IMPLICATIONS OF AHIMSA ON ECOLOGY
A Jaina Perspective
Dr. Vincent Sekhar, S.J. Department of Philosophy, Aru Anandar College (Autonomous), Karumathur - 625514 INDIA
Liberation or Salvation is integral. It belongs to the whole Universe the animal, vegetative and the human kingdom. Jaina understanding a Life Force called Jiva suggests that all living beings have the inherent spiritual capacity to Transcendence. It is on this metaphysical foundation that Ahimsa or Non-injury to life is based.
Jaina Religion speaks about Ahimsa as the supreme Dharma of Life. Ahimsa becomes significant in the contemporary situation, specially of Pain and suffering, of all forms of living beings. It is also built on human psychology on the Principle of Reciprocity: ‘As it is unto thee so it is with…..’
The article shows how this principle of Ahimsa is lived by a particular community, the Jains, both by the Munis and the lay persons. This vow puts restrictions on the persons with regard to the choice of professions, food habits, manner of behaviour etc. It restrains the self from all types of violence – body, speech and mind – to all forms of living beings. It also suggests how to adapt oneself with the growing modern and technological world. Non – violent activities, big and small, individual and collective, suggest positive Love and Protection of Life and Environment: in creating an atmosphere of Dialogue between Nature and Society, Peace among all Living Beings, Saving the endangered spieces, Protection of Forests and Ravines, Freeing air and water from Pollution, etc.
Liberation is a term that calls for self-fulfillment and self-transcendence. It concerns not merely one portion of the human race, namely the rich and the elite, not even the whole humanity alone but looks towards the integral salvation of the whole universe including the animal kingdom and vegetative life. It is only in this context that one can speak of the...