Dynamics of Ahimsa
The universe is dynamic. Irrespective of its speculated origin with the
Big Bang or otherwise, its existence as we see it is a consequence of
dynamism in a sustaining balance.
The concept of static is therefore a relative phenomenon. For instance
life is dynamic and death is static, or so it seems. Though antithetical, the two states are inseparable. One without the other is
untenable. Whatever our perspective, we find that equilibrium is the
ultimate phenomenon in nature. Imbalance leads to chaos and destruction.
Once Tirthankara Mahavira transcended from contemplation to direct
perception, he realised that he lived within a dynamic system. He found
his soul and body to be dynamic. Whatever object he set his eyes on he
found to be intrinsically dynamic. He paused at anything that he apparently found static but after closer inspection he found that it was
indeed dynamic. Once he established that the only thing static in this
universe was death or extinction of the form under consideration, he set
about framing codes of how best to live in such a dynamic system and
pursue the goal of ultimate balance, the state of eternal bliss.
When dealing with a dynamic system we have to be careful not to disturb
it and so precautions have to be taken. Any proposed variations should
be thought out carefully. This is applicable when we are outside the
system. However, when we are within the system or part of the system we
have not only to be careful about such changes but also about changes
within us, and our behaviour within the system. To pursue what one desires in such a multi-dimensional dynamic system is a daunting task.
However, Mahavira devised a simple and universal formula — he called it
Ahimsa. As transgression is himsa, non-transgression or limiting needs
and desires within these systemic standards is ahimsa.
Mahavir's definition of the living starts with visible forms of life,
covers microscopic forms and extends to life-sustaining components of
nature like earth, water, air, fire and plants. In Mahavira’s ahimsa way
of life, non-transgression has been discussed in detail and given a wide
definition. It is a fundamental principle and can be applied, with necessary variations, to every dimension and at every level within a
specific dimension. At the micro level it covers all that is covered by
particle physics. In biological field it covers all things and activities of the world of living, micro and macro. At gross levels it
covers everything and every process existing in nature. At subtle level
of human psyche it covers all disciplines of humanities.
Success of a complex system, like human society, lies in continued
interaction and cooperation among its numerous components in terms of
action and the driving thought process. Mahavir's ahimsa way of life
involves three vital factors -- dynamism, discipline, and equilibrium or
equanimity. These factors are linked with ahimsa way of life forming a
mutually dependent progressive cycle of development. When any one of
these factors improves it automatically brings improvement in other factors and the whole system.
The edifice of Jainism is raised on the foundation of this dynamic
ahimsa. Mahavira expanded it into a way of life that helps one transcend
into the spiritual realm. But prior to that, it ensures meaningful survival in this highly dynamic and fragile ecosystem by providing a
symbiotic methodology of living based on ahimsa.
Courtsy - The Times of India