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Non Voilence & World Peace

Jain Books

Living Path of Non-Violence

-Acharya Mahaprajna

The chief topic of our deliberations is not disarmament, elimination of war or world peace. The focus of our debate and interaction should be: have we trained human beings adequately enough that they are enabled to take effective and fruitful steps towards the realisation of the objectives of promoting disarmament, removing threat of war and strengthening world peace. We have had enough orations and preachings on the subject fall of virtuous content. Only talk, talk and talk will lead us nowhere. Time has come to determine how we can make peace all pervasive in the life of individual and society.

Those who commit violence or wage wars and conflicts never admit their guilt or confess having done something wrong. In fact they prepare for, as well as, conduct conflicts with utmost efficiency and the use of most modern weapons and technology. On the other hand, protagonists of non-violence only hold conferences and meetings. We have not evolved our weapons to defend ourselves from succumbing to the cult of violence or to be able to sanely prevent it from escalating when it occurs. This is our weakness. In fact, very little effort has been made in this direction.

Look at the contrast. For committing violence or undertaking actions and steps using violence as a tool, there is elaborate training of the army and the police. However, no well conceived training or intense and well-organised effort of a long-ranging and comprehensive nature is there to strengthen the forces of non-violence or to be able to use non-violence as an effective tool; for the solutions to problems that bedeire inter-personal, inter-society, national and international life. Those who wield power and authority betray a dual and at once mutually contradictory and conflicting personality. They tend to over concentrate on programmes of weapon---building programmes and training projects for their use. Precious little is done by them to promote the use of non-violence ways and techniques. There is the lack of balance.

Let us clearly understand the basic truth. War can never be stopped until we go to its root causes and tendencies and tackle them. War is the result of the outcome of certain hostile perceptions and tendencies. I would appeal to endeavour to identify the root causes and address themselves to them instead of repeating the common place and oft-repeated talk about the need of peace and disarmament. And we need to devise training programmes for the volunteers of non-violence, so that they could contribute towards building up in the society the right approach and the right culture (sanskar) which would make non-violence universally acceptable and pervasive.

There is seed in every human being of violence as well as non-violence. Our training for non-violent action should aim at germinating the seed of non-violence. Our starting point and premise is that the world needs a healthy society and a healthy individual. As long as violence remains a medium for the solution of problems, the society and the individuals will remain sick with distorted vision and misguided perceptions.

All of us have faith in the cult and culture of non-violence. But emotional approach will not do. We cannot be effective if we allow ourselves to be carried away by emotions. We need to articulate intellectually on the issue, control our emotions and strengthen our reasoning and convictions about the means and methods of the training and preparations for adopting , widely using non-violent action as a tool to promote peace and understanding.

Abraham Lincoln once wrote to the teacher of his son advising him to impart to his son not merely academic training and education, but to prepare him to face the ups and downs of life in a confident, brave and ethically balanced manner. He should teach him how to incorporate love and kindness into his thinking as well as action.

Acharya Shri Tulsi has given us the direction and the inspiration. Let us move forward in the direction of formulating programmes of training for non-violence. The challenge confronting us is two-fold :

Firstly how to convert to non-violence those who have somehow acquired faith in the use of force.

Secondly how to go to the very fundamental source of thinking and reasoning--the human brain. We need to activate its right hemisphere as much as the left one and reinforce the parasympathetic nervous system.

We cannot reach our destination if we proceed in a half-hearted manner or take piecemeal or ad-hoc measures. We need to think with clarity, conviction and precision. We should focus the practical and concrete aspects of the principles of non-violence and make it a vibrant factor in our day-to-day lives. Let us hope and trust to have a concrete action for strengthening and consolidating peace and non-violent action all over the world.