Practise Harmlessness in Thought, Word and Deed
Harmlessness is an ancient-most instruction. It is known to all, but practised by none. Everyone speaks of it. To some harmlessness means ‘not physically hurting people’, but it is much more and far beyond that. Harmlessness is a practice that is valid in all the three worlds, in the world of thought, in the world of speech and in the gross world of objectivity. It is not only harming humans, it also extends to animals, plants and earth. It further extends to the five elements. Humanity thinks of peace. It longs for peace. Peace can never come to humanity as long as they hurt, as long as they harm all that surrounds them. We pollute earth, we pollute water and we pollute air. We kill animals that move on earth, in waters and even in the sky. We hurt and harm fellow humans regularly. To harm has been the human activity of ignorance on the planet and we want peace!
The first instruction towards peace is harmlessness. It is there in the Veda which says, “There is no virtue higher than harmlessness.” The virtue of harmlessness surpasses all other virtues. Ahimsa paramo dharma. Lord Krishna speaks of it as the first virtue. The eightfold path of yoga gives regulations for yoga of which Ahimsa is the first regulation. Buddha practised it and became a guiding light to humanity. Christ practised it. All men of divinity demonstrated it, but humanity does not learn. Ahimsa is the Sanskrit word for harmlessness. Himsa means to harm, to hurt.
Physically hurting is the crude form of Himsa. Vocal hurting is more painful than physical hurt. If someone is hurt physically the body heals soon. But if he is hurt vocally the hurt continues for longer time. One may forgive, but would not forget. Do not believe in the statement uttered forth by the priests, “Forget and forgive.” The more appropriate statement is, “You may not forget, but you may forgive.” Jesus Christ has forgiven those who crucified him. But he does not forget what was done to him. He has forgiven so much that he serves them again. Forgetting is not helpful. Forgiving is helpful. Forgiving is divine. Forgetting is ignorance. The knowledgeable ones do not forget, but they forgive totally. They forgive so completely that they are ready to serve those who have hurt them!
As said earlier, if one aspires for light he must necessarily set himself on the path of Ahimsa, harmlessness. Harmlessness leads to love. One becomes so loving that he thinks twice before he plucks a flower or a fruit from a tree. When one is harmless in the true sense of the word, the plants, the animals, the humans and even the devas would like to be with him and around him. This is true. This is the secret of the saints, the yogis around whom all like to gather.
Harmlessness enables a person to be magnetic. He is non-manipulative, loving and helping people. People offer themselves to such ones to serve along with them and even to serve them. The civilised man may not be indulging in physical fights but he indulges in fights at the emotional, mental and even at the intellectual planes. That is the reason why man finds emotional disagreements, mental disagreements, and intellectual disagreements leading to a war other than the physical. All wars generate first in the mind and then percolate down to be physical. Today there are wars in politics. The politics are ever at war. Communism, capitalism, socialism all are at war with each other. Likewise, there are wars of religion between Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus. After all, the religions are but concepts of God. Where the concept crystallises God disappears from there, and the dead concepts remain warring at each other. Religion is at war, politics is at war and even business is at war. There is heavy competition, covetousness and manipulation in businesses. In every field there is groupism and rivalry in between them. One group does not agree with the other. The background of all this is lack of understanding, lack of love, lack of friendliness. All these emerged from absence of harmlessness. Harmlessness is the way. It leads to peace. It leads to peaceful coexistence. Around a harmless man many gather. You see God-men in India. They are harmless. Therefore many gather around them. Those who gather around a God-man fight in-between them, but they don’t fight with the God-man because he is their solace. He is their solution. He is their source of life.
If you are harmless in its completeness, then even cobras coexist with you. A Master lived till recently in South India in Nilgiris with whom cobras lived. He is not a tribal. He is a highly civilised Master one who went all around the world many times. When he went for his evening walk cobras used to join him. When he came back they too used to come back. The secret is harmlessness. He was living in the Blue Mountains whenever he stayed in India. He also stayed long time in Switzerland, the United States and other places. Likewise, my father used to hold a cobra in hand and chant the name of God. The cobra used to be in as much comfort as it is by itself. We don’t have to speak of ancient stories to explain the concept of harmlessness. It is a principle that lives through persons even today. In the presence of a harmless one all persons are at comfort. They find their peace within them.
Persons who hold the contrary energy to harmlessness work like anti-magnets. People run away from them. People disassociate themselves. Even a street dog prefers to be away. Do you observe this? When some persons are at walk on the road side a stray dog, a street dog walks along and accompanies a person that doesn’t know the dog. But the dog walks along. The dog feels friendly with the person and walks along, since it can smell the quality of harmlessness in the person. Even if a stray dog runs away looking at you, imagine what is the quality of energy that you hold. There are some people amidst our society, whom people would like to avoid. Even animals avoid them.
To see how much harmlessness one carries, a Master of wisdom used to play a trick. He gave a rose to the one who came to him and conversed with the person who held the rose in the hand. If the rose crippled with the touch of the person, he did not prefer to give wisdom to such a person. If the rose remained intact for long hours and continued to be fresh, he allowed them to get into the occult training. Observe the plants around you, the animals around you and the humans around you. If they blossom at your side, you are in a good way of harmlessness. If they shrink with your presence, observe that there is a lot to be desired in terms of harmlessness. People who are wanting in harmlessness, the devas cannot approach. The Masters can approach only out of their compassion, for they are compassionate ones. They come to help to enable right practice of harmlessness. We say that a person has a lucky hand. With the touch of that hand everything grows. We also find hands, whose touch will cause deterioration, decay and death. The former carry good energy of healing, the latter may not get into healing work until they practise harmlessness. Harmlessness has the ability to heal, to restore and to restitute. Today all health practices have become so commercial that healing does not happen, and medicines cause as much sickness as health. Try to bring harmlessness into every aspect of your life. It is helpful for your growth and also for the growth of all that surrounds you.
… to be continued