Canonical quotes in support of positive non-violence
Appendix: Canonical quotes in support of positive non-violence (1)
Tattha paḍhamaṁ ahiṁsā jā sā sadevamaṇuyāsurassa logassa bhavati dīvo, tāṇaṁ, saraṇaṁ, gaī, paiṭṭhā, nivvāṇaṁ, nivvuī, samādhī, śantī, kittī, kāntī, ratī ya, viratī ya, suyaṅga, tittī, dayā, vimuttī, khantī, sammattārāhaṇā, mahantī, bohī, buddhi, dhittī, samiddhī, riddhī, viddhī, ṭhittī, puṭṭhī, nandā, bhaddā, visuddhī, laddhī, visiṭṭhadiṭṭhī, kallāṇaṁ, maṅgalaṁ, pamoo, vibhūtī, rakkhā, siddhāvāso, aṇāsavo, kevalīṇaṁ ṭhāṇaṁ, sivaṁ, samiī, sīlaṁ, sañjamo tti ya, sīlapariyaro, saṁvaro ya, guttī, vavasāo, ussatto ya, jaṇṇo, āyataṇaṁ, jaṇayamappamāo, assāso, visāso, amao, savvassa vi amāghāo, cokkhapavittā, suttī, pūyā, vimala-pabhāsā ya, nimmalatara tti | Evamādīṇi niyaguṇa-nimmiyāiṁ pajjavanāmāṇi hunti ahiṁsāe Bhagavatīe |
Praśnavyākaraṇa sūtra, 2.1.2.
That is – Non-violence is the first of the means of karmic stoppage. This non-violence is like a lamp to show the right path or like an island for saving the sea-born of the entire universe including the heavenly gods, the human beings and the demons. It is the safety, the shelter, the destiny and the basis for them. Various facets or modes of non-violence are – 1. Deliverance 2. Salvation 3. Deep meditation 4. Peace 5. Honour 6. Lustre 7.Love 8. Abstinence 9. Scripture 10. Satisfaction 11. Mercy 12. Emancipation 13. Forgiveness 14. Practice of righteousness 15. The best of all vows 16. Enlightenment 17. Wisdom 18. Patience 19. Opulence 20. Prosperity 21. Progress 22. Stability 23. Nourishment 24. Pleasure 25. Gentility 26. Purity 27. Attainment 28. Special vision 29. Welfare 30. Auspiciousness 31. Joy 32. Excellence 33. Protection 34. Liberated residence 35. Karmic non-influx (stoppage) 36. Place of omniscience 37. Happiness 38. Comportment 39. Righteous conduct 40. Restraint 41. Righteousness 42. Stoppage 43. Self-control 44. Absolute business 45. Ascendence of noble thoughts 46. Volitional worshipping, 47. Abode (Absolutely) 48. Due care 49. Non-negligence 50. Assurance 51. Trust 52. Freedom from fear 53. All-inclusive non-killing 54. Goodness 55. Piety 56. Volitional cleanliness 57. Worship with purity of disposition 58. Clarity 59. Brightness and 60. Clearer than clear. These are the qualitative synonyms of the goddess non-violence.
Comments – The sixty qualitative synonyms of non-violence that have been given above, go to explain the various forms that it can take. Out of these, leaving a few, most represent the positive form of non-violence. The synonyms like deliverance, non-indulgence, meditation, peace, interest, satisfaction, mercy, forgiveness, patience, nourishment, purity, welfare, joy, auspiciousness, protection, happiness, etc., fall in this category. One of these synonyms is non-influx (or stoppage of karma matter), which indicates that practicing non-violence does not result in any karmic influx. Freeing the creatures from fear results in fearlessness among them and non-negligence signifies vigilance. The synonyms like mercy and protection are very important and these signify a kind of non-violent cooperation with all other living beings. The conditions of peace, non-indulgence, patience, deepest meditation and deliverance can obtain only where the atmosphere of non-violence prevails. Therefore, These also represent non-violence only. These synonyms of non-violence emphasise the importance of the practice of restraint.
Dhammo maṅgalamukkiṭṭhaṁ, ahiṁsā sañjamo tavo |
Daśavaikālika sūtra, 1.1.
That is, – Dharma comprised of non-violence, restraint and penance is the best auspiciousness.
Ahiṁsādilakṣaṇo dharmaḥ | – Tattvārthavārtika, 6.13.5.
That is, – Non-violence is the foremost symbol of dharma.
Dharmastu samyagdarśanādirūpo dāna-śīla-tapobhāvanāmayaḥ | – Lalitavistara, p. 16.
That is, – Dharma is in the form of right vision, etc., and it is comprised of charity, righteousness and penance.
khamādibhāvo ya dasaviho dhammo |
Rayaṇattayaṁ ca dhammo,
jīvaṇaṁ rakkhaṇaṁ dhammo |
That is, – The basic nature of anything is its dharma; it is of ten types by way of forgiveness, etc.,; the Trigem (Ratnatraya) comprising the right vision, right knowledge and right conduct is dharma and to protect the living beings is also dharma.
Comments – Here it has been clarified that both forms of non-violence – proscriptive and prescriptive are included amongst dharma. Charity, kindness, compassion protecting living beings, etc., are positive or prescriptive forms of non-violence and they represent dharma.
Durgatiprasṛtān jīvān yasmād dhārayate tataḥ | Dhatte cetān śubhe sthāne tasmād dharma iti sthitaḥ |
Daśavaikālika Cūrṇi, p. 15.
That is, – Dharma is what upholds the creatures that have fallen into bad destinies and restores them to good ones.
Comments – This characteristic of dharma maintains that it takes the living beings from bad destinies to good destinies. Thus, the activities of kindness, charity, service, etc., lead from bad to good destinies. Therefore, they are dharma. These activities help the miserable creatures that are given to despondence to recover to the contemplation of dharma. Therefore, these are doubly helpful – for the self as well as for the others.
Dhammo dayāviśuddo | – Bodhapāhuḍa (Kundakunda), 25.
That is – Dharma is purified by kindness.
Dharmo dayāmayaḥ proktaḥ Jinendrairjitamṛtyubhiḥ |
- Varāṅgacarita, 15.107.
That is, – Dharma consists of kindness. The Jinendras that have conquered death have said this.
Dayā rakkhā abhao pajjavanāmāṇi honti ahiṁsāe bhagavatīe | - Praśnavyākaraṇa sūtra, 2.1.
That is, – To be kind, to protect, to be free from fear, etc., are the synonyms of non-violence.
Dhammo dayāpahāṇo | – Kārtikeyānuprekśā, 97.
That is, –Mercy is the most important part of dharma.
Dharmo nāmakṛpāmūlaḥ | – Kṣatracūḍāmaṇi, 5.35.
That is, – Dharma is rooted in kindness.
Dayāmūlo bhaveddharmo dayā prāṇyanukaṁpanaṁ | Dayāyāḥ parīkṣārthaguṇāḥ śeṣāḥ prakīrtitāḥ |
- Ādipurāṇa, 5.21.
That is, – Kindness is the very basis of dharma; to be compassionate to the living beings is kindness; all other virtues like truth, forgiveness, etc., are for the protection of kindness.
Dharmo jīvadayā gṛhasthaśaminorbhedād dvidhā |
- Padmānandipañcaviṁśatikā, 11.7.
That is, – Kindness towards the living beings is dharma, which is of two kinds – one for the householders and the other for the ascetics.
Dayā sarvaprāṇiviṣayā |
- Bhagavatī ārādhanā Vijayodayā ṭīkā, 1830.
That is, – Mercy concerns all living beings.
Savvehiṁ bhūehiṁ dayāṇukampī |
- Uttarādhyayana sūtra, 21.13.
That is, – Act kindly and compassionately towards all living beings.
Savvajagajīvarakkhaṇadayaṭṭhayāe pāvayaṇaṁ Bhagavayā sukahiyaṁ | – Praśnavyākaraṇa sūtra, 1. 22.
That is, – The Lord has preached well for mercy and protection of all living beings.
Lajjādayāsañjamabambhaceraṁ kallāṇamāgissa visohiṭhāṇaṁ | – Daśavaikālika, 9.1.13.
That is – Shyness, mercy, restraint and celibacy purify the soul.
Dhammo dayāvisuddho, pavvajjā savvasaṅgaparicattā | Devo vavagayamoho, udayakaro bhavvajīvāṇaṁ |
- Bodhapāhuḍa, 25.
That is, – Mercy purifies the dharma; monastic ordination is without all encumbrances; the Lord is without delusion and they (mercy, monastic ordination and the Lord) lead the worldly living beings to liberation.
Chajjīva chaḍḍāyadaṇaṁ ṇiccaṁ maṇavayakāya-jogehiṁ kuru dayā | - Bhāvapāhuḍa, 131.
That is, – Act kindly – physically, mentally and vocally – towards six categories (Five immobile and one mobile) of living beings.
Ādyā sadvratsañcayasya jananī saukhyasya satsampadāṁ, mūlaṁ dharmataroranaśvara-padārohakaniḥśreṇikāḥ | Kāryā sadmirihāgiṣu prathamato nityaṁ dayādhārmikaiḥ, Piṅnāmāpyadayasya ca paraṁ sarvatra śūnyā diśaḥ |
- Padmanandī pañcaviṁśatīkā, 1.8.
That is, – Here, the religious people must, first of all, be kind to all living beings because that kindness is the essence of all the vows and produces all happiness and best of wealth. Mercy is the root of the tree of dharma and acts as a staircase for climbing to the indstructible position. It is deplorable even to take the name of a cruel person, for him all directions are as meaningless as the void. That is, they lead him nowhere.
Yeṣāṁ Jinopadeśena kāruṇyāmṛtapūrite | Citte jīvadayā nāsti teṣāṁ dharmaḥ kuto bhavet | Mūlaṁ dharmatarirādyā vratānāṁ dhāmasampadāṁ | Guṇānāṁ nidhirityaṅgaidayā kāryā vivekibhiḥ | Sarva jīvadayādhārā guṇāstiṣṭhanti mānuṣe | Sūtradhārāḥ prasūnānāṁ hārāṇāṁ ca sarā iva |
- Padmanandī pañcaviṁśatīkā, 6.37-39.
That is, – How can the dharma be with those householders whose hearts are not moved to mercy even by the merciful sermons of the Jinedradeva that is full of elixir of kindness.
Mercy for the living beings is the root of the tree of dharma, it is the main vow, and it is the cause of all wealth and a treasure of virtues. Therefore, the discreet people must be kind to the living beings.
All virtues reside in men, supported by mercy and kindness as the flowers stay in the garlands supported by the thread that runs through them. That is the householder desirous of gaining the spiritual virtues like right vision etc., must be kind to the living beings.
Hiṁsā pāvaṁ ti mado dayā-pahāṇo jado dhammo |
- Kārtikeyānuprekṣā, 408.
That is, – Violence has been termed as sin because dharma is mainly mercy.
So dhammo jattha dayā sovi tavo visayaniggaho jattha | Dasa-aṭṭhadosarahio so devo ṇatthi sandeho |
- Niyamasāra, commentary on verse 8.
That is, – Where there is mercy, there is dharma; where there is sensory control, there is penance; one who is without eighteen flaws is undoubtedly the Lord.
Dharmaḥsharmakaraṁ dayāguṇamayaṁ |
- Ātmānuśāsana, 7.
That is, – The dharma with mercy gives happiness and pleasure.
Pavitrīkriyate yena yenaivoddhriyate jagat | Namastasamai dayārdrāya dharmakalpānghripāya vai |
- Jñānārṇava Dharmabhāvanā, 1.
That is, – My obeisance to the celestial desire fulfilling tree that is dharma that purifies the world, and that delivers it and that is full of the juices of mercy.
Comments – The abovementioned quotes conclusively prove that mercy is the root of the tree of dharma. To consider mercy as abandonable and deplorable is against the Jaina precepts and the faith propounded by Bhagvān Mahāvīra. The Kārtikeyānuprekṣā mentions one of the characteristics of dharma as protecting the living. It means that protecting the living is dharma. In the form of compassion, mercy is one of the virtues inherent in right vision. A person endowed with right vision can never be cruel. For those who talk a lot about knowledge but do not act in the cause of mercy and dharma, it has been said, ‘Jñānaṁ bhāraḥ kriyā vinā’ meaning that without appropriate and due conduct knowledge is nothing but dead weight.
Jīvavaho appavaho, jīvadayā appaṇo dayā hoi |
- Bhaktaparijñā, 93.
That is, – Killing another living being is like killing the self and to act mercifully towards him is like acting mercifully towards the self.
Jassa dayā tassa guṇā, jassa dayā tassa uttamo dhammo | Jassa dayā so patto, jassa dayā so jae pujjo | Jassa dayā so tavassī, jassa dayā tassa sīlasampattī | Jassa dayā so nāṇī, jassa dayā tassa nivvāṇaṁ |
That is, – One who is endowed with mercy (dayā) is virtuous, and his is the best faith; One who is endowed with mercy is the right person and he is worthy of worship thorughout the world; One who is endowed with mercy is austere and his is the righteousness and spiritual wealth; One who is endowed with mercy is knowledgeable and his is liberation (mukti) and final deliverance (nirvāṇa) from the worldly transmigration.
Ṇijjiya dosaṁ devaṁ savvajīvāṇaṁ dayāvaraṁ dhammaṁ | Vajjiya ganthaṁ ca guruṁ jo bhaṇṇadi so hu saddiṭṭhī |
- Kārtikeyānuprekṣā, 317.
That is, – A person endowed with right vision is one who considers the one who has conquered all his flaws as the Lord, the mercy as the faith and the one who has given up all forms of encumbrancesas his unencumbered spiritual leader and teacher.
Dayābhāvo viva dhammo hiṁsābhāvo ṇa bhaṇṇade dhammo | Idi sandehābhāvo ṇissaṅkā ṇimmalā hodi |
- Kārtikeyānuprekṣā, 415.
That is, – Mercy is dharma; cruelty is not. One who does not have any doubt about this is endowed with flawless and doubtless right vision.
Nirdayena hi kiṁ tena śrutenācaraṇena ca |
Yasya svīkāramātreṇa, jantavo yānti durgatiṁ |
That is, – What is the use of such scriptures that preach cruelty and the conduct in accordance with them? Because by adhering to such scriptures and to such conduct the living beings go to bad destinies.
Kāuṁ ca nāṇutappai, erisao nikkivo hoi |
That is, – One whose heart is not moved to repentence even after tormenting others is said to be cruel.
Jo u paraṁ kampantaṁ,
daṭṭhūṇa na kampae kaḍhiṇabhāvo |
Eso u niraṇukampo,
aṇu pacchābhāvajoeṇaṁ |
That is, – One who is not moved to compassion even after seeing others suffering, pain and misery is said to be cruel. Because compassion means to be moved by others’ pain and suffering.
Dukkhaṁ khu niraṇukampā |
That is, – Cruelty is misery.