Ahimsa, All is One, See Others As Yourself
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2014-04-23
The desire to harm comes from discontent. A profound basis for ahimsa is that everything is One and everything is Divine. See the Divine shine forth in all beings, all peoples. Looking deeper, we see that we're One Being. Patanjali points out: Attachment is attraction to and aversion from. It's both. Seeing all as a One Being, there's no question of attraction or repulsion.
Master Course, Living with Siva, Lesson 11.
Today's Living with Siva, Lesson 11.
"The first yama is ahimsa, noninjury. To practice ahimsa, one has to practice santosha, contentment. The sadhana is to seek joy and serenity in life, remaining content with what one has, knows, is doing and those with whom he associates. Bear your karma cheerfully. Live within your situation contentedly. Himsa, or injury, and the desire to harm, comes from discontent. "
So, the quality of the instinctive mind that: If we're miserable someone else can't be happy. That's not fair, right? Life isn't being fair. Here we are we're upset, we're depressed, we're discouraged and unhappy and our spouse is happy and buoyant and all and we can't allow that to happen.
So that's what it's pointing out that the desire to harm comes from discontent. If we're disturbed at all then we're much more likely to harm someone else than if we're content. Therefore, the two are very closely tied together.
"The rishis who revealed the principles of dharma or divine law in Hindu scripture knew full well the potential for human suffering and the path which could avert it. To them a one spiritual power flowed in and through all things in this universe, animate and inanimate, conferring existence by its presence. To them life was a coherent process leading all souls without exception to enlightenment, and no violence could be carried to the higher reaches of that ascent. These rishis were mystics whose revelation disclosed a cosmos in which all beings exist in interlaced dependence. The whole is contained in the part, and the part in the whole. Based on this cognition, they taught a philosophy of nondifference of self and other, asserting that in the final analysis we are not separate from the world and its manifest forms, nor from the Divine which shines forth in all things, all beings, all peoples. From this understanding of oneness arose the philosophical basis for the practice of noninjury and Hinduism's ancient commitment to it."
That's a very profound basis for ahimsa which is that everything is One and everything is Divine. So, if we perceive it that way then we certainly don't want to harm it. We treat others like we treat the murti in our shrine or the murti in the temple then, then we're treating them in the right spirit. We shouldn't see a difference. They should be as divine to us as the murti is.
Here's some verses in Isa Upanishad I pulled out which relate to that. First two are kind of fun, fun way of looking at it.
"Isa is unmoving, one, swifter than the mind. The senses do not reach It as It is ever ahead of them. Though Itself standing still It outstrips those who run. In It the all-pervading air supports the activities of beings."
There's an interesting meditation if you enjoy walking, meditating. "Though Itself standing still It outstrips those who run."
So you're here and you're walking there. Takes time, right? You walk from here to there. But, God's omnipresence is already there even though It's standing still. So It's standing still and you're moving but It's already there. A paradox to ponder if you enjoy that kind of thing when you're walking.
Or, said another way: Part of you is moving and part of you is standing still. And the part of you that's standing still is omnipresent. That's another way of saying the same thing.
"It moves and It moves not; It is far and It is near; It is within all this and It is also outside all this."
So, It's everywhere.
"And he who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings, he does not feel any hatred by reason of such a view."
So this is a very profound point and relates to the one that Gurudeva made in the ahimsa verse there. Seeing the Divine shine forth in all beings, all peoples. That we have a aversion, a hatred, a negative reaction toward a person; what does that mean? Means you're looking at their personality. Somehow it's different than our personality. And the two aren't getting along at the moment. If we look deeper, then we see the soul; we see the Divine. And if we look even deeper we see that we're a One Being.
So, it's a very interesting idea. Was thinking of developing that, maybe next phase.
Cause normally when we think of attachment, relates to attachment. Normally, when we think of attachment: "Oh I'm attached" it means to something we like. I'm too attached to coffee in the morning. So, we like coffee, that's why we say we're attached. But, Patanjali points out: Attachment is attraction to and aversion from. It's both! It's an interesting point and I think I'll develop it. Cause we normally don't think of attachment as: If we really don't like someone or don't like something that that's a form of attachment. So, it's worth looking at, huh? Sounds interesting.
So that's part of this. You could also turn it the other way around. He who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings; he does not feel any attraction to them. Because he is; it's all One Being. How can you be attracted, how can the left foot be attracted to the right foot? You know? It's all a One Being. You see it as a One Being there's no question of attraction or repulsion. It's just a One Being. So, it's a way of overcoming attachment.
"When, to one who knows, all beings have, verily, become one with his own self, then what delusion and what sorrow can be to him who has seen the oneness?"
Absolutely! So, very interesting, very interesting Upanishad. Isa: It's short. You might enjoy looking at it. I was looking at it this morning.
Thank you very much. Wonderful day.