True Meaning Of Ahimsa (Non-Violence)
The Jain belief is that all living things have an atma, a soul that
provides them the characteristic of a living being. Without the soul the body is ajiva, lifeless.
The soul is considered to be a breakaway fragment of a Super Consciousness,
Paramatma, which, due to karmic bonds, is locked into a cycle of birth and death. The terms birth and death indicate the transmigration of the soul from one body to another. The soul in its purest form is a replica of the Super Consciousness and is thus all knowing, free from all feelings, and in a constant state of bliss.
The true nature of Soul is to revert to its purest form. The degree of karmic bondage to the soul varies; it could be from a mild level to an extreme level. For human minds to comprehend it, the same could be expressed in terms of colour.The soul could be any colour ranging from the mild to a jet
black. The deeper the bond of karmic influences, the more difficult it is to free the soul of it.
The Jain concept of non-violence could be misunderstood. Generally non-violence is associated with not being violent towards living beings. But that's not all. The Jain concept of non-violence has far
broader connotations. To understand the scope of it, one has to go back to the true nature of the soul. Since the soul is locked into a cycle of birth and death due to karmic bonds, its liberation from this cycle and the return to its blissful, all-knowing state, lies in shedding all karmic bonds.
As per Jain thought karmic bondage happens due to the soul's attachment to the world that we see and perceive and in which we exist. This world is in existence and visible to us in its
current form due to two phenomena:
First, the interlocking of matter in a space-time paradigm makes up the physical world that we see and perceive as our
world. Matter, as per Jain principles, is not liquids, solids and gases that we see, but the particles that make up the liquids, solids, gases and all that we see or feel or perceive around us.
Second, the attachment of karmic bonds to soul gives rise to souls locked in birth and
death cycles that is, the fusion of soul to matter. The cycle of death and birth is almost eternal for a soul unless
broken by detachment and is released from karmic bonds. For this the soul has to constantly
remember its true character and destination, going back to its pure form. It has to also constantly remember that its presence in the visible world is transient. It has to shed all its karmic bonds to return to its blissful state.
Any attachment to this visible world increases karmic bonds and thus contributes to pollution of the soul. Therefore, to move towards its true destination, the soul has to shed all attachment to the visible world. To shed attachments one has to constantly remember the true nature of the soul, the transient nature of its present state and the fact that it does not belong here. With this realisation, there
ought not to be any tendency or urge to violate whatever one sees and perceives in the world around us. That, according to Jainism, is true non-violence.
Source: The Times of India