Friday, January 29, 2010

Ahisma

Photo courtesy of the Web

Ahisma: The Tamil word for Peace.

BE Still, and Know that I AM God ! Psalms 46

Ahisma translates into peace, do no harm, and non violence. It is the first, of the five Yamas.

Yoga instructor/Author Rolf Gates outlined, Ahisma in his book, "Meditations from the Mat" as Non Violence.

I've struggled with the principle of Non Violence. I don't agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ideas of Non Violence as a Way of Life. I think it is an effective tactic, but that it unrealistic, and even dangerous, to attempt to live your life, from that perspective.

Let me explain. There are, some spiritual schools of thought. that wouldn't kill a cockroach because it's a living thing. That's extremist in my view.

Notice, I said, MY VIEW?

Cockroaches can spread disease, ruin food, and make your house unlivable. I'm supposed to let it live, not kill it ,even though it poses a very real threat to ME and my family?

There are Christians, who follow the words of Christ Jesus, "turn the other cheek" in the face of violence and ridicule. This follows the same line of thinking as some other spiritual schools of thought.

I don't believe that's the proper application of Ahisma as a principle. Again, notice I said, I don't Believe? I did not say that it was Wrong or incorrect! I do not believe it to be the proper application of Ahisma.

In my view, the proper application of Ahisma, would be to keep a clean house, use safe pesticides and store foods properly so we don't get ants and roaches. We are then following the middle path.

Dr. King, as a Christian Minister, never to my knowledge, demeaned another human being. He condemned the actions of that person. He condemned unjust laws! He boycotted organizations and businesses that practiced injustice. He harmed those businesses economically didn't he?

But he didn't attack the people who worked there. He didn't call for violence against the business itself, he never closed the door on his community reconciling with the offender, did he?

He followed the Middle Path by doing the least amount of harm he could do. That principle included himself and his flock too. Someone punched him! You think Dr. King didn't "Roll" with the punch? He would have had a broken jaw had he not!

You think that Dr. King didn't facilitate classes in how to Resist returning Violence? We know that they did!

Turning the other cheek and doing no harm does not mean or require self negation! Ahisma means that we try daily to respect life by working to do the least harm to ourselves, our communities and our planet.

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

7 comments:

Ananda Leeke said...

great post. love the photo.

Mista Jaycee said...

Ananda thanks for supporting and commenting. That photo is really cool but I'm not that graceful or cool. (Yet)
Jaycee

Revvy Rev said...

Checkin' up on you, man! Stay Cool!

rainwriter jones said...

Walking in the middle road is a great practice; along with "all things in moderation."

So, you've been practicing yoga. For how long? I should re-enroll myself: love the strength building and the patience you need to get your body to respond to each hold.

Thank you for inviting me to your new blog!

rainwriter jones

Angel said...

I love Yoga but have never heard of Ahisma, thanks for giving me food for thought

Reggie said...

Dr. King was a far better man than little old me. I don't think that I could abstain from being violent with people that were violent with me. I believe in non-violence; but only with people that would choose to be non-violent with me. The rest are fair game.

Mista Jaycee said...

Reggie,
I totally agree.