5.SELF_RESTRAINT ESSENTIAL FOR WORLD PEACE.

 

 

         Today American Imperialism and Soviet Communism have plunged both the nations into a headlong race in the preparations of atomic armament ; which would certainly lead them to a precipice of worldwide disaster and destruction hard to conceive . No doubt it is but natural for uncivilised peoples to be led away by the crude instincts of greed ; but how can it be justified in case of civilised and cultured peoples ? The wonder is that due to immence greed of power and pelf the nations of the world today are ever ready to pounce upon each other . Really the present political chaos is the result of this undue indulgance in the thirst of greed . Nations are built of individuals and no individual can persevere long in a fictitious character , for , nature will reassert itself . Common man of today greedy and ignorant as he is presents a sorry figure in the present world . He is faltering in the darkness of ignorance of his own real nature , he has forgotten his duty towards huminity . Today he delights in creating barriers of colour , country and caste between man and man . It never occurs to him that the people of the world belong to one mankind . Huminity is always above one’s nationality . Every common man owes a duty to humanity . Man’s sojourn on this planet is momentary . Being even aware of this , man swerves from the Right Path , like the man whose lamp has been put off by the wind and is unable to see his way . The Light of Right Knowledge can make the Path visible . And then common man will take Right Step forward . He will love and serve all living beings .

         “ We are ” , said Seneca , “ to relieve the distressed , to put the wanderer into his way , and to divide our bread with the hungry , which is but the doing of good to ourselves ; for , we are only several members of one great body .” In fact contenment is a duty we owe to ourselves it being that without which it is impossible to be happy . But the contenment consists not in adding more fuel but in taking away some fire ; not in multiplying of wealth , but in subtracting men’s desires ; because desire is the root cause of all evil . Desire in any shape or form has been truly styled Himsa : violance to one’s self ; since it disturbs the inner peace of Soul and causes disturbance in outer atmosphere as well . With desires let loose , a pennilesspauper can be a great sinner and guilty of heinous crime . Jaina Teacher says :

         “ Parigraha , possessiveness is nothing else but a state of infatuation in wordly objects and connections . Murchha Parigraha

         common man of today has to discriminate between good , worth acquiring and bad , best to discard . Who will be a torchbearer of Light in this darkness ? India , the sacred land of Mahavira , Buddha and Gandhi can shine again to mediate between nations . Because in India we are taught to practise Ahimsa and we are very close to the spiritual advancement . Every Indian sees the footsteps which Gandhiji has left behind on the sands of time ; Ahimsa and Aparigraha illuminated the very path which he trod . His contentment was so great that he kept himself aloof from the State . His contentment opened his heart for the good of all . Of course a contented man is always active to limit his desires and to eradicate the very instinct of possessiveness . A spiritual-minded common man indeed takes delight in controlling his eternal craving appropriating and amassing things of the world . Jaina Tirthankaras proclaimed : -

         “ Fire burns when fed with fuel , and goes out for want of it . But it is a wonder that the terrible fire of delusion blazes strongly in both the ways on getting objects of desire and also on not getting them . Therefore reduce your wants and acquire true insight . ”

         The Jaina laymen are expected , and most of them endeavour to reduce their wants to the minimum with due regard to their position and circumstances in life . A householder may well earn and acquire as much as he can , by only fair and proper means ; but he is to do this in order , who are in need and are not capable through physical incapacity or other adequate reason to procure what they need . This is the way of observance of the vow of Aparigraha by a common man and certainly if the people of all nations adhere to it , the very many acute problems which face them will be solved in no time . This vow is original to Jainism and has a great cultural value for the good of mankind . Because to put in the words of Dr. Beni Prasad :- 

         “ It really denotes a certain self-restraint in the face of pleasure , a certain stoicism before

temptations , a certain detachment from superfluities and super abundances . In expounding that one should not feel too much attachment towards his own material possessions and should resist all temptations . One may keep wealth and commodities to satisfy in the pursuit of material gain . At the same time , one should rise above prejudices , jealousies , greed , vanity , fear , hotred , suscaptibility etc. If this vow of non-possessiveness were followed , it would prevent ruthless and lustful competition for wealth and empire , which is the bane of the present age and is responsible for its gravest ills ( Likewise it would dispel the clouds of disequalities in life which are making the youth of every nation today to adopt an attitude full of Himsa ( violence ) against their fellow beings , though it is called by the fair name of Communism . Shorn of Ahimsa no ‘ism’ can claim to bring about a peaceful state in this world .) The attitude of mind which it ( Vow of Stoicism-Aparigraha ) inculcates is perhaps more necessary today than ever before . It is the negation of sordid , all absorbing materialism . Science has multiplied production and scattered superfluities here and there . Modern industry and commerce have fostered growth of large towns where life is lived not only in great hurry but also on an artificial plane .

         “ Men are caught up in a vast net-work of impersonal force which seem to defy understanding . They succumb to psychological maladies , nervous breakdown , partial or complete , which is one of the most tragic phenomena of the present age . The battle of life that is the higher life , has become difficult and can be fought only with that attitude of stoicism which the Vow of Non Possessiveness stress . From a slightly different point of view , this Vow may be described as the right sense of proportion , a perception of the true scale of values .”

         With a sincere resolve to live life of spiritual advancement and by adopting voluntarily the vows of Ahimsa , Truth and Aparigraha , the common man of today can easily dissolve the seeming disequalities between man and man . Man ignored the spiritual side of life and fell down from the Kingdom of Heaven , which once blessed this very planet . Eating the forbidden fruit of sin , of materialism , man has lost his ‘Soul’ and Satan rules over him . In such circumstances , it is not worth while to remain any longer in the darkness of ignorance of spiritual advancement . Our material progress should be guided by the spirit of Ahimsa . And in order to achieve this good and beneficial object , it is incumbent on each and every common man to foster the sublime principles of Ahimsa , Truth and Aparigraha . Let there be a “ Ahimsa club ” or

“ Ahimsa Temple ” in every town and city , where lessons should be imparted and means should be devised to infuse the spirit of Ahimsa in every phase of human life . Let the common man persuade his Government to introduce education based on the Ahimsa morality and thereby create such citizens , who may safeguard the safety and security of every living being and destroy the fear of the next war . Let the Government of every nation establish a “ Ahimsa University ” in their country , which may foster international culture relations and impart high education of comparative science of Religion .

         By creating a social technique of Ahimsa life through self restraint and by observing the vows man would succeed in keeping under control the eternal craving and four instincts of mundane life , which would lead him to a better life of equality , safety and security . Then the heart of man would change and peace and prosperity would pervade the world . So let us declare once again that :--

         Ahimsa is the panacea for all ills from which the modern world is suffering and AHIMSA only is the right solution of all the problems which today are facing the world .

         May mutual love prevail the world ;

         May delusion dwell at a distance !

         May all understand the Laws of truth ,

         And joyfully , sorrow and suffering endure!

         May Peace and Prosperity prevail !