Non-Violence and the Eight Limbs of Astanga
This is the first of 8 levels of an Austere Meditation Practice. Regardless if you know it or not, it is where change truly begins and where we need to look to see how to change our ways and create peace within our own lives.
Ahimsa is the first of the Astanga Eight Limbs of Yogic Philosophy, and the first step to breaking life long cycles that have tormented and restricted our growth for ages.
Ahimsa is likened to the 6th Christian Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”! But it takes it one step further. It is not just that you should not kill another person but following Ahimsa, it means that you should not harm or create violence in thought or deed, towards yourself or others. This brings a level of understanding towards violence that is very necessary to bring an end to aggression within us first and then to others.
We can not dedicate ourselves to non-violence towards others and humanity if our thoughts are violent towards ourselves and possibly our friends and family. This can happen when we don't understand that our thoughts are powerful and have grave negative consequences. That said, they can also influence our friends, family, and ourselves in a positive manner.
Our thoughts are energy, good and bad. They exist as a vibration that defines how all humanity exists, our thoughts feed all beings and weather and earth patterns here on this planet of ours. Understanding this is vital to all of our existence. Your thoughts will and do affect all manners of existence.
At the beginning of every war, all beings on both sides pray to God and ask for “their people” to fall into favor with “their God”. So, should God look upon his creation and chose which are good and virtuous because of their belief systems and condemn their “foes” and their people to Hell because they believe differently? I do not believe this is a God that anyone could possibly believe in, but we do this every day with our thoughts. If we pray to a God for our benefit and perhaps the demise of another being for our selfish gains, then what kind of God is this?
The true question then would be…. Do we have a right to change the Universal Laws of God to serve ourselves? When we are angry, disgruntled, or think that justice has not been served, do we have the right to retaliate in violence? Not just physical violence but violence within our thoughts, emotions, or intentions? We act as if these energies are not important or have no repercussions. Let’s explore this a bit further.
Is it ok to think terrible thoughts of politicians that do not follow your point of view, of family members that likewise do not follow or understand your emotional viewpoint, or perhaps someone that may have consciously or unconsciously cut you off while driving on the street as you were peaceably going to some location?
What happened to the peace within you, what happened to your non-violent intentions? What happened to the loving and kind person you view yourself to be when these situations occur?
I ask you again, Is it ok to throw away your God Like Non-Violent views to suit your own personal disruption? Of course, we see that the answer is a strong NO! We do not have that right, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the wrongs done to you!
Non-Violence is the removal of all violent and negative thoughts and actions towards yourself and others! Period!
Is this hard? It will be the hardest thing that you will ever attain, and the most life-changing as well.
I have often thought that throughout the course of understanding Ahimsa, non-violence, that it may be the only Universal Law that we may ever need to accomplish, for it is one of the hardest to achieve? I wonder often about this, I pray that it is possible for us and is attainable. It is and should be the greatest work in our lifetimes.
Take a moment to reflect on your thoughts, even if it is just for a moment, where are your thoughts? Do they turn on you for the lack of action in your day-to-day life? For the disappointment of friends, family, and co-workers in your life? For the way you look? How your family behaves? How kind are your thoughts? How will you change them? And more importantly, do you want them to change?
Meditation will never be possible with anger in your heart, violence in your thoughts, distress and strife in your life. Ahimsa and transformation in our lives today and for all days will be the beginning of great blessings in your life and the lives of all that know you.
May light prevail and shine on you today and all days to come.
May peace flow through you and may you be the embodiment of Ahimsa now and always.