ahimsā paramo dharmaḥ tathā himsā paraṃ tapaḥ |
ahimsā paramaṃ jñānam ahimsā paramārjanam ||
Of all Dharmas, the vow of Non-Violence (Ahimsa) is the most supreme. For one on the path of violence (Himsa), no amount of rigorous penance and austerities bear fruit. The practice of the vow of Ahimsa is the greatest austerity. It is not just violence against animate beings, but felling trees, polluting the atmosphere, rivers etc. that is also violence. Possessing such knowledge is the key goal of the vow of Ahimsa. The greatest wealth we can earn in our lives is the adherence to the vow of Ahimsa. That is why is said: ahimsā paramo dharmaḥ
hisi himsāyām is the root from which the world Himsa emerges. Normally, we assume violence is inflicted with our limbs; but hurting others with our thoughts, works and even words is also violence. The scriptures caution that violence in speech is worse than violence inflicted through our limbs. Some hurt others unnecessarily with their words. Moreover, they think such speech is a sign of their intelligence. Some grownups regale and entertain children by capturing insects and other mute creatures. This is also Himsa. The scriptures say that there is no greater austerity than Ahimsa. Tapyata iti tapaḥ, say the scriptures. Inflicting torment on the body through rigorous self-discipline is Tapas/austerity. What should be disciplined? Many undertake fasts and religious vows and emaciate their body. But importantly, the mind should also be restrained and should be immersed in austerity. The mind should not think about food when one is fasting. If one is fantasizing about food or planning the next day’s menu while fasting, that cannot be considered fasting. With a view to ensuring good health, elders recommended we fast one way or another and medical science supports this too, but the greater spiritual fruit of such fasting is zero (if the mind is not restrained). Keeping the senses restrained and removed from violence is Tapas (austerity). The mind should be elevated from the state of Rajas and Tamas to the state of Sattva first, and then Sattva too should be removed for one to ascend to the state that transcends all attributes/gunas. That alone is real Tapas. Simply sitting and closing the nose, or closing the eyes and sleeping is not Dhyana. Supreme Jnana is knowing the Dharma of Ahimsa in its true form. God's principle is in the form of Ahimsa. The one who adheres to Ahimsa is considered equivalent to having had darshan of the divine.
God always delivers justice. He does not carry over any debt. If we encounter a dog or other small animal on the road, we shoo it away with a stone or stick. Do the dogs, cows, goats or other beings not have a right to walk on the roads? They were born on the earth just as we were. We were not given the exclusive right to walk the earth alone. Who gave us the right to unnecessarily harm them? No one gave us the right to restrain them. We forcibly assumed that power. Therefore, if we unnecessarily harm those mute creatures with or without cause, God will dole out the due punishment to deliver justice. Assume we are carefully walking on a road when an unknown vehicle hits us from behind. Within a second, our leg breaks and we suffer hell on the bed for three months. That is nothing but the fruit of actions from past lives. We broke a dog's legs in our previous life, so we have to get our legs broken in this life. Our hands are broken as a result of us breaking another being’s hands, our face for breaking another’s face, our life for taking another’s life. The punishment we inflict on others is inflicted on us according to Dharma Shastra. Knowing that God accumulates no debt is the supreme essence of Ahimsa. ārjavam means earning. Whatever wealth we earn will not go with us. We can only accumulate the fruit of our karma which alone goes with us.
Surprisingly, everyone knows this and even waxes eloquently on it, however no one but the pious and the noble puts it into practice. Undertake good deeds. Practice Dharma and charities. Do not hurt anyone willfully or otherwise. A sin will haunt you even if done in ignorance just as fire burns even if you did not know it would. It is wise to realize and live by the truth that the fruit of all actions must be experienced. The fruit of all actions are our real earnings. That is we brought with us into this life, and that will accompany us into the future. We cannot escape the result of our actions.
We pray to Lord Ganapati to let good days come. Natural disasters and famine occurred even in Krita Yuga. Devatas used to walk the earth then, but they could do nothing either. This happened during Sage Vyasa's time as well. Mother Goddess came as Annapoorna and gave food to everyone. It happened during Sri Rama's and Sri Krishna's time as well. We are seeing a different kind of famine now – in the form of a pandemic. We have unnecessarily inflicted violence on beings. We have to share in the sins. Just as it is said that children pay for the parents' sins, everyone on earth has to share in the sins committed by a few. There is no choice. We will pray to God as much as possible. Everyone be brave. This year about 60 Datta Devotees have passed on. Some did not heed caution. Some passed due to old age. No problem, I will see them all in another world. I pray to Adi Parashakti that they attain supreme states and worlds. Do not be afraid. Fear kills us more than the actual disease does. Do not sit idly at home. Sing bhajans, listen to Mahabharatam, Kavachas, Ramayana, Bhagavatam etc. constantly. There is so much wonderful content from Sri Swamiji on YouTube. Swamiji has asked us to listen to the Mahabharata 18 times. Keep listening to it.
Support the Ashram as much as possible. Consider it one of your children. No doubt you are supporting the Ashrama; you must do even more. God will bestow on you in abundance.
I came to give you Darshana even though the live program was not planned.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
Om Ayim Hreem Shreem Shiva Rama Anagha Dattaya Namaha
Everyone do Mantra Daanam, that will protect you.