Economics of Non-Violence for Sustainable World
By Mr. Chandraprakash Shah
As all the businesses run with the intention of profits, religion too is plasticized for profit. The means of achieving them are different as well as its outcome will be at different level. One is considered in terms of materialistic achievements and the other one is spiritualistic up gradation.
The former have economics of destruction while the later has economics of “Live and help to Live.”
The former creates unhealthy competitions amongst the business communities while later produces harmonious atmosphere amongst communities. The former generates jealousy, impoliteness and hatred ness amongst people while later encourages satisfaction, politeness and harmonious atmosphere. Always there is a hidden ambition in the materialistic economics to reach highest position either by hook or crooks. The objective to cultivate non-violent ethics is the sole ambition in spiritual non-violent ethics amongst every one without degradation of moral values.
Jainism has to offer better options on non-violent means, concept, ideas, awareness etc. than any other world religions. So far we have talked too much on non-violence, anekantvad and aprigraha. But they have confined to only part of Jain community. The world knows the word “Ahimsa” through Mahavir, Buddha and more recently Gandhiji. But how can it be practiced in real daily life is only taught by Mahavir. “Jayna” or awareness is the appropriate word used by Jain Scripture writers. Mahavir moved all the way bare-foot and kept himself in touch with common people and grass root people to propagate non-violence. There was no restriction in his “Sabha,” any Tom, Dick and Harry could enter there. No system of pass, reservation of seats, free of cost and no lunch or supper or Navkarshi were provided ever.
He talked in people’s language, no high profile words, simple and sweet. His language touched the inner heart of the common mass. His preaching was excellent, which could convert even the thieves, outlawed, dacoits and noble persons, kings and princes, nagarsheths alike. Because of our high profile words, conferences in the air-conditioned halls or in well built mandap with show of all gorgeousness, extravagant spending on all religious activities, lecturing before selected and versatile celebrities the common man remains neglected and hence the message of non-violence is not properly circulated among the whole world. There will be vast coverage through Medias, photo sessions, presentation of mementos, singing in chorus the praise worthy words of the lecturers etc occupy most of our precious time during the seminars, conferences, vyakhyanmalas etc. Now a time has come to search within ourselves that such types of activities are going to promulgate the teachings of Mahavir throughout the world or should it remain confined to coffin. What are the uses of such seminars, conferences, vyakhyanmala and other means, which do not provide even a platform for mutual understandings amongst Jain Communities and sects? It seems to me it is nothing but the waste of money, mind, energy etc. We are doing these practices and exercises, since the 600-700 years after the emancipation of “Our Bhagwan Mahavir.” However the gaps have widened day by day instead narrowing.
Non-violence is a precious principle of Jainism. It is inter-related with Anekantvad and Aparigrah. According to Jainism non-violent qualities teaches us to be fair enough to all lives. It teaches us
Date: 1 November 2005.
Economics of Non-violence for sustainable world
Reverence for all life including our own Soul. It may be either in our daily life, or in business or in behavior towards others with equal wavelength of our Mind, Speech and Body. It keeps our temperament cool and calm. It provides satisfactions in life, no jealousy, no anger, no passions, no greed etc. It keeps our requirements to minimum there by causing lesser natural destructions, no environmental problems, no global warming seminars and conferences, no excessive expenses, no unemployment problems and no terrorism. There is always an investment in materialistic business. There may be a looser or gainer. To cultivate the habit of non-violence there is “No Investment” at any level; it is free of cost. One will not have to purchase any shares or any precious metals. Just earn for you and your family requirements and even if you gather more than required by grace of merits just donate to needy lives. There will not be any tax savings methods required, no threat of tax and other raids, no threats of other external means but only peace, peace and peace. More over in a dividend one strengthen oneself with more virtues at the same time remove vices.
But who understands this economics? Every one invites troubles on their own. The vicious circle then begins for doctors and advocates. Mental peace is lost, family is disintegrated. These are the few examples of economics of materialistic world. Spiritually we are loosing our attachment towards our own “Soul.” So if we do not curtail our requirements, which is co-related with non-violence we are at loss at all stages. Self-imposed restriction is always better rather than someone tells and forces to do it.
The Jain scripture writers and preachers have permitted laypersons to certain extent of violence in their daily life for the survival. It is restricted to the souls of vegetables (Except root vegetables), souls of earth, water, air and fire. This violence is only permitted with the aim of to perform religious activities and not for pleasures and enjoyment. At the same time they have not allowed us to killings of two sensed and above sensed level souls. It is a crime, cruelty and non-compassionate behaviour. It is also demonstrated in our scriptures and ethics how to milk a cow and use dairy products, how to pluck a flower etc.
According to Biochemistry, the body structure of man is different from meat eating animals, which goes on to prove that nature has not evolved body of man as flesh eaters. Nature has also bestowed man with materials and has given him the ability to produce food through the vocation of agriculture. It is definitely going to be condemned if the master of so many abilities and owner of a rich culture lead a barbaric life and acts against the whims of nature.
Practically, scholastic world understands to deliver the lectures, speak in the conferences about non-violence and its ethics. However, they neglect its chief principles in practice. A very few may be performing it in reality. They must preach after they put into practice to the best of their capacity as Mahavir did. Please do not say hi—fi words, such as “Economics, Mathematics, or Science etc” which common people do not understand. It has come to my knowledge that a trend has started to arrange non-violence conference or designing Jainism course in the CRUISE. What a pity and mockery of Mahavir’s principles of non-violence. Is any scholar be able to persuade any President, any Prime Minister, any Local authorities to ban and close the slaughter house even during the Paryushana, the eight holy days of Jain Community? The answer is “NO”
Mahavir’s message of non-violence is impossible to spread through conferences, seminars and writing letters to the Presidents or Prime Ministers or any other high post celebrities. It is impossible to preach through media or publicity. I know that some Jain organizations selected a non-vegetarian Prime Minister as the President to celebrate 2600th birthday celebration committee. Did it help to propagate Mahavir’s message of non-violence? One who is moving with the armed bodyguards how one can provide non-violent way of life? It might have helped those organizations to gain government funds. Please bear in mind when we are using the equipments that create violence for economics of Ahimsa cannot produce desire results. We must minimize our use of electronic equipments and start cultivating the habit of hand writing in non-violent way. Only providing better and lofty names to any subject does not serve our purpose of non-violence. If we do not utilize our relations with top political leaders of any country to propagate the message of non-violence as Acary Hemcandra and Acarya Hirsuri did in the past it is deemed to believe that we are promoting ourselves and not the principles of non-violence. One must practice it in daily life through Mind, Speech and Body. It is possible that we cannot behave like Mahavir but certainly, we can minimize violence in our daily life in the following way:
1. Can use boiled water for drinking
2. Do not take bath under showers
3. Do not use chandeliers with several electrical bulbs
4. Do not invest in shares of Companies which practically produce materials for violence
5. As far as possible avoid taking foods after sunset
6. Perform possible and suitable penances
7. As far as possible try to avoid electrical equipments
8. Try to avoid frequent traveling for pleasures
9. It is possible to avoid seeing TV, pictures etc.
10. Be satisfied with what we have received
11. Please know your capacity and knowledge
12. Try to travel barefoot , without the use of Cars, planes, etc.
13. Do not travel in Cruise
14. As far as try to avoid fashionable soaps and shampoo, chocolate, Ice-creams etc.
15. Do not use Silver and Gold varakh or leaves
16. Do not use furs and leather clothes to cover the body in winter or in cold season
17. Always avoid non-vegetarian and Abhkshya foods
18. Do not tame any animals at home
19. Do not establish aquarium at home
20. Cosmetics too can be avoided
21. Horse racing, fighting of cocks and keeping animals in cage etc must be avoided
22. One can certainly avoid and propagate alternative to hunting, racing, fishing, circuses, 2005
23. Remember what Mahavir had proclaimed”Non-violence and kindness to all living beings is non-violence and kindness to oneself.” There by the economics of non-violence indicates that one is saved from various kinds of sufferings, hardness and it will result into own welfare.
24. Keep awareness at all the time
25. And many more
Practically, our non-violence is limited to only five sensed species. We have forgotten to remember other living species. We just remember them only in lectures, seminars, conferences etc. We have even forgotten what Jagdishchandra Bose, leave aside Bhagwan Mahavir, had discovered some decades before that botanical plants too have consciousness. However, we mercilessly annihilate them just to satisfy our taste in all walks of our life.
Non-vegetarian diet has multiple diverse effects on economics of finance and health. Forget about spiritual advancement. They can summarize as under:
1. A moderate meat eater has more kidney and heart trouble than vegetarian. This is due to excess toxic waste in the meat.
2. White rendered fat of the hog is not readily digestible and hence, it has to be used commercially in baked foods.
3. Meat, eggs, and cheese contain high proportion of saturated fats and the cholesterol that accumulate on the arterial walls.
4. To preserve all non-veg foods one require having deep freezing, freezer and air conditioner atmosphere. This increases our finance problems.
5. Normally meat and eggs are tasteless. To make them tasty one has to add other ingredients, such as various sourly and spicy masalas. This too decreases thickness of one’s wallet at the same time increases the cholesterol. Chances of attacks are more with non-veg eaters’ thanwith vegetarian eater.
The increasing damage to the economics of ecology and environment through meat packaging industry is unpardonable. We shall list few of them:
1. Slaughterhouses and feedlots are some of the most polluted industries. They contaminate our land, air and watery systems.
2. The waste and fecal matters, grease and oily materials as well as chemicals required in the process of meat products’ generation, and the sludge is dumped into our sewage system and rivers.
3. To digest non-vegetarian product one needs to have more consumption of water and energy than vegetarian
4. To manufacture non-vegetarian products requires more consumption of water.
5. It is more costlier than vegetarian diet.
6. Many alternative items in economics of non-violence are available in various categories such as food, protein, dairy products, clothing, vitamins, toiletries household goods medicines and drugs. They are cheaper.
7. Meat eating gives the body not strength but a kind of unhealthy stimulation. The body receives an excess of nitrogen that creates uric acid and other harmful compounds in blood stream. Just to expel these compounds from the body, a lot of energy is needed which the body's defence mechanism pumps up in a hurry to meet the emergency. This is mistaken as an input of energy, although in fact it is a depletion of the body's reservoirs of energy.
8. Pulses, soyabeans, dry fruits etc. contain more protein than do eggs or meat. Much more than our body's requirement of protein can easily obtain from vegetarian food. Besides, vegetarian food contains the vitamins, minerals, etc., which are very essential for health and development of the body. These items are completely missing in non-vegetarian food.
9. We must remove our misconception that meat eaters are more intelligent and powerful. Following para will provide sufficient solution to this argument.
“The civilization, power or learning is not a gift of non- vegetarian food. Rather, it is a resultant of the other qualities, such as discipline, application, co-operative working and extracting power from the forces of nature. As regards meat, many jungle tribes also eat meat but they are backward because they lack the other qualities. Europe itself is witnessing an energetic movement against meat eating and in favour of vegetarianism. Hence, it is wrong to ascribe the power of European races to the practice of eating meat.”
At the conclusion it can be affirmed that economics of non-violence helps the individuals, families, societies, cities, states, countries and the entire world to restrict ecological, environmental, financial etc degradation. However, it certainly accelerate balance in Nature, remove stress and strain, no financial losses, no health problems, no disintegration of the families and societies, no wars, if it is performed and put into the practice in its real sense of perception. There is one more benefit of it, advancement in spiritualism.
Author : Chandraprakash Shah
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