"Sixteenth Spiritual Instruction" By Swami Chidananda

Never Hurt Anybody

Never hurt anybody (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). Control anger by love. Kshama (forgiveness and Daya (compassion).

Control anger by love. So control anger, How? By practising forgiveness (kshama) and compassion (daya). Compassion is a divine virtue.
Daya dharma ka moola hai
paap moola abhiman
Tulasi daya na chandiye
jaba lage ghata me praan

“Compassion is the root of righteousness. Pride is the root of sin.” Tulsidas says: “Do not give up compassion till your last breath.”
Anger is one of the three things Lord Krishna warned against in the Gita:
Trividham narakasyedam dvaram
kamah krodhas tatha lobha,
tasmad etat trayam tyajet

“Triple is this gate of hell, destructive of the self—lust, anger and greed; therefore should one abandon these three.” Anger (krodha) is due to desires, anger is due to selfishness, anger is due to various types of inner vikritis (changes). It can take many, many forms—subtle forms, so you have to do introspection, self-analysis and try to find out the different aspects of anger lurking within.
Gurudev wrote a complete booklet of about 32 pages on Conquest of Anger. He also wrote a little drama many, many years ago, Anger and Passion—there is an argument between who is superior. Passion says I am superior, anger says I am superior. Then they say let us make experiments upon man and see who is superior. Anger wins the day because it overcomes man suddenly, like a tiger pouncing upon an unwary traveller in a jungle.

The first of the Yamas is the vow to abstain from injuring any living being, any creature. This is known as ahimsa. The person who takes this vow declares: “From me there shall come no injury, no pain, no suffering or destruction to life in any form.” This means that either through your thinking or through your words or through your actions you will not injure anyone. You will not bring pain or suffering to anyone—not only to fellow human beings but to all forms of life. This is a sublime expression of your higher nature. The tendency to assert your lower nature, your ego, your false identity, leads to all sorts of harshness, cruelty, hardness, insult, abuse, even to raising your hand and coming to blows, fighting and quarrelling. All this comes out of expression of the false ‘I’, and hence the first vow—the entry-point of Yoga.
The spiritual aspirant says: “I shall not cause any pain or suffering to anyone, I shall not cause any unnecessary sorrow to any person, and therefore, my speech will be soft and peace-giving. My actions will be such as will be conducive to the good of others, to the benefit and happiness of others, and not the contrary. And my mind also will always think well of others. It will be thoughts full of goodwill, peace, affection, love, friendliness, brotherhood, oneness, unity, sympathy and kindness.” Why? Only if the thoughts are of this nature, it is possible to make your words and actions also of the same nature. Otherwise it is not possible, because the fountain-source of our actions are the thoughts, first and foremost.
As are the thoughts, so are the actions. If different kinds of thoughts are allowed to gain entry into the mind, they will lead to different kinds of words and different kinds of actions. Thoughts are the root, the seed, the source of all activity. Actions are only the outer expression of the thoughts dominating the mind and impelling the individual. Action is thought translated outwardly. So, the necessity of ahimsa thoughts, compassionate thoughts, forgiving thoughts, kind thoughts, sympathetic thoughts, friendly thoughts, brotherly-unity thoughts and cosmic-love thoughts. They are the most important part of Yoga. For, then alone your speech also will be of the same quality, of the same nature. Then you will understand, with a little reflection, that for the first time you are engaged in the process of real self-expression, of true self-expression.

Far from effecting any suppression or denial of self-expression, you are now commencing to give expression to your real self, to your true identity, in which you are divine, in which you are the atman, the satchidananda atman, the Divine Spirit, a centre of love, a centre of all that is auspicious and good, a centre of peace, a centre of sweetness and kindness.

(Taken from The Philosophy, Psychology and Practice of Yoga lectures by Swami Chidananda)
[TWENTY IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTIONS, A Series of talks on Swami Sivananda’s Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions.] 

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