Hinduism

What is Nonviolence?

In today’s world, violence is becoming the answer for each and every irritant and misunderstanding. But, spirituality forbids violence, whatever may be the provocation. Jesus Christ advises us to turn the other cheek, if someone strikes us. Buddhism teaches us that compassion and nonviolence are basic tenets to attain nirvana. Hinduism’s Yajurveda Samhita forbids humans from using their body to kill God’s creatures. The Quran also prohibits violence.

Benefits of Nonviolence

The soul force of nonviolence has been used by many oppressed communities to get freedom and independence. Nonviolence is essential for different communities and faiths to co-exist peacefully. Mahatma Gandhi is known all over the world for his effective use of nonviolence to win freedom for India from British colonialism. Peaceful techniques are thus more effective as they win the sympathy of neutral onlookers and mobilize public opinion.

Practical Uses of Nonviolence

The practice of nonviolence gives us immense peace of mind. When our mind is calm, we feel kindness, compassion and love for even our enemies. Such positive feelings have a beneficial impact on our physical health. Negative emotions such as suspicion, fear and lack of confidence fuel violence. Constant fear can even affect our immune system. For the individual, practicing nonviolence proves immense inner strength. For the community, nonviolence is an effective collective force that can shake up any opposition.

Nonviolence is Inborn

Swami Dayananda Saraswati opines that nonviolence should not be imposed. A person has to realize its importance personally, before they can implement it. Religious leaders therefore should strive to make the layman understand the finer points of nonviolence to motivate them.

Dalai Lama on Nonviolence

The Dalai Lama says the motivation for nonviolence arises when we feel concern and compassion for others. When we desist from harming others, even when the opportunity arises, then we practice genuine nonviolence. The Dalai Lama says India’s culture of unity in diversity has had a profound influence on him. He rates nonviolence as one of India’s foremost principles.

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