You would be grieved if your child was kidnapped. By the same token you should feel deep sorrow for the slaughtering of animals and oppose it. How will you accomplish the task otherwise? You cannot remain apathetic and do nothing. You can regard it as the consequence of past accounts, but even the Lord was opposed to such violence. Therefore you should collectively show your opposition towards it and unite against it. In doing so, you are not really opposing violence, but you are expressing your non-violent intent.
A safe-haven for cows established by Lord Krishna
Many domestic animals were being slaughtered during Lord Krishna’s time. What did Lord Krishna do to stop this? People say that he raised the Govardhan Mountain on his fingertip. Govardhan means to increase the population of cows. This is a metaphor for what He really did, which was to single-handedly save the cows from being slaughtered. People in India depend on domestic animals for their livelihood. Lord Krishna's aim was to protect these animals and increase their population and so He established shelters for cows, which in turn led to an increase in dairy production. He did this single-handedly, hence the symbolism. It is not necessary to protect animals that are violent, like cats dogs and carnivorous animals. No one uses them as their food. Cows need protection because they provide food for humans. Therefore protection and propogation of cows is a worthwhile cause.
For the time being, more than protecting the cows, it is very important for you to focus on how to increase their population. The benefits derived from their milk and dairy production is invaluable. If you were to explain this to people and instead of forcing them, ask them to volunteer in order to help establish a custom to keep cattle in all the villages, then the population would increase. All one needs to worry about is protecting the cows and educating people about the benefits of increased dairy production. At the moment there is no increase in the cow population and the slaughtering continues. We may hesitate in speaking up against the violence, but at the same time it is a sin to remain silent. We are not doing anything wrong, we are trying to prevent violence.
Questioner: We are not asking that the cows be set free from the clutches of the butcher, but we are trying to prevent new cows from reaching them.
Dadashri: Yes do try to save the new ones from reaching the slaughterhouse. You should explain to the real owner that he should not do such things. For the time being you just need to concern yourself with protecting the cows and trying to increase their population. Everything else is secondary. Once these rules are established, then you can go on to do other things.
Questioner: ‘Govardhan’, this is a completely new meaning of this word.
Dadashri: Yes, these are all just various events, which took place, but they can only be beneficial if they are interpreted correctly. People turn them into mere folklore and scientists dismiss such stories as myth. Naturally they will question how a person can hold up a mountain on his fingertip! And if Lord Krishna did carry it on his fingertip, why then did he not carry the Himalayas? And if he could performs such incredible feats, why does he then get shot with an arrow and die? But in reality it is not like this.
He enforced Govardhan, the propogation of cows in a wonderful manner because during that time tremendous violence was occurring. It is not just the Moslems who commit violence, but some Hindus do also.
One should not have any violent intent. Man should be non-violent in intent. One is considered to have non-violent intent when one dedicates one’s life towards the cause of non-violence.
Flowers For Worship: Sin?
Questioner: Is there sin in offering flowers when we pray at the temples?
Dadashri: It is a sin to pluck flowers and it is also a sin to buy flowers, but when it comes to offering flowers in worship, one has to look at it in a different light. I will explain this.
When one offers flowers devotionally, there is a benefit derived. Many believe that it is a great sin to pick flowers and yet so many others use them in their worship. This spiritual path is of the Vitarag Lords, which takes into account benefits over non-benefits. There is violence in picking flowers, but when those flowers are offered to the Lord or even to the Gnani Purush, it is considered worship visible to all. There is benefit in such worship. After all the person is not using the flower for his own benefit. For example he incurs a five percent liability from the violence in picking flowers, but when he offers the flowers to a Gnani, he earns a benefit of thirty percent or when he offers it to the Lord, he earns a benefit of forty percent. So overall he has gained from this act. You should conduct yourself in such a way that your benefits are greater than your losses but you should stop if your losses are greater than your gains. If however, you do not pick any flowers, then there is no gain or loss.
Suffering Inflicted On Flower Plants.
Questioner: Have I not bound sins for all the flowers that I have picked so far?
Dadashri: The sin that you incur from picking flowers for thousands of years is still lesser than the sin you bind from just a single lifetime worth of kashayas (anger, pride, attachment and greed) you create with those near you. That is why The Lord has said that the first thing man needs to do is to stop arguments and bickering. Picking flowers is not a problem, but it should not be done unnecessarily for one’s own vanity and pleasure. One can pick flowers as an offering to The Lord.
Questioner: But there is a saying: “Where even a flower petal is harmed, one has transgressed the principles of the Jinas (Enlightened Ones)”.
Dadashri: Those are the words of the Tirthankars that Krupadudev had written. But where is this applicable? It is for the one who has reached a spiritual level where one is free from all desires. But for you, you still have to wear these fancy clothes, do you not?
Questioner: Yes, and they have to be ironed too!
Dadashri: Yes ironed ones at that too! The worldly people have a need for many things. That is why it is said that one should offer the flowers to The Lord. Have you not seen people offer flowers to the idols of Tirthankaras?
Religious rituals are done to decrease difficulties in life. The Lord has said that the ascetics should do intent puja (internalized offering to The Lord as opposed to dravya puja which utilizes material objects for external offering). The Jains do dravya puja. Through dravya puja their worldly obstacles are removed. So what I am saying is that if you have difficulties in life, you should offer flowers to the Gnani Purush. Those that do not have any difficulties need not do anything at all. But as far as the Gnani Purush is concerned, he remains detached.
Yet despite all this, some people still raise this quote and obsess over hurt caused by picking even flower petals. I tell them that in doing so, they are mixing both the college and elementary levels of understanding. They would do better to heed what Krupaduev has said when they reach a higher spiritual level. I gave them Lord Mahavir’s example to illustrate the point.
I told them that in His final incarnation, Lord Mahavir was married and also had a daughter. He led a worldly life until the age of thirty and despite this He attained full liberation. What knowledge allowed Him to achieve liberation despite going through a married life? This is the level of spiritual development where this quote is relevant.
So understand that flowers can be offered to the deities. People are needlessly cautious about violence towards flowers while they have no reservations about their kashayas and hurting people around them. They do not inflict pain on the flowers but they inflict gross pain on people. The One who truly does not hurt even a flower petal is non-violent in all respects. He would even walk very carefully so as not to disturb a sleeping dog.
This matter of not hurting even a flower petal is only applicable in the last fifteen years of one’s final life of liberation. Such subtle non-violence commences with the renunciation of married life and happens naturally.When a person reaches that level, everything will come naturally. So until then do not interfere with the social customs.
The Universe Of A Single Sensory Organism
Questioner: What exactly are the jalakaya, teookaya, proothvikaya, vaayukaya and vanaspatikaya (organisms found in water, fire, earth, wind and vegetation respectively)?
Dadashri: These are all embodied souls with a single sensory function.
Questioner: We know for sure that there are subtle life formss in water, which is why we boil the water before we drink it.
Dadashri: What you know about the organisms found in water is based on what you have been told, but in reality the facts are very difficult and too subtle for one to understand. Even if you were given a clear explanation, it would still elude you. Not even the scientists can understand this. Only the Gnanis understand it. Of the five, only the organisms in vegetation can be understood, the others require a more profound spiritual level.
Questioner: That is what the scientists are researching.
Dadashri: They will not be able to understand it even then. They only understand the vegetation, but even that knowledge is limited.
Let me explain this to you in the Lord’s language: All the vegetation that you see around you has life. Life is also present in the air, the dirt, and rocks. The rocks also contain living organisms known as proothvikaya. Flames of a fire are really a collection of organisms called teookaya. The water we drink is composed of jalkaya, the organisms whose very bodies represent a glass of water. Water is composed entirely of animate beings. Everything around you, water, food, air, earth and fire is living.
The Spiritual Power Of Non-violence
Questioner: So how can attain perfect Ahimsa?
Dadashri: Ahimsa? My goodness! If one attains perfect Ahimsa, he would become a The Lord. In the meantime however, do you practice at least some Ahimsa?
Questioner: Some, not a lot.
Dadashri: Very well then, why don’t you make a decision to practice at least some Ahimsa? It is futile to talk about achieving absolute Ahimsa. Such Ahimsa when achieved makes man a The Lord.
Questioner: Show us how to practice Ahimsa.
Dadashri: Most important of all, you must not hurt or inflict pain on any living being that fears your mere presence. Animals and insects instinctively flee from you in fear, and so you must not harm them. It is fine for you to eat grains such as wheat, millet, oats, rice etc., because although they contain life, it is in an unconscious state and does not perceive fear, whereas insects will flee from you when they sense danger. You must not harm any life forms starting from the two-sensory organisms such as the shellfish, which move around, to the five-sensory organisms starting from insects onwards. Even a bedbug is terrified when you catch it, so you must not kill it. Do you understand this?
Questioner: Yes, I understand.
Dadashri: Secondly, do not eat after sunset.
Thirdly, in practicing Ahimsa, you must exercise control over your speech. How do you feel when someone tells you that you are worthless?
Questioner: I feel very hurt.
Dadashri: So in the same token you must realize that others too feel hurt if you were to say such things to them. Hurting people is violence, so you should not utter such words. If you want to practice Ahimsa then you should be very conscious about violence in speech. You cannot say to others anything that hurts you.
You should not have bad thoughts either. Nor should you entertain thoughts about cheating someone of his possessions or taking things from people without compensating them. Even thoughts about accumulating or hoarding money are considered violence, because it deprives others of their share. You should not have any such thoughts.
Questioner: Are these three the only things I need to observe for Ahimsa?
Dadashri: No, there are still some more points. You should never eat meat or eggs. Nor should you eat potatoes, onions and garlic, even when you have no choice. Onions and garlic are considered violence foods because they contain properties that incite anger in a person, which in turn hurts others. Any other vegetable is acceptable.
First Try To Save The Larger Life Formss
The Lord tells you to take care of human beings first. Here is a guideline: Be aware to not hurt any human being, even in the slightest degree, through your mind, speech and body.
Then come the five-sensory living things such as cows, chickens, goats etc. You do not have to worry about these as much as you should about humans, nevertheless you should be careful and not harm them in any way.
Next come the two or more sensory living things. The best kind of food to eat is any food that comprises one-sensory living beings. Anyone desirous of liberation should not eat foods comprised of two or more sensory life formss. The higher the numbers of senses of life forms in one’s food, the more of his merit karma is used up. You should not take on the liability for violence against lives with two or more senses.
We humans must eat to survive, but when we consume food, we incur a liability because the food we eat is made up of at least one-sensory life forms. When we eat, the life formss, which is our food we are responsible for the violence that arises from the act of eating. But the Lord has allowed us the freedom to eat because of our very high merit karma balance. In the act of eating these life formss, although you incur a liability, the benefits you gain are much greater. The nourishment sustains you and keeps you alive and because you do good deeds, you earn merit karma. It is like, you earn hundred points from your good deeds, but in destroying these life formss, you lose ten points. These ten points will go to the life forms, which will earn them a birth in a higher life forms. This progression into higher life formss is a natural process in the universe. They will progress from a single-sensory organism to a two-sensory organism and so on. The evolutionary process takes place in this manner. In providing benefits to humans, these life formss also reap benefits for themselves. But people do not understand this science.
Therefore you must not interfere with the violence in eating single-sensory life forms. To do so is involvement of the ego. The single-sensory life forms do not run away from you in fear, so you should not have any qualms about whether or not to eat them. This is the way of life. One cannot survive without eating and drinking.
The entire world is composed of life forms. Actually, the whole world is a collection of life forms. The basis of life is at least single-sensory. You cannot eat anything that does not contain life; moreover there is nothing in this world that is void of life. You can only eat food that contains life because that is the only way you can nourish and sustain your body. Everything we eat is at least one-sensory life form if not more. The Lord does not forbid the consumption of single-sensory organisms because they do not contain blood, pus or meat. If you start worrying about the single-sensory life forms, there will be no end to it. In fact you are not to worry about them at all. People on the other hand have become overly concerned with things that have little significance and have altogether dismissed things of greater importance. You should not worry about the violence that occurs at the minuscule level.
Which Is The Best Food?
Questioner: Why are some foods forbidden in the kramik (traditional step by step path towards liberation) path?
Dadashri: There are different categories of food. The worst and the most deleterious kind is the human flesh. Next comes the meat of animals. In this category however, it is better to consume the flesh of the species whose population increases rapidly, such as chickens, fish or ducks, as opposed to eating the meat of cattle and such animals whose population does not increase at a rapid rate. Eating eggs is better than eating meat. But those who want to further their spiritual progress should consume only edible roots e.g. carrots and potatoes. And those who want to progress even further, I say that they should avoid even these and consume only foods such as breads, whole-grain, sweetmeats and ghee. And beyond this, further spiritual growth would require the avoidance of any foods containing unrefined sugar, ghee, butter, honey, yogurt and cream. In this case, people should eat only rice, lentils and vegetables, which is the ideal diet.
Foods are categorized in this manner and anyone can choose the category of his preference. The descriptions of the different categories are given to enhance one’s knowledge and not for the purpose of enforcement. The Lord had made these distinctions to break the veils of ignorance obscuring the Soul.
Evening Meal: Before Or After Sunset?
Questioner: In Jainism it is forbidden to eat after dark. Can you enlighten us further on this topic?
Dadashri: As far as timing of food intake is concerned, it is best not to eat after dark. This is the best approach but it has nothing to do with religion. It became incorporated into religion because one makes greater religious progress as one’s body becomes healthier. As far as religion is concerned not eating after dark serves to cleanse the body but it is not mandatory.
Questioner: So is it for the health of the body or the sin involved, that the Vitarags (The Enlightened Lords) advocated not eating after dark?
Dadashri: It is meant for the health of the body, as well as for the practice of ahimsa.
Questioner: But why shouldn’t we eat after dark?
Dadashri: According to the principles of Jainism and Vedanta, evening meals should always be eaten while the sun is still present. The Vedant view holds that your internal organs are more receptive during the daytime allowing the process of digestion to occur. The Jain view from the tirthankars for eating meals before dark is that all life forms return home when the sun sets.
At times, because of the clouds it may be difficult to see whether or not the sun has set, but the embodied souls have an internal power that allows them to sense the day’s end. One can tell that the day has ended when the life forms return home. Even the subtlest of life forms, which are not perceptible under a microscope, return home. They settle on the food and remain unseen because they are of the same color as the food.
This is why food should not be eaten after dark. People are not aware about the harm that is caused when they eat after dark. Not to eat after dark is considered a mahavrat (highest religious vow). This can be considered the sixth mahavrat (the five vows given by Lord Mahavir are ahimsa, adherence to truth, non-stealing, non-possessiveness, and brahmacharya).
Questioner: If a person has no choice but to eat after dark, will he be binding karma?
Dadashri: No. Karmas are not bound in this way. Why does one have to break that rule? Someone must have taught you to observe it, right?
Questioner: As a Jain, I have been brought up that way.
Dadashri: In that case you should do pratikraman in the name of Lord Mahavir. It is the Lord’s instruction, so you must abide by it and if you cannot follow it, you must ask for forgiveness. If you want to practice ahimsa and keep your body healthy, it is best that you eat before sunset. Do you normally eat early?
Questioner: I have started to do so recently.
Dadashri: Who made you do it?
Questioner: I started doing it because I wanted to, on my own.
Dadashri: But from now on you should do it with the understanding that it is for the sake of ahimsa, as explained by Dadashri that I am doing it. It is useless if it is done without a purpose. It is just like paying installments for a ticket for international travel. If you finish the payments, you will get a ticket.
Edible Roots: An Abundance Of Subtle Life Forms
Questioner: Is it wrong to eat rootcrops as food items?
Dadashri: Yes very wrong, but eating after dark is worse.
Questioner: Aren’t there infinite life forms in onions and potatoes?
Dadashri: Yes, they are infinite life forms.
Questioner: Then do you advise eating such vegetables?
Dadashri: The Lord has forbidden it, and this should remain in your belief. However, if you still end up eating them, then it is as a result of your past karmas. In spite of this, it should not affect your belief about what The Lord says.
Questioner: Why is it forbidden?
Dadashri: The root crops prevent the brain from becoming alert.
Questioner: Is it not because of the violence against the one-sensory life forms?
Dadashri: People think that it is for the sake of protecting the life forms within them that root crops are forbidden, but if you like potatoes, do not become overly concerned about this. Nowadays people do not like the taste of other allowed foods. What would happen if they were to stop eating even potatoes?
Questioner: But they say that there is sin in eating potatoes.
Dadashri: You bind sin whenever you hurt any life form, whether it is your husband, wife, child or neighbor. By eating potatoes your mind and intellect will become dull. The reason for this is that there are infinite subtle life forms in root vegetables. In fact root crops are nothing but a storehouse of life forms, which is why when root crops are eaten, there is violence against these life forms, and as a result dullness and laziness sets in. This lack of awareness results in increase of kashayas. It is better if you do not eat these vegetables because they dull your awareness. That awareness is especially needed after you acquire The Lord’s path and if your awareness becomes dull, how will you achieve liberation?
Whatever The Lord has said is true. If you cannot abide by his teachings, do not worry, but simply do your best. It is good if you are able to follow The Lord’s teachings.
Kashaya: The Ultimate Violence
People have completely botched up everything. On the one hand they obsess about observing ahimsa towards life forms in the root crops and yet at the same time they do kashayas (anger, false pride, greed and illusion). This is tantamount to making a profit of three rupees on one hand and a loss of ten million rupees on the other! They are adamant about trivial issues and yet they do endless violence through their kashayas. Kashayas are the greatest of all violence in the world. There is more sin involved in kashayas than in killing a life form.
Whatever The Lord said is intended for your understanding and not to be taken dogmatically. Do the best you can. The Lord does not tell you to go beyond your limits.
The Gnanis, the Enlightened Ones do not tell you to be rigid in practicing your beliefs. Only the ignorant people will tell you to be uncompromising. The Gnani will tell you to look objectively from the perspective of overall profit and loss. If eating onions has a benefit of twenty-five percent and a loss of five percent for the subtle violence, there is a net gain of twenty percent.This is how the Gnanis assess the situation, whereas nowadays people have ignored this notion and have become dogmatic by preaching that one must stop eating onions and potatoes. For heaven’s sakes! Why? What do you have against potatoes and onions? On the contrary, when one is forced to sacrifice the things he enjoys, he will constantly think about them, instead of thinking about The Lord!
I Too Had Observed These Rules
Although I was not born a Jain, I too used to observe the rules of not eating root crops, practicing choviyar (not eating after dark) and I always drank boiled water, whether I was at home or out of town. My business partner and I would always carry a flask of boiled water wherever we went. We observed The Lord’s prescribed rules. This was my practice even before The Enlightenment.
If someone finds these practices too rigid and difficult, I would tell him that he is not obligated to follow them, but if he did, he would indeed benefit from doing so. The Lord has given us these rules so that we may recognize their benefits and not so that we become dogmatic about them.
The Gnani Purush does not need to renounce or takeup anything. Even then I observe choviyar because an occasional person tell me that it upsets him to know that I do not adhere to the timing. Sacrifices and renunciation is of no significance when one reaches the level of a Gnani. People interpret and practice these rules according to their level of understanding. The Gnani Purush does not lack anything. The Lord calls the Gnani Purush as the non-violent One in an ocean of violence. From the very beginning I have observed choviyar, but nowadays because of my satsang schedule, I am only able to do so on certain days. My intention is to observe it completely, and that is what counts!
Boiled Water For Drinking
Questioner: Why are we told to drink boiled water?
Dadashri: There are infinite life forms even in just one drop of water. Boiling the water kills these life forms. By drinking boiled water, your body stays healthy, and when the body is healthy, your awareness increases. People however have completely misunderstood this.
The Lord has shown us all the different ways to stay healthy and drinking boiled water is one of them. Drinking unboiled water is violence towards these infinite live organisms in the water. People insist on not boiling the water even though they know that it is harmful to their health. Instead The Lord has told you to boil the drinking water in order to keep your body healthy. But that water has to be consumed within eight hours, after which you should not drink it because life forms will start to grow in it again.
So it is only for the sake of health and not so much for the violence, that people are told to boil their drinking water. Drinking boiled water prevents the accumulation of other organisms in the stomach. This is helpful in increasing your awareness. By boiling the water, the larger organisms are destroyed.
Questioner: So does that not constitute violence?
Dadashri: This kind of violence does not have much significance because it contributes to the health of your body. With a healthy body one can practice religion. This world there is nothing but violence. When you eat or drink, you consume nothing but life forms.
The Lord has not given any emphasis on the aspect of the violence on the one-sensory life forms. People have misconstrued all this. If The Lord had intended for us to worry about such matters, He would have advocated drinking only cold water, since so many life forms are destroyed when water is boiled. How many life forms do you think die in boiling water?
Dadashri: You cannot see the life forms but these life forms themselves make up the physical composition of water. Now tell me how can people see them when water itself is the body formed of the aggregate of all these life forms? These life forms are such that their manifest forms is water. Now tell me how can you deal with something like this?
Misconception About Vegetables
Questioner: Why do they say not to eat green vegetables in the rainy season?
Dadashri: People have also misunderstood this also. The Lord tells us not to eat fresh greens, not because it causes violence but because there are subtle life forms on the greenery, which enter the stomach causing disease and affecting the person’s overall health thereby preventing him from effectively practicing religion. When people misinterpret the instructions, it is like ingesting medicine, which was meant for external use only. How can the medicine work if it is not taken correctly?
Violence Caused By Antibiotics
Questioner: What about the medications taken to reduce fever or infections in the body?
Dadashri: You need not worry about the violence to such life forms.
Questioner: An infant would die if it were not given the medicine to kill parasites in its stomach.
Dadashri: You have to treat the child. Give the child whatever medications are needed to kill all the parasites.
Questioner: I understand that the body must be kept healthy for the attainment of Self-Realization, but if many life forms are destroyed in the process, should we continue to keep the body healthy?
Dadashri: If you have the intent of heath as your main goal then your practice towards Self-realization will be hindered. True spiritual practice towards the Self happens when the aspirant’s primary focus is not in achieving a healthy body. Your body has brought with it everything for its preservation so you need not interfere. You should completely immerse yourself in your spiritual goal. Everything else is as it should be. That is why I am telling you to remain in the present, because the past is gone forever and the future is in the hands of vyavasthit.
Think of your body, through which you have met a Gnani Purush, as a friend. Even if the medicine prescribed is violence, you must still take it, and care for the body. Everything in life is based on the process of profit and loss. If this body were to live two more years, you can accomplish a lot within this time, because it is through this body that you have come to meet the Gnani Purush. You will incur some loss through violence, but your benefits will be twenty times greater! Your benefits will far outweigh your losses; it is all a business of profit and loss.
There is nothing but life forms in this world. Countless life forms are destroyed in just one breath, so does it mean that one should stop breathing? The problem would be solved if this were possible because as it is people have created absolute madness around this issue. There is nothing here that needs to be critically analyzed. The only thing you need to be cautious about is that you must not harm those life forms that run away from you in fear.
One’s Diet Is Based On One’s Level Of Spiritual Development.
The belief of foreign people is that God created this world, and that is why he created man. He made the goats, the chicken and the fish etc. for human consumption. If the animals were made for such a purpose, then why do humans not eat dogs, cats or tigers? If the animals were made for eating, then God would have made them all equal. If God were to make your food, he would make everything edible. If God was the creator of everything, why would he make such things as opium, tobacco and other drugs harmful to man? Why would these things be necessary? He would just make things for the happiness of human beings. To believe that God is the creator of all this is the greatest contradiction.
Westerners do not believe in reincarnation and that is why they believe that everything is made for their consumption. If they were to believe in reincarnation, they would think about what would happen to them in their next life. But such thoughts do not occur to them.
Annoyance Towards Meat-Eaters?
Dadashri: Do you prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian food?
Questioner: I have not yet eaten non-vegetarian food.
Dadashri: But have you ever admitted to it as being a good thing?
Questioner: No. I am a vegetarian. But that does not mean that non-vegetarian food is bad.
Dadashri: That is true. I do not say that it is bad. Once when I was traveling by plane, a wealthy Muslim businessman sat in the seat next to me. He asked me if it bothered me that he ate meat. I told him that it did not bother me to dine with him, except that I would not eat the same food. I told him that whatever he did was fine and that it was none of my concern. He asked me if I had any negative feelings for him because of his diet. I told him that he should dismiss such a notion and that it was appropriate for him to eat non-vegetarian food because he was born to a mother who also was a non-vegetarian; it was in his blood. Nobody can refute that. Only those who have been weaned on a vegetarian mother’s milk are told not to eat meat. I told him that when Muslims eat meat, they do not think about the advantages and disadvantages of it.
Therefore you should not feel annoyed towards those who eat meat. It is merely your prejudice. You should not have any problems with those for whom such a diet is natural.
Willing To Kill and Then Eat?
Questioner: But nowadays people eat non-vegetarian food because of society’s influence.
Dadashri: That is trendy and done for pleasure. Eating meat forever is not a problem if your mother was on such a diet when she was breast feeding you.
Questioner: And what if the mother herself does not eat meat?
Dadashri: Then how can you eat it? How will you be able to digest it if it is not in your blood? You may think that you are able to digest it, but ultimately it is detrimental. Today you may not realize this, so it is best if you do not eat it. If you cannot stop eating it, you should at least have the inner intent that it is wrong to eat it and that it would be best for you to stop.
Cows, horses and buffaloes will never eat meat. Even if they were starving and you were to feed them meat, they would not eat it. Such is the nature of some in the animal kingdom. Nowadays, even the children of Jain and Hindu parents who do not meat, have begun to do so. I tell these young people that I do not have a problem with them eating meat as long as they kill the animal themselves. If they wish to eat the chicken, they should kill it themselves. They shiver at the sight of blood and yet they want to eat meat. Eating meat is only for those who can tolerate the sight of blood; it is for people of the warrior caste who have played with blood on the battlefields. Do they become uncomfortable at the sight of blood? What kind of effect does the sight of blood have on people?
Questioner: They become uneasy.
Dadashri: So then, how can they even consider eating meat? Someone else kills the animal and you eat it. This is meaningless. If one were to hear the agony in the cry of a chicken while it is being slaughtered, one would be overcome with a despondency towards the world for the rest of one’s life. I myself have heard that cry and that is when I realized the excruciating pain the poor animal suffers.
The Importance Of Vegetarian Diet
Questioner: Are there any obstacles encountered by meat-eaters and vegetarians in their worship of the Lord? What is your opinion?
Dadashri: There is no problem for the meat-eater as long as eating meat is ‘in his blood’. For such people eating meat does not create an obstacle in their worship to The Lord. The problem occurs when one who is not born of a meat-eating mother, becomes non-vegetarian. But otherwise neither vegetarianism nor non-vegetarianism presents an obstacle in one’s worship to The Lord.
Questioner: So is worship possible without a diet of pure vegetarian food?
Dadashri: No, it is not possible, but in this day and age, what can one do? Pure vegetarian food is difficult to get nowadays, and besides very few people have not succumbed to the influences of the current time cycle. People nowadays generally fall into the company of others who lead them astray in a non-spiritual direction.
Questioner: How does it affect one if one unknowingly eats non-vegetarian food?
Dadashri: Everyone is doing so unknowingly anyway, but nevertheless there are repercussions. What if you unknowingly stuck your hand in a fire? Even a child would get burnt, will it not? Everyone is rewarded the same whether they do it knowingly or unknowingly. The only difference is in the way one suffers the consequences. The consequences of actions carried out unknowingly, will be suffered without knowledge. The consequences of those actions done with knowledge will have to be endured in a state of awareness. That is the only difference.
Questioner: So is it certain that food does have an effect on the mind?
Dadashri: Everything is the effect of food. Food that is eaten turns into brandy (that which produces a deleterious effect on awareness) in the body. These effects are directly linked with spiritual awareness. Heavy or excessive food decreases spiritual and mental awareness. Even pure vegetarian food has this effect to a lesser degree. Rich and sweet foods are not considered good food because they increase these effects. But people turn these principles around for their own convenience.
Questioner: Does eating meat affect one’s spiritual thinking?
Dadashri: Of course! Non-vegetarian food is rather gross, and does not allow the development of one’s spiritual intellect. If you want to progress in spirituality then you must consume vegetarian food, which is light and does not create intoxication. It also helps in increasing awareness. In general people have no awareness whatsoever!
Foreign scientists cannot understand what I am saying and it is difficult for them to believe it, although they do say that it merits consideration. I tell them that it will take a long time for them to understand it, because they have consumed so many chickens and other meats. Eating meat creates a dense covering over the Soul. For one to understand this Gnan, a pure vegetarian diet is required, because the coverings from the vegetarian diet are comparatively thinner and so one is able to maintain higher awareness.
Does Eating Meat Lead To A Birth In Hell?
Questioner: It is said that by eating non-vegetarian food, one is born in hell.
Dadashri: That is absolutely true. Why must you slaughter animals for food when there are plenty of other edible things? Do you not think that the chickens suffer when they are slaughtered? What about the chickens’ parents? Do they not suffer also? What would you do if someone ate your children? A meat-eater does not even get to think about all this. It is nothing but primitive animalistic behavior, a state of thoughtlessness. We as humans are supposed to be thinking beings. Just one day of eating meat can destroy the human mind and turn it into a bestial one. If you want to keep your mind clear, you must stop eating all non-vegetarian food including eggs.
In eating meat, you are taking on the liability of taking a life but even greater liability is incurred from the increase in the veils over your Self. There is a liability for the taking of a life, but it falls primarily on the person involved in the meat business i.e. the butcher, the owner of the slaughterhouse etc. The consumer of the meat is accountable to a lesser degree, but in eating the meat, his internal awareness is diminished, and it compromises his ‘grasping power’, which in turn becomes an obstruction to his ability to comprehend this Gnan.
One’s Life Form Is Dependent On One’s Karmic Account.
Questioner: Can a violence person be conceived in the womb of a non-violent mother and vice-versa?
Dadashri: Yes, quite easily! You can be non-violent in this life and be violent in your next life. If you are born to parents who are violent, the environment around you will make you violent.
Questioner: Why is that?
Dadashri: If you are non-violent and you are to reincarnate in the animal kingdom, you will be born a cow or a buffalo (vegetarian animal). If you are violent in this life you will be born as a tiger, a cat or any other carnivorous animal, if your karmic accounts calls for an animal birth. Even if you are non-violent as a human, you can still take birth in a violent family where your upbringing will be fraught with violence. This all has to do with your karmic accounts. This is all related to your likes and dislikes, your attachment and abhorrence. When a person does raag (attachment) or dwesh(abhorrence) towards others, he becomes bound and as a result will be born in close proximity with those types of people.
Nothing Affects The Non-Violent One
Questioner: What is the karmic connection when a dog bites you?
Dadashri: Without a karma connection, even a single mustard seed will not enter your mouth!
Questioner: Would it then mean that we have a karmic tie with that dog which bit us?
Dadashri: No. You have not bound karma specifically with the dog that bites you. For that matter, even people ‘bite’ one another, do they not? One man told me that his wife was like a serpent because she kept 'biting' him at night. What he really meant was that she had a sharp tongue and would say vicious things to him. The consequence of interacting with someone in such a manner would be a ‘dog-bite’, or ‘bites’ from others. Everything in nature is ready to deliver the consequences for your actions. Nature is prepared to deliver the effects of whatever karma you have bound.
So if you want to be free from all the suffering in this world, you must not retaliate towards those who hurt you. If you hurt someone even slightly, then in your next life, the effect of the karma caused will not leave without taking revenge against you. The revenge may come in countless ways. A snake may even bite you. You cannot afford to create any vengeance with anyone in this world. And whatever suffering you experience, it is the result of your own past wrongdoings; where you have hurt others. Otherwise, there would be no suffering in this world.
Questioner: So is life a perpetual conflict?
Dadashri: Yes, but if you create an atmosphere of ahimsa, nothing can harm you. Not even a snake or a tiger will harm you. Even if someone were to throw a snake at you, the poor creature will leave you unharmed. You cannot imagine the tremendous power behind ahimsa. The power of ahimsa is unparalled. There is no greater weakness than that of violence. All the suffering in this world is due to violence. Tremendous violence.
Not a single living being has the power to hurt you, and the one that does, does so because of your own karmic account. So settle all your accounts. If someone hurts you or something bites you and you develop bitter feelings of revenge, you will be binding new accounts. When a dog bites you, if you feel within, ‘ all these dogs should be killed’, then you have created a new karmic account. No matter what the circumstances are, you should handle the situation with equanimity, without any attachment or abhorrence. You should not feel any negativity from within.
Questioner: But in these situations, our awareness fails us and we are not able to maintain our inner equanimity.
Dadashri: It is very difficult to cross the ocean of this worldly life and that is why I give you this Akram Vignan (the shortcut path to Self-Realization).
Who Is At Fault - Butcher Or The Meat-Eater?
Questioner: If a butcher has taken this Gnan, but continues his work as a butcher and wants continue doing this, what would happen to him?
Dadashri: But what is wrong with the occupation of a butcher? What fault is it of his? If you were to ask a butcher why he chose such a profession, he would say that his forefathers had the same business, which is why he is doing the same thing. He will tell you that he is doing it for his livelihood and to provide for his family. If you asked him whether he enjoys his work, he would tell you that he does not. More than the butcher, the person who eats the meat is at fault. As far as the poor butcher is concerned, that is his occupation. If he were to come to me, I would give him Gnan. And there is nothing wrong if he takes Gnan. The Lord has no objections to this.
Pigeons – Pure Vegetarians
People keep pigeon-houses in India, but why are there no crow-houses, parrot-houses or houses for sparrows? It is because only pigeons are pure vegetarians; they will not touch anything that is non-vegetarian, including decayed grains. A decaying grain will have subtle five senses life form within. People worry about what the pigeons will eat in the rainy season and that is why they feed them with grains. The pigeons are completely non-violent. The pigeons do not cross this boundary whereas man has done so. The pigeons have the warmest of blood and a tremendous capacity to understand and it is all because they are pure vegetarians.
Humans are not the only consumers of fruit; even the cows, the donkeys and the buffaloes eat fruit. These animals will not touch meat even if they were starving and so they are indeed more pure vegetarians than mankind.There is no need for people to boast about being pure vegetarians. People cannot compare themselves to these animals when at times they succumb to eating eggs, while these animals would not even touch eggs. One should not take pride in being a pure vegetarian nor should one criticize those who are non-vegetarians.
Eggs: Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian?
Questioner: Some people even argue that there are two types of eggs. Eggs with life and eggs without life, so can we eat the latter?
Dadashri: Yes they argue that there are eggs, which do not contain life, and therefore technically it is non-violent to consume them. I tell them that it is impossible to eat anything that is non-living. One cannot eat anything that does not contain life. If eggs did not contain life, they would be considered inanimate and therefore inedible. One can only eat living things and moreover, only those living things that are not spoilt. Even vegetables become inedible after a few days after picking. One can only eat living things. There is no truth in the statement that an egg has no life in it. It is a wonder that people have created such a concept. Anything that is non-living cannot be eaten.
Questioner: But these ‘vegetarian eggs’ do not develop further into a chick.
Dadashri: That is a different matter, but there is indeed life in them.
People are being misinformed. This issue has become a difficult one for Jain children to accept. So many of them argue with me about this and I simply tell them that they should give this more thought. There is no problem if there is no life in it, but you cannot eat anything that is lifeless. If you are eating the egg with the idea that it is void of life, then you should also stop eating grains and only eat food that does not contain any life. Food that does not contain life will satisfy hunger but it does not have any nutritional value and it will not nourish and sustain the body. The children accepted this fact and agreed to stop eating eggs altogether. People will listen if one takes the time to explain things to them; otherwise there is so much misinformation out there that one’s intellect is led astray.
All foods contain life, but The Lord has told us humans to consume only certain foods. He has drawn limits as to which foods are allowed and which are forbidden. You must not harm or eat any thing that runs away from you in fear.
Questioner: An egg does not run away from us in fear, so is it permissible to eat it?
Dadashri: The egg does not run away, but the life contained within the egg is in a state of unconsciousness and dormancy. Will this life not be apparent when the egg begins to hatch?
Questioner: Yes, we will discover that immediately. But what if it does not hatch?
Dadashri: That is because life in it is in a dormant state. Whether or not it is going to hatch into a chicken is a different matter. Even the human fetus at four to five week is in the same state as the egg, so you must not harm the egg. As humans we know what happens to the egg after it hatches.
Milk : Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian?
Questioner: Just as one should not eat the ‘vegetarian’ egg, one should not drink cows’ milk.
Dadashri: You cannot eat eggs but you can drink cows’ milk, eat yogurt and some can even eat butter made from that milk. No restrictions have been placed on these.
The Lord had forbidden some people to eat butter, but that was for a different reason for specific persons. You can make puddings and sweets from that milk. Even if some scriptures forbid this, I will tell you that those scriptures are wrong and that there are no restrictions. Go ahead and enjoy them but take care not to overeat.
Questioner: But nature had intended the milk for calves, and not for us.
Dadashri: That is completely false. Only the calves of the wild cows and buffaloes drink all their mother’s milk. People however, feed and nurture cows so that both the calves and the humans can benefit from the cows’ milk. This has been the practice from time immemorial. If you feed a cow well, it can produce up to fifteen liters of milk a day. If you feed it well it will produce more than the normal amount of milk so you will not be depriving the calf of its share. And the calf must not go hungry.
Killing A Carnivorous Animal
Questioner: There is violence in killing any animal, but is there also violence in killing animals that kill or hurt others?
Dadashri: Your intention should be not to do violence against any living entity. Even if you do not kill a snake, there will always be someone else who will. You may not have the strength to kill it but there will be many who will, so do not spoil your good intentions. There is no advantage in violence of any kind; it only harms you.
Survival Of The Fittest
Questioner: Humans live by using their intellects, so they should not hurt other lives. Some animals prey on others. The difference between animals and humans is that only humans have intelligence. What about the violence taking place within the animal kingdom?
Dadashri: You are not responsible for the violence between animals. Violence is constantly occurring in the vast oceans, because no farms or grain-stores are found there. The larger fish sit around with their mouths gaped open and the smaller fish just swim into them. That is the law of nature, and no one is responsible for it. In the world, the larger life forms prey on the smaller ones and the smaller ones prey on the smallest. That is how the world operates. Everything is allowed until one acquires human being with discriminatory intellect. No one in the animal world tries to rescue the smaller life forms, while some human attempt to save animals.
No Harm For The Absolute Non- Violent One
Questioner: But even non-violent people are being shot.
Dadashri: A true non-violent person can never be harmed. Even if he were to be shot at from every direction, he would remain unscathed. Only violent people will be affected. Such is the inherent nature of everything.
If only ahimsa was there in this world, people would take advantage of the situation. In this era peoples’ minds have become ruined. The people of this era have many bad habits and there is no telling what they are capable of doing. The very presence of guns acts as a deterrent to violence and promotes ahimsa.
The current era is changing everything around us, and a better time is approaching. You will witness this yourself.
Questioner: You just said that a non-violent person can never be hurt, so then why was one of the saints murdered even though he was practicing ahimsa?
Dadashri: Whom can we call a true non-violent person? A true non-violent person does not interfere with anything or with anyone. Such a person never takes sides because if he stands up for one party, the other will feel hurt and this is violence. One should not get involved in anything like this; one must not try to practice justice. An non-violent person never passes judgment. Where judgments are made, violence occurs.
If you were to practice absolute non-violence, it would be impossible for anyone to attack you. Such a non-violent individual would not utter even a single word of partiality. If one were pressed he would utter words that would cause the least harm. When you take sides between two parties, you will invariably cause violence against one of them.
Sacrifice Of Life Forms In Religion
Questioner: In many temples, people offer a sacrifice of an animal to the deities. Is that a sin or virtue?
Dadashri: When you ask the person making the sacrifice, he will claim that he is doing merit karma. If then, you ask the animal being sacrificed, it would reply, ‘ he is a murderer’. The deity would tell you that he does not accept anything for himself, nor can he refuse the offering that is placed at his feet to be blessed. So leave alone the issue of sin and virtue! The liability of everything that you do falls on your own shoulders, so think before you act. You can make whatever offerings you want, but understand that you are whole and sole responsible for all your actions.
Prayer Filled With Non-Violent Intent: Ahimsa
From now on your deep inner intent and prayer should be to promote non- violence towards helpless animals and promulgate this belief as much as you can. If a person’s religion allows him to eat meat, while yours does not, there should be not be any friction or confrontation over this. Such intent within prayers will result in a non-violent society. This intent should remain within you day and night.
You all do have the deep intent for salvation of the entire world at all times, do you not? Like wise have the same intent for non-violence.
Questioner: We can at least pray for that, can we not?
Dadashri: Yes, yes. do the you can prayers, keep the intent and encourage others to do the same. It is important that you make others understand this. Violence is not something new, it has been occurring all along.
Having heard about reputation of the prominent Saint Kabir, sage Tulsidas who was a Brahmin, sets off to visit him in Delhi. Kabir’s hut was situated in an area where there were many butchers and meat vendors. On his way there Tulsidas witnessed the slaughtered of fowl and goat carcasses hanging in shops around. He had never been in such an environment and he kept spitting as he walked along, barely able to watch what was going on around him. Tuslsidas had not become accustomed to face such gross and foul smelling environs, and therefore he felt trapped. t He was so perturbed, that when he reached Kabir’s hut he poured out his feelings to the Saint. Tulsidas asked Kabir why such an elevated soul as he should choose to live in the midst of butchers. Kabir who was quick-witted and renowned for his ability to compose spontaneous verses replied:
“ Kabir’s home is in the market, near the throat cutters:
The doer will suffer the consequences, why are you so sad?”
Tulsidas immediately realized that all his spiritual knowledge until now had been in vain and he was humbled.
One should learn to face the world like Kabir. Violence of all forms is rampant all around us and has been happening from time immemorial. Even Lord Ramachandra’s servants ate meat; they were all Kshatriyas and eating meat was a natural practice for them. Our intent must remain non-violent.
You should maintain this non-violent intent and not become swayed by the mentality of the violent people, because they create conflict due to misunderstanding. That is why nothing gets resolved and more harm is done. One can only enforce ahimsa against animals if one’s ruler or government has the same view and decrees that people observe vegetarianism on certain days. At the present time you do not have any power over the matter and furthermore, no one is asking you to actively enforce ahimsa. No one dies in the eyes of the Lord. You should just go about minding your own business and encourage non-violence. Do not harbor any negative feelings.
The Highest Ahimsa
Instead of worrying about saving the lives, you just maintain the inner intent not to hurt any living being to the slightest extent. This hurt should not be caused through the mind, through the speech and through any acts. There is no greater ahimsa than this. With such an intent and awareness, should you accidentally hurt any life form, it is vyavasthit (scientific circumstantial evidence).
Protecting All Life Forms From Fear
Questioner: We stopped eating root crops ten years ago in order to give protection to the life forms so that they would not be afraid of us.
Dadashri: Such protection from fear should be given to life forms that move; those that discern fear and flee for their safety. Otherwise what can it mean to those that do not understand fear? One should give protection to life forms that experience fear, such as ants that sense fear when they are obstructed with a finger. Grain does not sense fear so how can you give it protection for fear?
Questioner: That’s very true.
Dadashri: So far, people have been practicing ahimsa without understanding it. This is like swallowing the medicine that was intended for external use. People then say that Lord Mahavir’s medicine does not work and they blame Him and religion when it is due their own foolishness. They do not use the medicine the way the Lord prescribed. Religion is never wrong.
Questioner: We did not understand all this before.
Dadashri: Yes, you did not have a clear understanding of the prescribed methods. Life forms that sense and feel fear are the ones that flee from you. The Lord has spoken about these life forms because they perceive fear. These are the ones that need protection from violence. Elsewhere He has said not to waste water unnecessarily. You are free to use water to take baths, drink it and wash clothes etc.
Protecting Life From Fear-The Highest Charity.
Questioner: So why is there such a great emphasis on protecting life from fear in Jainism?
Dadashri: Many who understand non-violence have placed great emphasis on protecting life from fear. Protecting life from fear is the main thing. What is protecting life from fear? An example of this would be to take care not to disturb any birds if they were sitting here, by walking very quietly. Another example would be to remove your shoes and tiptoe past a sleeping dog. How can one be considered humane if he instills fear in others? One should not even startle stray dogs. Understand that you have failed to give this protection if a dog is stirred from his sleep as you are walking by. Protecting life from fear means not to any element of fear arise in any living entity. Have you ever seen anyone that has such qualities? Protecting life from fear is the highest of all charity.
When I was twenty-two years old, I used to be very cautious so as not to startle any sleeping dogs. I am constantly protecting all life from fear and if a person learns to do the same, he would attain liberation. Generally people are inclined to instill fear in others and threaten them. Everybody has learnt how to donate fear. No one has learnt how to donate protection from fear.
Questioner: Is it not considered protecting life from fear to make efforts to save these life forms?
Dadashri: There is a tremendous liability for anyone that does this, because to do is nothing but egoism. The Lord has only said that one should practice kindness towards one’s own self. The scriptures mention just this much and no other form of kindness. And if you take on the task of practicing any other forms of kindness unnecessarily, you will incur liability.
That is the egoism of practicing A
A person here believes that when he saves an insect from death, that he has done the saving. Do you how our people are? He abuses and curses his mother at home and outside he goes about trying to save the life of an insect. What kind of people are these anyway?
These people should be sent into the ocean! What would people of such negative intellect do there when every life in the ocean is either a prey or a predator? The smaller fish are prey to the bigger fish, which in turn are prey to even bigger ones. Such is the food chain in the ocean. Now how would he use his intellect in such an environment? Who will he save?
People believe they are saving lives by advocating vegetarianism, but in the process they feel hatred towards the butchers. If the butcher were asked why he chose such an ignoble profession, he would say that his profession is his heritage and he would question why you were belittling it, and would brand you as lacking intelligence.
People who eat meat do not exercise their ego in proclaiming, ‘I am killing this or that.’ It is these people who make the false declaration of saving lives who are the most egotistical. They brag and flaunt their ability to save lives by saying, ‘we are saving cows and goats’. If you are really saving life, why not save the life of your ninety five year old father at home? Is anyone able to do that?
Question: No, no one can do that.
Dadashri: It is not in anyone’s control; so then why do they boast about saving lives? Not even the butcher has any independent power to take a life; moreover there is no human being who has any such independent power. The butcher who brags about the number of animals he has slaughtered is guilty of egoism. Likewise the person who states that he has saved so many cows is also guilty of egoism. What then is the reality? According to nature neither the one taking lives, nor the one saving lives, will attain liberation because they are both guilty of egoism (doer ship). This may be acceptable in the relative world, but not in reality.
Two Types Of Egos
According to the laws of liberation that The Lord has given us, egotistical people cannot attain liberation. Some people have an ego about not drinking alcohol and some have an ego about drinking it. Neither will achieve liberation.
People who boast about not drinking alcohol are more egoistic than those who drink it. The latter at least, admit to their weakness. They will confess to being unworthy when they are drunk and immediately come to their senses when someone throws a bucket of water on them. The same is not applicable for those intoxicated with the illusion of this world. Their intoxication will remain with them through countless lives. Such people become conceited and say, ‘I am something, I am something.’
Once there was a Jain merchant who had two sons: a three-year-old and a year-old infant. When plague hit their village, the merchant and his wife died, leaving the children alone. The villagers held a meeting to determine the fate of the two boys. A goldsmith adopted the older boy, but no one was ready to adopt the younger one. A man belonging to the lower caste came forward and offered to take the infant. Some of the villagers protested, saying that it was wrong for a Jain child to go into a family of low caste, but they ultimately conceded. When the older child became an adult, he strongly opposed eating meat and drinking alcohol. The younger brother on the other hand insisted that one should drink alcohol and eat meat. How can the thinking of these two brothers differ so much?
Questioner: Is it because of their upbringing.
Dadashri: Yes, their upbringing. The villagers asked a sage how it was possible that two brothers should have such contrary beliefs and wanted to know which one of them would attain liberation. The sage told them that liberation was a completely different matter, which could not be applied to either of the brothers because they were both egotistical. One had an ego about not drinking alcohol or eating meat and the other had an ego about doing both. To attain liberation one has to be without ego.
Exclusively For Those Who Revere Non-Violence
What people nowadays believe is not what the Lord has proclaims as the truth. The Lord is very wise. He said that not a single being exists in this world that can kill another being, because everything is governed by vyavasthit (scientific circumstantial evidences). How can a person kill another when, in order for a person to die, so many circumstances have to come together? But at the same time, He also said that this fact should be kept absolutely secret. Some found this statement contradictory with regards to non-violence. They would say, ‘you teach us not to harm even a single living being and now you are saying this?’ The Lord said that this information is only meant for those who revere non-violence. It is not for those who practice violence. Such individuals would misuse the Lord’s statement and feel that they have a license to kill. They would create misery all around by developing inner intent of violence. Therefore this matter can only be discussed with those who revere ahimsa.
The Lord has said that one should not have the ego for either committing violence or for practicing non-violence. If you kill someone, you are really killing all reverence for your own soul. You are committing violence against yourself. The Soul does not die, but you are committing violence against yourself, which is why The Lord has forbidden it. On the other hand, if you try to save lives, you will be doing so with ego, which is also violence against your self. In both instances, one is doing something wrong. Why not stay out of this predicament?
In reality no one being can kill another, but if The Lord had stated this fact openly no one living thing is able to kill another, people with ego would claim that they are able to kill. No one has the strength to do this, but nevertheless people have the false notion (vikalp) about it, which is why they are perpetually caught in the cycle of birth and death. All the Gnanis have witnessed the way the world functions. People have so many false beliefs, so how can they be free from them?
No single living entity takes the life of another living being. Despite this the Lord tells us to abandon our violent ways and practice ahimsa. What He really means for us is to abandon the ego of killing; nothing else, for it is truly false ego. In reality nothing ever dies so why then do you claim to kill? You incur a tremendous liability because of your ego and that ego will lead you into an abyss of endless suffering.
No living being has the capacity to kill another being. The Lord did not proclaim this loud and clear because some would stand and proclaim, ‘I just killed someone.’ The Gnanis have seen how the universe runs.
Let the life form die at the hands of its own nimit (the entity instrumental in the death of that life form). It is going to die anyway so why must you unnecessarily have the ego of killing? It is to put a stop to this kind of ego that The Lord has encouraged ahimsa. The Lord gave ahimsa to the people so that they would stop exercising the ego of killing.
Questioner: Is this not too much knowledge for the average person to comprehend?
Dadashri: Yes it is a lot, which is why it has not been divulged. On the contrary, The Lord emphasizes to all people to save lives, which would otherwise perish.
The Science Behind Protecting And Killing.
The killing, protecting and saving of lives is relevant only to the relative world and not to reality. In reality no one living being can ever kill another life form. No man can independently kill of his own volition. Killing only occurs when all the scientific circumstantial evidences come together. None of these evidences are under anyone’s control. No human being is independently capable of protecting another life form either. Only if the scientific circumstantial evidences are present, can lives be saved. People are being egoistic about saving lives. The Lord also says that one must eliminate any inner intent to want to hurt or kill another living being, because this intent is one of the evidences. It is when the evidence of intent comes together with all the other evidences that an event materializes. So intent is one of the many evidences. People however; take on the responsibility for all the other evidences by claiming with ego that the event occurred entirely because of them.
Death Happens At The Correct Time
I am disclosing a very subtle fact here that no living entity can ever be killed unless the time of its death is correct. For example, if a man has seven lambs and he has to sell two of them, only the two for whom the time of death is near, will be sold. Why is it that only the two are chosen, when he is equally fond of them all? The lambs too will merrily go along with the butcher. It is because their time of death has arrived. At the slaughterhouse when the lambs are painted for identification, they feel happy because they think they are being decorated for some festival. This is the way of this world. It is worth understanding all this.
Therefore, no one dies without his or her appointed time of death. But if you have an intent to kill, you are actually committing violence against your own self. A life form will only die when the time for its death is right and when all the circumstances come together to produce the actual event. So many evidences that are not visible to the eye come together and only then will that life cease to be. A person may feel responsible if he accidentally kills an insect, but how can he be held liable when he did not have the intention to kill in the first place? He will insist that he killed the insect because he stepped on it, and I would then ask him to whom does the foot that crushed the insect belong? It does not belong to the Soul, his Real Self and therefore he is not responsible. Even if the foot becomes paralyzed, it does not affect the Soul. Only the Gnani Purush can give you a clear distinction between what is real and what is relative.
The time of death is not in anyone’s hands, but The Lord has not divulged that there are other causes behind any death. There are some types of knowledge that are not divulged. Had the Lord stated these aspects of life and death clearly, many would have been able to understand and benefit from it. He has spoken about it, but people do not understand it. This is because the Lord has given all the answers and they can be found in the sacred texts, but one has to read countless volumes before one arrives at the essence that I am giving you here. The Lord’s spoken words were pure gold, which Gautam Swami (Lord Mahavir’s premier prominent disciple) made ornate and elaborate. Only when someone like Gautam Swami is around can this ‘gold’ be extracted from these scriptures. Only when such a person can extract the pure essence of the Lord’s spoken words, will our work be done!
Make A Firm Resolution Never To Kill
Some people make a strong resolve not to cause even the slightest of violence towards any living being. With such a resolve, no living entity will be hurt at the hands of such people. Even if such a person were to trample on an insect, the insect would survive. If however, a person makes intent to kill insects, then all the insects that are meant to die will come his way.
The Lord has clearly stated that no living entity can kill another. People question this, when they witness life forms killing each other. The explanation behind this is that the killing only takes place because the time of death has come for the life form that dies, and the one that kills has made the intent to kill. So when the timing of death and the intent to kill as two of the many other evidences come together, the killing happens. Only when it is time for the life form to die will it meet up with the person who has made the intent to kill. This person will be instrumental in its death.
This is a very subtle fact If only the world would come to understand this!
Questioner: What about people who are crushed to death in a train accident? How can a train have the intent to kill?
Dadashri: The train does not need any intent, but it is the intent of those who die, which is at play here. In the past, these people had made the intent that they did not care how they died. When people have such intents, their death will result accordingly. It is because their intent is their karma. But they cannot die prior to their appointed time of death.
Now the point you need to understand is that unless the time of death approaches for any life form, it cannot be killed. Furthermore the timing of death is not in anyone’s control.
Violent Intent: Very Prevalent In India
Questioner: Will it not take a long time to spread the correct knowledge and understanding of ahimsa?
Dadashri: Even if it takes a long time, one cannot expound on it completely because of the nature of this world. This world is completely immersed in violence. There is nothing but an inclination towards violence, which is why this could not be achieved. There is however, some readiness to practice ahimsa but not everyone understands it.
Questioner: But is there not a subtle intent of non-violence behind one’s efforts to try and save life forms?
Dadashri: Saving the life forms is not subtle, but overt non-violence. Subtle ahimsa is not easily understood. How can one understand it, when one cannot even understand overt ahimsa? People practice overt ahimsa A naturally, because they are born into it as a result of their past lives. They practice ahimsa against the smaller life forms but at home these very people, without exception, do nothing but violence.
Questioner: In the western world there is violence in almost everything they do, in eating, in drinking, in all acts. They kill flies and mosquitoes and use pesticides on their lawns and farms. How will these people attain liberation?
Dadashri: Alas! Indian people commit even greater violence. All day long they commit violence against the self by their kashayas, anger ,false pride, greed and illusion. This is called intent-violence. It is subtle.
Questioner: But the people in India are doing violence only against their own self, whereas in other countries they are doing violence against other life forms.
Dadashri: No. Indians do violence against everyone; against whomever they come into contact with. Their ways are devious and crooked. People in other countries are happier. The people of the western world never have thoughts about hurting others; they are very gracious and always willing to help. Indian people however, are opportunistic; they will first analyze a situation to see how they can benefit from it, and only help others if there is something in it for them.
All of India is guilty of intent-violence, which in the eyes of the Lord is the gravest violence of all.
Questioner: But in India there is so much emphasis on ahimsa.
Dadashri: Even so Indians are the most violent, because they bicker and quarrel all the time. Why is this? It is because they have greater awareness of the relative world. Their children however do not have as much intent-violence because they have started to eat meat. A non-vegetarian diet decreases awareness and consequently does not cause as much intent-violence. People with increased awareness commit tremendous intent-violence. They bicker over very trivial things.
Intent Is Independent; Result is not
Questioner: Nevertheless, these foreign people are doing violence all the same.
Dadashri: Intent- violence is independent, whereas effect-violence is not. The result of intent violence in the next life is not under anyone’s control. Their non-violence today is the result of their past life intent. What they do today is not their real effort.
This type of ahimsa is directed towards only those life forms that are visible to the eye. It is not wrong. The Lord has said that if one were to practice ahimsa outwardly, it should be directed towards both the gross and the subtle life forms alike. More importantly one should ensure that one does not commit intent-violence towards one’s own self. People are constantly committing intent-violence; they even talk about it and yet they do not understand what it is.
Intent-violence is subtle and people cannot perceive it, whereas effect violence is visible to all. All the violence that is perceived through one’s thoughts, speech and acts is an effect.
Save Yourself First From Intent-Violence
The Lord has said that the highest non-violence is that which does not hurt the soul. This means total lack of any kashaya. Any form of kashaya hurts the soul. He also said that you must make sure that no intent-violence is occurring within you. Nowadays, however, just the opposite is happening and that is why one must first stop the intent-violence. Effect violence is not under anyone’s control, but we cannot say this openly. In fact, this can only be discussed with people who revere ahimsa. That is why the Lords did not disclose everything. If people were told this, they would ruin their future lives, because they would get a license to proceed with violence . They would proclaim that since effect violence is not in anyone’s hands, there is nothing wrong with killing. This very intent violence is what needs to be stopped! The Lords displayed tremendous wisdom in not disclosing all this; they did not mention a word of this. What wisdom! What purity! They sanctified the ground they walked on.
Intent-violence can only be contained when effect violence is stopped, but of the two, intent-violence is more important. The Lord had said for us not to be preoccupied with the violence-non-violence of the life forms. He said that one can become truly non-violent only when one stops intent-violence.
Defining Intent Violence
According to the Lord, what is the highest violence? The Lord says, ‘we do not consider the actual killing violence. But the intent to kill made by the person is violence.’ This is indeed the highest violence. People on the other hand only blame the person who is instrumental in the act of killing. The actual act of killing is an effect carried out by vyavasthit. They are totally unaware of his intent violence. The most important thing of all is not the act of killing but the intent within. It is ‘vyavasthit’ that kills the life. A person is merely being egotistical when he claims that he did the killing. The person who does the intent to kill is really the guilty one and in making this intent, he becomes the real killer.
All you have to do is to have the intent that ‘ let no living being be hurt through the medium of these thoughts, speech and act’. After that should any violence happen, you are not held liable. You should however, sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness so that you do not incur any liability.
People do not have the capacity to understand the subtlety of this point and from where will they acquire such an understanding? It would be disastrous if someone were to discuss this outside of this satsang. I cannot tell this to the public at large; one can never say such things in public, do you understand?
Intent non-violence means that one will never have the intent that he wants to hurt or harm another living being. You are only required to have such a intent; an intent whereby you do not want to hurt any living being in the slightest, through the medium of your mind, speech and actions. Only the intent is important here and not the act or the deed. Besides, how can one save lives through his actions? Even the mere act of breathing, destroys innumerable lives! And in a single movement of the body countless life forms die as they collide with it.
Kashaya: The Highest Violence
One commits self-violence when one does kashaya (when one has anger, false pride, attachment and greed), whereas the other violence is against the external life forms. Intent-violence is the violence against one’s self. Such violence through kashayas creates bondage for the self and it is for this self that you must have compassion. The Lord has said that one must first have intent non-violence towards one’s own self and then towards others.
The killing of animals, insects and the smaller life forms is called effect violence. And to inflict mental anguish on others or to become angry with others is intent-violence. No matter how hard one tries, non-violence is not easy to practice. In fact the real violence is anger, false pride, attachment and greed. Effect violence continues according to the laws of nature and no one has any control over it.
Kashaya is the highest violence and that is why The Lord has said that first and foremost, one should not have any kashaya. This type of violence is called self-violence or intent-violence. If effect violence occurs, let it occur but one must not allow intent-violence to occur at any cost. Instead, people try to stop effect-violence and continue to do intent-violence.
If a person were to resolve in his mind that under no circumstances he wants to kill any life form, then he will not be instrumental in causing the death of any life form. There are those who on the one hand take a firm stand to stop the effect-violence. They may be able to stop killing insects overtly. However if they use their intellect to take advantage of others in their business dealings, they are continuing intent violence through their greed. This is all violence!
You should conduct yourself in such a way that no living entity should run away from you in fear for its life. There should not be any act of aggression towards any living entity nor should it be made to suffer even in the slightest degree. And as far as human beings are concerned, you should not have a single negative opinion about anyone, because it is violence. Even a negative change of opinion against an enemy is great violence. This violence is much worse than the violence in slaughtering a lamb. When you get angry with the people at home, it is worse than killing a lamb: It is detrimental for the self.
To speak maliciously or gossip about someone is also violence. To utter anything negative about a person in his absence is considered violence.
There is also violence in partiality or discrimination. People go around proudly proclaiming that they belong to a non-violent group of people. This partiality in itself is the first violence. If people were to understand even this much, it would be more than enough. One has to understand what the Lord has said.
Destruction Of The self Every Moment
Aarta-dhyana (internal worries) and raudra-dhyana (thoughts or desire to hurt other people) is constantly occurring within human beings. These do not require any effort, they are happening, and because they cause self-violence, they are considered the greatest forms of violence in the world. Violence against insects and life forms is called effect-violence. Which is better?
Questioner: Neither violence is good, but self-violence is worse.
Dadashri: While all these people are cautious about material, effect-violence, self-violence is continually occurring within.. The scriptures say that self-violence is really intent-violence. After acquiring this Gnan, your intent-violence ceases. That is why you experience so much inner peace.
Questioner: Krupadudev has called intent-violence, ‘intent-death’ (death of the self), has he not? Krupadudev had asked “From moment to moment, why are you involved in such terrible intent-death?” Is there really intent death in every moment?
Dadashri: Yes, each and every moment there is dreadful intent-death happening. What is he trying to say? Actually, intent-death is taking place not from mmomemnt to moment, but continuously in the smallest unit of time.He has given a gross description of the frequency of intent-death, which in reality is occurring all the time. The belief ‘I am Chandulal’, is intent-death. In any situation, to believe that ‘it is happening to me’, is intent-death. People are immersed in this belief all the time. They say and believe that they are the ones who are fasting and meditating or performing austerities.
Questioner: So instead of intent-death, how can we have intent-life?
Dadashri: Intent is not living; it is non-living. Intent-death is the same as intent-sleep (a state of unawaren of the Real Self.). In Akram Vignan there is no basis for intent;death, because intent has been separated from the Self. People in the kramic path are perpetually in a state of intent-death.
Krupadudev, being a Gnani Purush, was the only one who understood intent-death, and hence had to constantly be on the alert because he could see that everyone around him was in a state of intent-death.
What is the meaning of intent-death? It signifies the death of the Self (s and the birth of non-self (the worldly self). In any event or a situation, the sense of ‘I am this or that’ is the birth of non-self and ‘I am the observer of this event’, is the birth of the Self.
Those who commit violence against the physical bodies may find redemption, but there is no hope for those who commit violence against the self. No one ever explains the subtler facts, only the gross issues.
Effect Non-Violence Increases Intellect
Everyone including Muslims, Christians and Hindus are in aarta-dhyan and raudra-dhyan. What is the difference amongst them? Indians experience more of these adverse meditations because they are practicing effect non-violence at various levels. This is because their intellect increases with such practice. In this era, increase in intellect increases sin and sinful binding of karma. People with an increased intellect take advantage of those with lesser intellect and that is violence.
The foreigners and Muslims do not hurt anyone with their intellect. Only the people of Hindustan hurt those with lesser intellect with their intellect. It is only in this time-cycle that this extra nuisance has arisen. Intellect is required to hurt. Who are these people with such intellect? They are the people who practice effect non-violence, those who do not eat edible roots and those who do external worships of the Tirthankars. But what good is such an intellect?
Questioner: You are doing injustice to these people.
Dadashri: I do them no injustice. It is this increased intellect that harms them and I have written this in my book. If I do not say things exactly as they are, people will move further away from the truth. It is very dangerous to use your intellect to take advantage of others. Should intellect be abused in this way? And those with less intellect have less kashaya.
Those who practice ahimsa from birth believe that it is wrong to hurt any life form. This is ingrained in their belief and their spiritual vision. People with such awareness have sharp intellects.
Questioner: Are they considered gentler because they practice ahimsa from birth?
Dadashri: They are not considered gentle. The fact that they practice ahimsa in this life is really the result of their past karma. Their increased intellect is also a result, but they use this intellect to hurt and exploit others. If you were to commit a murder, it would cost you perhaps one more lifetime, but when you use your intellect to hurt others, you will be doomed and you will destroy numerous lives to come.
Greater Violence: Fighting Or Kashaya?
In the days gone by, it was the wealthy businessman of the village who had the most intellect. If a conflict arose amongst the villagers, he would invite both parties to his home and help solve their dispute in an amicable manner. One of the villager’s reason for the conflict was, ‘ I owe him two hundred rupees. But I only have fity’. The businessman would reply, ‘ Here is a hundred and fifty and return it later.’ He would then invite both of them to have a meal with him and then let them part happily. He would not take advantage of the situation. This does not happen nowadays. On the contrary, people would exploit such a situation.
I am not accusing anyone. In fact I see the entire world as being innocent and flawless. I would look upon a person faultless even if he were to beat or insult me. I am talking about the worldly life. If you do not understand how to work in the relative world, how will you solve your problems? And unless you acquire that understanding from the Gnani Purush, nothing will help you.
Questioner: Even a small child in our group practices non-violence. Is it because of the values instilled in him from his previous lives?
Dadashri: Yes, without a doubt. They have these values today because of their merit karma and values that had been instilled in them from their previous life. But if they were to abuse what they have today, do you know where they are headed?
Questioner: They are only practicing ahimsa, how are they abusing it?
Dadashri: How can you call this ahimsa? There is no greater violence than the kashaya done against human beings. Show me anyone that does not do this. A person that does no kashaya at home is practicing true ahimsa. To do kashaya all the time and simultaneously claim to practice ahimsa, carries with it a great liability. People with a lot of awareness do the most kashaya. In comparison with the Indians, people of other countries do lesser kashaya. You would think that those with less awareness do more kashaya. It is not so. Do you not think that any kashaya is wrong?
Questioner: Yes, absolutely.
Dadashri: Yes, there is no violence worse than kashaya. Kashaya itself is violence. This ahimsa that people practice is really something they are born with because they had made such a intent in their previous life, which has now come into effect in this life. It is only when one’s anger, false pride, attachment and greed cease that one really stops violence.
Questioner: That’s right. I understand. It is written so in the scriptures. The emperors in India did much violence when they fought battles, but they were not bound by kashayas, which would bind them for infinite lives. It is only when one follows the wrong guru, the wrong religion and the wrong saint that one becomes bound by kashayas for infinite lives.
Dadashri: Yes, there is nothing else that binds one endlessly. This is well known in the scriptures.
Abuse Of Intellect: ‘Hard’ Adverse Meditation
Questioner: But are there not different types of karma in all this?
Dadashri: Yes, but what is hard here to understand? Even a small child can understand this. For example if you were walking in the dark with a lantern and someone else was walking with a small oil lamp, then you would tell him, ‘ here let me shine this brighter light for you.’ Would you not share your light with him? The intellect is such a light. Should you not share it with those who have less of it by guiding them and giving them helpful suggestions? Instead the people in this era are just waiting to pounce on their prey at every opportunity. This is why I have stressed and warn people against such adverse meditation. This level of adverse meditation never occurred in the previous time-cycles, but it is occurring in this one. People are abusing their intellect. Everywhere, merchants, businessmen and affluent people are cheating others with lesser intellect.
Merchants with more intelligence cheat their customers. The Lord has said that to cheat someone with lesser intellect is serious adverse meditation and the result of such acts will lead to a birth in hell. Under no circumstances should one abuse his intellect.
The intellect is a light. Would you charge someone for sharing this light with him? People are guilty of adverse meditation when they abuse their intellect. They will not attain liberation. They will pave their way into hell. Such grave adverse meditation has never occurred before; we only see it in this present fifth era of the current time cycle. It is a terrible crime to hurt someone with one’s intellect.
Even now there is some time to correct this situation by sincere repentance and resolving never to repeat such deeds. Otherwise there is no hope for such a person.
Simply This Much Will Make You Non-Violent
You should not have any violent intent in your mind. Your intent not to cause harm to any being should be constant, within you. Each morning before you begin your day, you must ask for the strength to not hurt anyone through the medium of your mind, your speech and your actions. This will ascertain a lesser liability for you. If you were to accidentally step on an insect, you are not responsible, because today your intent is not to kill. The Lord is concerned with your intent and not your deed. According to the laws of nature, it is the intent that is the most important. The world however, only considers the deeds of a person. The deeds will remain here but it is the intent that will help you progress further. So keep a constant vigil on your intent.
Recite the following prayer five times each morning:
‘Dear Lord, give me the strength not to hurt even in the slightest degree, any living being with my thoughts, my speech and my acts.’
In doing this you become non-violent. With such an intent, even if you were to engage in a quarrel with someone, you would still remain non-violent, because you have already made a strong resolve not to hurt anyone. If you do hurt someone during the day, you should reinforce your resolve by recalling all the transgression, repenting for them and resolving never to repeat them. When you do this much, you will no longer be liable.
Such intent not to hurt any living being is equivalent to having accomplished the supreme vow of ahimsa (one of the five major vows called mahavrats). You have to make a decision that you want to maintain this intent and thereafter you should remain sincere to it at all costs. When you do not adhere to your decision, it is called anuvrat.
Beware! There Is Violence In Sex
If the Lord were to describe the violence associated with sex, a person would die. According to the general belief, there is no violence involved in the sexual act. I do not chastise anyone about this. In the sexual act, violence combines with attraction and this leads to the violation of all the five supreme vows. This results in the commitment of much sin. Although one does not want to do any violence, millions of life forms are killed in the sexual act. Also adverse meditation happens.
Sex is the cause of this worldly life. All other subjects of outward pleasure are not harmful, when the sexual inclination is conquered. Nothing else creates such an obstacle. If one became indifferent to sex, one could reincarnate as a celestial being. Having conquered the sexual weakness, one can go on to conquer all other weaknesses. Indulging in sex leads to birth in the lower realms of life, such as the animal kingdom.
As long as a person engages in the relative world, and is sexually active, he continues to remain violent. A man who has a sexual relationship with a woman other than his own wife will have to face grave consequences. Adultery leads one to a birth in hell and such a person has no hope for another human birth. The same applies for a woman.
Should people not practice some sexual discipline even in their homes? Sex with one’s own spouse is not improper, but one should also understand that countless life forms are destroyed in a single act of sex. This violence should not be taken lightly. Here also, sexual activity must not happen without a cause. There are countless life forms in the forms of human seed in the semen, so one needs to exercise much caution in this matter. I am being very brief regarding this matter, because there is no end to this otherwise.
beyond the mind!
Ahimsa means not to have a single negative thought about anyone, not even for one’s own enemies. Even for an enemy the non-violent person holds feelings for his spiritual and physical well being. What good is any other kind of non-violence? To have bad thoughts is the tendency of the prakruti (the complex of the mind, speech and body and it’s attributes) but to turn it around is one’s own purushaarth (independent highest endeavor).
If a non-violent person were to fire an arrow at someone, his victim would not bleed. In contrast, a violent man would cause bleeding in the other even if he threw a flower. Neither the arrow nor the flower is itself ‘effective’, but it is the intent behind the act that is ‘effective’. This is why my constant intent is that no one should be hurt in the slightest manner by my speech, my thoughts and my conduct. And from these words are flowing under the umbrella of this intent. The work is not being done by a thing, it is not being done by an arrow, it is not being done by a flower. It is only the intent through which it works. The intent is the medium through which all things happen.
Akram Vignan states that a person should not use even his thoughts as a weapon. How then can anyone use any other weapon? How can I wield any weapon against other life forms when I have never once resorted to using even my thoughts as a weapon against even the smallest of life form? At times I am given to speak a little harshly, but such harshness is like the subtle difference between raw and refined silk. Such speech only comes out very rarely. I have never used my speech as a weapon nor have I ever used my thoughts in that way.
I have never used my mind as a weapon against even the smallest of life forms. Even if a scorpion were to sting me, I would not raise any weapon against it. By stinging me, the scorpion would be fulfilling its obligation, without which there would be no liberation for me. I can assure you that I have not used my mind as a weapon against any living being. Although it is the nature of the mind to retaliate, I assure you that I have not used it in this way.
Questioner: You must have realized that there is no use for this weapon of the mind.
Dadashri: Yes. A weapon is of no use at all. The thought that a weapon might be necessary has never crossed my mind. Since the day I laid down the ‘sword’, I have not picked it up again. I would not pick it up even if my opponent had a sword. This is the path one will ultimately have to come to. Those who find this world burdensome and want to break free from it will have to travel this very path: no other paths are available.
One simply has to master ahimsa in order to accomplish everything else. The power of ahimsa is such that even a lion and a lamb will stand side by side at the waterhole.
Questioner: Was it like that during the time of the tirthankaras?
Dadashri: Yes. One cannot even describe what it was like during those times. If the world understood even a single sentence of these tirthankaras, it would have sanctified it and put it into practice. Unfortunately, the world did not comprehend the message behind those words, and furthermore, no one is around to explain.
Questioner: Dada, but you are here.
Dadashri: How much sound will my little flute create?
The Power Of The Gnani’s Ahimsa
How does the Gnani Purush deal with the world? He is so non-violent in his worldly dealings that even the most ferocious tiger would become pacified and shy away from him. Such is the power of ahimsa. The world has already witnessed the effects of violence. through people like Hitler and Stalin. Just look at the outcome, everything came to an end; nothing lasted.
Violence: Non-Violence Together
Questioner: Is there violence where there is non-violence?
Dadashri: There can never be any violence where there is complete non-violence, otherwise it is called partial non-violence. When you cut a papaya into many slices, all the slices will have the same sweetness, not a single slice will be bitter. Similarly, there is no violence where there is complete non-violence. Partial non-violence and partial violence is a different matter altogether.
Questioner: Is partial ahimsa considered kindness?
Dadashri: Yes, that is called kindness. Kindness is the root of religion. Where there is absolute kindness, there is absolute religion.
Beyond Violence And Non-violence
Questioner: Where there is kindness, there is also cruelty. Does this apply to violence and non-violence?
Dadashri: Yes. Non-violence exists because there is violence and vice-versa. However, one will have to stop violence and embrace non-violence, and then go beyond even non-violence. One has to go beyond this duality. Ultimately one will have to go even beyond non-violence.
Questioner: Beyond ahimsa? What sort of a state would that be?
Dadashri: The very state that I am in right now. I am beyond violence and non-violence. Ahimsa is based on the ego and I am without any ego. ‘I am practicing ahimsa or violence’ is the ego. I am the observer of the entity that practices violence and non-violence. I simply observe the ego. One can only be considered a Gnani if one is beyond all duality. Most of these ascetics and priests are very kind, but they can also be merciless. Because there is kindness within them, there is also cruelty within them. If they have eighty percent kindness they will also have twenty percent cruelty. If they have ninety-six percent kindness, there will be four percent cruelty.
Questioner: If there is 96% A, will there be 4% violence?
Dadashri: The final total will always be there and it will always speak for itself. If there is ninety-six percent ahimsa then there would be four percent violence
Questioner: So what would be the nature of such violence?
Dadashri: It is the violence of the ultimate stage. That person will know what is left and will quickly dispense with it and become liberated.
The Gnani: The Non-Violent One In The Ocean Of Violence
People question me why I travel by cars even though I am a Gnani. In their minds they hold that traveling by car involves much violence to small living forms like insects etc. They also question who is held accountable for the violence this entails. Now how can a Gnani be called a Gnani if he is not absolutely non-violent? Absolute non-violence here means totally non-violent in an ocean of violence!
People tell me that they have read my books and they find them appealing and without any contradiction. They also tell me that my behavior contradicts my message of ahimsa. I explain to them what the Lord has said in the scriptures that the Self-Realized Gnani has no ownership of his body and because of this he is not liable for the body’s actions. Secondly the Gnani does not renounce nor take up anything. They did not understand the meaning of ‘not having ownership of the body’, so I asked them why they thought that I commit violence in such acts. One person asked whether it would constitute violence if he were to crush an insect under his foot. I told him that it is violence because he believes that it is his foot that steps on the insect. I told him that I have no ownership over this body and hence there is no doer ship in the act.
He wanted me to give him examples and define what a person owns and what he does not. I gave him the following example: There is a vacant plot surrounded by shops in an affluent area of a town. Someone has informed the police about hidden excise goods buried there. The site is overgrown with vegetation after the rainfall. The police start to dig and they unearth the goods. They arrest Laxmichand who they were told was the owner of the land. Laxmichand tells them that he was no longer the owner and that he had sold the land two weeks ago. When the new owner is interrogated, he protests to being accused and tells the police that he had only bought the land a fortnight ago, while the goods must have been buried before the rainy season on account of the grass growing over it. The police however are only concerned about the present-day ownership of the land and although the new owner purchased it only fifteen days ago, he is still held responsible because he is the owner now. The problem is with the ownership. If one were to look at it as it is, it was obvious that the goods were buried before the rain. Past ownership has no value or responsibility. Current owner bears all responsibility.
“I am Chandulal” is being owner of the body and hence responsible for all its acts. “ I am pure Soul” is the State of the Gnani where is no ownership at all and hence no liability of violence at all.
You will only find a resolution when you understand everything from such detailed perspective. How else can this puzzle be solved?
“It is a puzzle. The world is the puzzle itself. How can one solve this puzzle? There are two viewpoints to solving this puzzle: One ‘relative’ viewpoint, one ‘real’ viewpoint."
If one does not solve this puzzle, then one will become dissolved in it, like everyone else in this world.
Questioner: By saying ‘I am not the owner of this body’ will people not exploit situations and do as they please?
Dadashri: No, people would not admit to this openly. Would a person not immediately become an owner of his body if someone were to slap him? Even if someone insulted him, would he not immediately assume ownership and retaliate? Would his reactions not prove that he becomes the owner? One cannot accomplish anything by merely saying it. One would have to have the experience of it.
Questioner: But is it not a sin to travel by car because of the violence involved?
Dadashri: The world is full of sin. It is only when one ceases to be the owner of one’s body, that one becomes sinless. Otherwise as long as a person is the owner of the body, everything that he does is a sin.
Many life forms are killed during respiration. And when we speak we send thousands of life forms colliding to their deaths. Even the movement of one’s hand causes death to so many life forms. Although they are invisible, they are still being killed. And therefore it is all sin.
The ownership over one’s body ceases with the realization of ‘I am not this body’ and one becomes free from all sin. As for myself, I have not had ownership over this mind, this speech or this body for the past twenty-six years. There is no responsibility left, since the ‘ownership documents’ have been destroyed, which is why I am completely and absolutely non-violent. I perpetually live as The Self, the ‘home department’. I am absolutely non-violent in the ocean of violence.
Questioner: Does one become non-violent after taking this Gnan?
Dadashri: In giving you this Gnan, I have made you Self-Realized. Now, violence will not touch you provided that you follow my Agnas (Five cardinal instructions to maintain liberated state). If you make a strong decision to follow my Agnas, you will reap tremendous benefits. This will lead to final enlightenment. How can violence touch someone who is non-violent?
Questioner: Violence does not affect those who experience the Nine Kalams (Dada’s prayer of nine principles) in their everyday lives.
Dadashri: Violence does affect them, but if they recite the Nine Kalams, the violence that they have done up until this moment, is erased. However, if a person follows the five Agnas, violence does not touch him at all. When he abides by my Agnas, he is completely separate from the physical body, even while immersed in the ocean of violence. The body, because it is solid matter becomes an instrument of hurt for many life forms. Even a single movement of one’s hand destroys so many life forms, whereas the Soul, which is extremely subtle, cannot harm any living being. In my books it is written that although I live in the 'ocean of violence', I am completely non-violent. There is no violence in my mind. At certain times my speech is a little harsh and therefore violent, but then the speech is merely a ‘tape-recorder playing’. Although I am not the owner of this speech, but because the ‘tape-recorder’ is ‘mine’, I am at fault to an extent and for this I do pratikraman.
Questioner: Through the medium of your non-violent words, we all mahatmas (Dadashri’s Self-realized followers) are becoming non-violent.
Dadashri: You are non-violent if you follow my Agnas. If you find this too difficult, tell me so, so that I can change them for you.
The Keval Gnani (The Fully Enlightened Being) Manifests Where There Is Absolute Non-Violence
The highest religion is the one where a person is able to acquire the knowledge of the subtlest understanding of non-violence. Keval Gnan is associated with absolute non-violence. When you encounter a religion where violence ceases, be assured that such a religion is right.
The world is not devoid of violence at all. The world itself is violence. When you become non-violent, the world will become non-violent too. Without the reign of absolute non-violence, one’s awareness would not be complete and Keval Gnan is not possible. There should be absolutely no violence in this state. The supreme divine One resides in every living entity. Who will you hurt? Who will you harm?
The Science Behind The Ultimate Ahimsa
As long as you hold that, ‘I am picking this flower and I am committing violence’ then the laws of violence will bind you. The same laws also bind the people who do not have this awareness. It is only when you revert to your real Self that violence will not affect you under any circumstance. Such a realized person is also very aware of violence in the relative world.
Emperor Bharat who had thirteen thousand wives had to fight a lot of wars. In spite of this he was able to remain in his enlightened state. How did he manage to do that? What spiritual knowledge did he possess? Nowadays a man with just one wife gets frustrated.
Emperor Bharat expresses to Lord Rushabdev, ‘Lord, I am fighting this war in which so many lives are destroyed. Besides the violence to life is not minor. I am killing human beings. Why do I have to do this violence?’
Lord Rushabdev replies, ‘This is all a result of your past karma, which you will have to settle.’
‘But I too want liberation. I do not want to sit around and wait’ the emperor beseeches.
To this, Lord Rushabdev says, ‘I am giving you this Akram Vignan. This science will take you to liberation. Despite living with your queens and engaging in wars, nothing will affect you. You will be able to remain absolutely untouched and separate. Such is the Gnan I am giving you.’
Suspicion Perpetuates Mistakes
After this Gnan, one becomes a Pure Soul. When one understands the nature of the Self, all negative karma or violence that happens, is not part of the Self. Such an individual has complete awareness of the Pure Soul.
As long as one doubts and feels responsible for the acts of violence, one should ask ‘Chandubhai’ the relative self to recite the following prayer five times each morning: ‘I do not want to hurt any living being with my mind, my speech or my body. This is my absolute resolve’. When you recite this with Dada Bhagwan as your witness, all the responsibility will then be His.
Those of you who have no doubts need not worry. I have no doubts, but it is natural for you to have them because this Gnan has been given to you. There is a tremendous difference in the way a man relates to his world when he has gone through life earning and laboring for money and another whose money has been handed to him.
In reality the Soul that the Gnani Purush has come to know, can never hurt anyone, nor can it be hurt by anyone. And this is nature of the Real Self.
Suffering, Non-suffering And The Self
A man once asked me what he could do to be able to tolerate the mosquitoes. I told him to sit and meditate and just observe the mosquitoes if they bite him. He insisted that he could not do that, so then I told him that whenever a mosquito landed on him, he should say, “I am beyond suffering; suffering is not my nature” In this way, he would gradually come nearer to his ‘home department’ (the Real Self). And after going through this experience of mosquito biting a hundred to two hundred times he will attain the non-suffering state.
What does it mean to be a non-suffer? It means to know that the mosquito has bitten the body, and where it has bitten. He does not have any suffering. In reality, the Real Self does not experience any suffering, but whatever apparent suffering he endures, is because of his previous habit of saying that the mosquito has bitten him.
You need to understand completely the state of the Pure Soul. This will happen by constantly remaining in this satsang. For now, you can get by with just repeating that you are Pure Soul. Doing this will stop the binding of karma. When you become free from the false belief that you are the body, you cease to bind karma.
Questioner: So, when a mosquito bites me, should I simply say, “I am not the sufferer?"
Dadashri: Yes. If a mosquito lands on your arm while you are sitting here, your initial experience will be the knowledge that it has landed; you will become aware of this. At this precise moment are you in the state of awareness or are you in the state of suffering? What do you think?
Questioner: When it sits on my arm, I am aware of it.
Dadashri: Yes, and that same state of knowledge is also there when it bites you. But when you say, ‘the mosquito bit me!’ you become the sufferer. In reality, you are not the sufferer. You are only the knower. When the mosquito bites you, say ‘I am the non-sufferer’ and when it bites you more, repeat, ‘ I am the non-sufferer.’
Questioner: You have talked about the non-sufferer, but then you have also mentioned eternal bliss.
Dadashri: You cannot use the word ‘the bliss of the Self’. It refers to a very high state of being, the ultimate state. For now, you should simply use the word ‘the non-sufferer’. By using this word, your suffering will decrease. It will not cease immediately. Bliss of The Self means Gnan: The Knowledge itself. One is purely in the ‘knowing’ state. The sting may hurt intensely but the Real Self is merely the Knower of the event and does not experience any suffering at all.
Questioner: Is the reaction of, ‘the mosquito bit me’, that follows the mosquito bite, the same reaction that is acknowledged in the bliss of the Self?
Dadashri: Yes. He is the Knower of that too. The One is the knower of the one who says, ‘the mosquito bit me.’
Questioner: When you asked us to say, ‘ I am not suffering, I am not suffering’, then people around would think that the suffering is gone.
Dadashri: No, that is not so. He is the Knower of the suffering as well, but people do not have the capacity to remain in the ‘knowing’ state when they experience suffering. But if he were to utter, ‘I am not the sufferer’ the suffering would not affect him. The inherent nature of the Soul is that it has no suffering, so that when one says, ‘I am not the sufferer’, he remains truly unaffected. The state of the Bliss of The Self is much higher. As one begins to remain in the state of awareness, one moves towards this state. In that state, not only does one have the knowledge of the sting, but also the knowledge of when the stinging stops and the departure of the mosquito from the site of the sting. In the state of no suffering, one is able to tolerate the sting without the suffering.
Questioner: Can one come to know The Self through the bliss of Self?
Dadashri: The Soul is bliss eternal. You have ‘taken’ this Gnan,but the old ego and attachment that you have brought from your previous life does not leave easily.
Questioner: The One who is Bliss Incarnate, is his vision complete and absolute?
Dadashri: Yes it is complete and absolute but that state cannot be attained in this time cycle. A vision of three hundred and sixty degrees happens in full enlightenment, Keval Gnan. This bliss state is not attainable in this era.
Can Mud Taint Light?
Are you aware of the light of the Self? If the headlights from a car fall on the sewage, would the light rays be affected by the stench? Will the light take on the color of the sewage?
Dadashri: So then can this light become tainted with mud?
Dadashri: The light can touch the mud, but the mud can never touch the light. Even the headlight of a car has such properties, what would the light of the Soul be like? It can never be smothered or tainted at all. That is why the Soul is eternally unaffected, uncontaminated, pure and remains separate. Nothing touches it and nothing sticks to it: That is what the Soul is like!
The Self is in the form of light, but not this kind of light. I have seen that light. It is indeed a light. A wall can obstruct the light from a car’s headlights, whereas nothing can obstruct the light of the Self. Even walls and mountains cannot obstruct it. Only the living body is capable of obstructing the Self.
Questioner: Why does the body obstruct it?
Dadashri: Because the living body is a mixture of matter and the Self. If there were only pure matter in the body, it could not be obstructed.
Questioner: Your example of the light and sewage was very pertinent.
Dadashri: Yes, but I only give it occasionally. Generally I do not use that analogy with everyone because it may be misconstrued and lead people astray.
The Self-realized One Is Absolutely Non-Violent
Dadashri: Now if moonlight illuminated the roads, would a person drive car if it had no working headlights?
Questioner: Yes I he would.
Dadashri: And when he turn on the lights he would see a myriad insects whirring around in the beam, bashing against the vehicle and being killed, but until then he are not aware of the insects being killed. With the lights he is filled with the doubt that, ‘I am being violent. I am killing insects.’
So many people do not have the ‘light’ at all, which is why they do not see the insects or question the fact that violence is taking place. People see by whatever ‘light’ they have. As the light increases, they will see that many insects are being killed. In the same way, as one’s awareness increases, one is able to see more and more of one’s own faults, otherwise one is oblivious to them. The Soul is the light. When it touches the life forms, it does not harm them because it passes through them effortlessly. This is because the insects are gross and the Soul is extremely subtle. The Self is absolutely non-violent. If you were to remain as the Self, then you would also be absolutely non-violent. But if you become the owner of the physical body, then you enter the world of violence. When you have this realization, how can you be held liable for any violence? That is why after becoming the Pure Self, karma can never bind you.
Questioner: So then even after committing violence of life forms, karmas cannot bind us!
Dadashri: Violence cannot happen. When become the Self, violence is impossible.
The person who attains Self-Realization is beyond all applicable laws. The laws of the world remain as long as one is identified with the body, and hence is liable to cause karma. No law of any scripture, no karma of any kind, and no violence of any kind touches the Self –realized one.
Questioner: What is the religion of ahimsa? Does it arise spontaneously?
Dadashri: No it does not arise spontaneously. Non-violence is the nature of the Self, and violence is not the nature of the Self. In fact, ahimsa is not the innate property of the Self. Like all other dualities it becomes evident in the One who has attained the Self.
It is extremely important that you understand all this. This is ‘Akram Vignan’, the science of all the Vitarags, the twenty-four Tirthankaras! Because you have not heard of it, you will wonder if such a thing is really possible. If you have any doubts about its validity, then you will fail to accomplish your goal. Your goal will only be accomplished in the absence of doubts and questions.
The nature of the Self is so subtle that it can penetrate fire and yet be unaffected. So tell me how can any violence affect it? Violence affects those who identify with the physical body and believe the physical body to be their real self. If violence were to affect the Soul, then there would be no liberation for anyone. But everything is beautifully arranged for liberation. You may not understand this from where you stand, but when you attain Self-Realization, this entire science will open up to you!!
Jai Sat Chit Anand
The Awareness Of The Eternal Is Bliss
taroj hu bhavo bhavno rooni…param purush vitarag
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