4.AHIMSA : ESSENTIAL FUNDAMENT FOR AN IDEAL SOCIETY.

 

 

         Instinct of sensual pleasure has become somewhat a natural trait of mundane life , although it can never be the characteristic of the soul . Soul , by nature as we know , is all happiness and joy . Persons who are ambitious to attain it in this very life , retire in seclusion and observe renunciation and maditation . They are to lead a saintly life ; but the common man cannot at once become a saint . Hence for a common man there is a regulated course of conduct based on Ahimsa ethics . Of course , common man has also to remember well that ambitions and desires are not his , - nor they are the things of his soul , rather they are due to the pollution of the soul by wrong belief , wrong speech and wrong action . Thus acquired these desires and passions become so predominant in life that the real essence of soul becomes subservient to them . The will of man , thus , is an instrument of expression of his animate sensual craving and not a characteristic of the soul . It is mostly our physical body which prompts to fashion our will and the poor common man little knows that he is not acting for the good and enlightenment of his soul , when he listens to the biddings of his sweet will , in order to fulfill the gross and sinful desires pertaining to sensual gratification .

         The common man forgets that his likings and dislikes are founded rather upon humour and fancy than upon reason . Usually the common men follow their wishes and desires till suffering compels them to follow their judgement of discrimination between good and evil . Such a man loves himself more than all the rest of men and always seeks to fulfill his nefarious and selfish ambitions , which cause disorder and unrest in the society . Of course it is apparent that animate instinct of sensual craving called Maithun Samjna by the Jaina Thinkers , works in its own way in every living being in this universe , but man is expected to think and act in a rational way , since he is the highest developed living creature : as such he should not be swayed by the will of his sensual urging . As a man , he should enjoy life ; but with a Right Belief in Soul and Matter , which creates an Ahimsaist disposition in him . For such a Right Believer the following of the Tirthankara is full of meaning :

         “ All the objects , the body , the house , the wealth , the life , the son , the friend , the enemy and the like are all quite different in their nature from the soul . Only a foolishman however , would look upon them as his own . In fact , they are no help and no protection to him . ”

         However , the wonder is that today the common man disregards this Truth and blindly follows the unnatural way of life . He forgets that a regulated and pure life is more comfortable and easy to live . A Jaina sage sounds a nice warning in the following stanzas :

         “ There is no demerit in enjoying pleasure , but there is demerit in doing what tends to destroy their source . Indigestion is not caused by sweet food , but by eating beyond its limit . When thou takest a pleasure in all this hunting , adultery etc ., which produce much fear in the very begining , which evidently cause pain and which are pursued by sinner , why dost thou not take the same view of piety , which is for the good of both the ( present and

future ) worlds , which is pursued by those who are rich in wisdom and have not abandoned senseenjoyment . ”

         It is wise , therefore , to live a life regulated on the ethical foundation of Ahimsa ; so that a common man may become righteous and an asset for the betterment of human society . By adopting a regulated self-controlled life alone , the righteous “ Shall shine forth as the Sun in the Kingdom of the Heaven . ” Christianity , too , warns the common man to be alert to righteous and avoid the following seven sins towards their Lord : --

         “ A proud look , a lying tongue , and hands that shed innocent blood ;

         An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations feet that be swift in running to mischief ;

         A false witness that speaketh lies , and he that soweth discord among brethren . ”

                                             ------ ( Bible proverbs 6 )

         Hence “ Blessed are the pure in heart ; for they shall see God . ” And “ blessed are the peace- makers for they shall be the children of God .”

                       ------- ( Matthew , v. I. 10 )

         But where could be seen these children of God among the occidentals ? The modern civilisation and culture has dazzled the eyes of people by materialistic achievements and they are unable to see and estimate the value of a righteous life . They know nothing of the Ahimsa Culture . Eat , drink and be merry , -is the way the modern world lives and likes . People think that man is on the highest ring of evolution and it can be well justified , for his survival if any form of life suffers for him . These materialistic notions can never stand in line with the teachings of Ahimsa Culture , Modern man should learn again , to be meek and merciful . He should not shed innocent blood , either of man or animal , for the sake of his sensual appetite ; when the same can be satiated by other means . Over-indulgence in sensual pleasures is a sin and this has led the world to great misery and distress .

         Fashion is another factor which has created havoc in society , because it is for fashions sake that hundreds and thousands of poor creatures are being mercilessly butchered every day . Man is becoming sick of this dreadful life ; yet he has no Right Path to follow . Everyday today wants to return to a comfortable life of decency : modesty , love and discipline . They also want to reform the fashion and social custioms . Though they wish to hide their sexual urge , yet it has so over-whelmed them that they are no better than animals , rather they are worse from them , for animals resort to sexual intercourse in their seasonal periods only and they never lose themselves so badly as to become deteriorated physically . But look at the man , whose passion has made him sexual-minded for all seasons in life . Such man destory their vitality in sexual gratification ; not for bearing children but simply to fulfil their sensual desire . They forgot that true pleasure is never to be had from outer thing , because it is not inherent in them . Real thing which happens , is this that the urge of desire or sensual craving been removed by its fulfilment , a tinge of the Souls inner happiness is felt ; which being momentary shades away duly and a thirst for pleasure continues . Desires never end . A dog chewing a bone bleeds its mouth and feels a pleasure in it . Yet , the poor creature little knows that it is its own blood , which it licks and wrongly feels that bone is the source of its pleasure . Similar is the condition with human beings . Man being led blindly by his wrong belief , has become a prey of desires and craving . Having lost the balance of judgement , man is mad to indulge in pleasure pursuits . Thereby he kills his own soul and also causes injury to other life ; because desire in itself is Himsa ( Injury ) . Over-indulgence in sexual gratification and the lack of self-control , have created a new problem of over-population and the false means of birth control are being preached . But these are the causes for the degradation of the Society at large .

         Desire , in fact , is the gratest devil , which allures minds to lower tastes and ideals and makes them mere slaves of instincts and passions . Such weaklings today abound in excess and they are looking to cheap and unsocial devices of birth-control which being un-natural will only degenerate the general moral and health of the people . Self-controlled men of moral courage are dwindling in number every day . Then how can a set of  “ isms ” like Socialism or Communism , put the things right ? These ‘ isms ’ try to tackle the problem only from outside ; since they only aim at a material or economical reform of the society without touching the inner souls of individuals who constitute the society . Their ideals are praiseworthy , but their means for the achievement of those ideals are not sound . These revolutionaries are endesvouring to bring an equalisation amongst the members of the Society by brutal force and political chaos . They kill and rob innocent citizens and thus are no less dangers than the fanatic sectarians who take pleasure in killing and robbing those who are not of their creed . But they forget that methods of violence , and chaos never lead to evolution ; they only breed contempt disgust and dissatisfaction . Hence in order to bring a sound equalisation among the human beings , it is essential to spread Right Knowledge about life , its destination , the way of its progress and evolution which will lead the man to think and act in a human and rational way . This will change the heart of man and satisfy his intellect . While , on the other hand , materialistic desires and pursuasions , always offer only substitutes to the Personality Consciousness in place of the Reality ; which like the Kingdom of Heaven , lies within the Man . Therefore , if the creation of an ideal Society is desirable , then the common man the basic unit of Society must confine his thoughts to acquire the Right Knowledge of himself and the world around , through the guidence of Ahimsa . Then and then only , he willnot create Atom or Hydrogen bombs ; but he will endeavour to lead humanity to the kingdom of Heaven ! Then the man will act with self-control and in a spirit of detachment , thus glorifying God in him .

         Therefore so long as the individual succumbs to the urgings of senses , the Desire , he can never discover the evil it brings . It cripples its Soul and the individual never realises the harm which it causes . Because , he never feels that desire is not the essence of the Soul , but is a sort of disease . Hence to fulfill desires is to exchange misery for bliss . It has brutalized the human nature , with the result of worldwide suffering . The dignity of man itself requires obedience to the higher law of the Spirit , which is Ahimsa . Mahatma Gandhi once remarked that :

         “ The human body is meant solely for service never for indulgance . All great religious have rightly regarded Kama ( desire ) as the arch enemy of man . Without overcoming lust man cannot hope to rule over Self . The conquest of lust is the highest endeavour of a man or a woman’s existence . To have no control over the senses , is like sailing in a rudderless ship , bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock . ”

         In fact , a free indulgance in gratification of sexual craving and desires , is no better than the putting on of golden shackels , but whether golden or iron , shackels are after all shackels . Where is the self-respect of man and how can he claim to be a free citizen , when he is hand and foot bound by desires ? Wonderfully the common man today delights under these fetters and hugs them like a precious thing . He knows little that thereby he has become a siave to his lower nature and the triumph of Satan over him is complete ! He forgets that self-discipline are the very first conditions of being free . The secret of a free and happy life , is hidden in the teachings of self-restraint . Tirthankara Mahavira set an example of ideal life and self-restraint by his renunciation . He proclaimed that :

         “ Man , exert and control your self . Subdue your Self , the Self is difficult to subdue . If Your self is subdued , you will be happy in this world and in the next . ”

                                  ( Uttaradhyayana Sutra , 15.1. )

         In an ideal society each and every member of it , whether a man or a woman , should possess the Right Knowledge and Right Conduct ; thereby observing the lofty ideals of Universal Love , Truth , Non-attachmant , Service and Sacrifice . Ideal mothers will teach , rather will make the babe imbide these ideals in themselves in their laps . In such an ideal society only , everyday would feel to think , speak and act in a true spirit of comradeship . Ahimsa would dispel the ignorance and false ideas of nationality etc. Then there would be no outside restriction , state bindings or controls . Marriage would be a sacrament to improve the life of individuals by remaining satiated with one’s wife or husband and rendering selfless service to one and all . Progency of such idealistic parents would live to work for the spiritual as well as material advancement and progress of mankind as a whole . In such an ideal society the life of our lesser brethren the animals and birds also would be safe and free .