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Ahimsa: A Life of Balance

Wise Earth Ayurveda Practice

By Maya Tiwari

Ahimsa, a Vedic term that describe an awareness of nonviolence toward nature and life, is the most important exercise we can put into practice in our daily lives. At best, contemporary understanding of ahimsa is limited to the practice of our external actions such as non-killing of the animals; non-violence toward each other; being a vegetarian. But this profound code of conduct advocated by the rishis is much more than non-violence toward life and our relation to the external forces: it is the dharma by which we may guide human behavior and learn the inner workings of body, mind, and spirit. Through the practice of ahimsa we aim to foster compassion for all God's creatures and to have a harmonious, non-harmful relationship with the self and nature. The difficulty we encounter in applying this cardinal rule of living can be overcome by cultivating ahimsa in our mind: We must make this goal the first priority in our lives so we can connect our thoughts to our speech and our actions.

To live in the spirit of ahimsa, we must first learn to foster sadhana practice in our daily lives. This wholesome, peaceful action should inform all aspects of our behavior -- every bite of food we eat, every thought we think, every word we utter, every breath we take, every choice we make, every prayer we offer -- we strive to be one of ahimsa- harmony. Any hurt that we cause through unwholesome nourishment, negative thought, impression, action, and speech has a damaging effect on us and everything around us. Any hurt that we cause through inattention or thoughtlessness or unaware action is a hurt that tends to self-perpetuate. In the true spirit ahimsa, there can be no conflict between what we think and what we say and what we do. Unfortunately, even the so-called spiritual stewards often fail to adhere to this central principle of ahimsa.

Originally Published in Wise Earth School Journal October-November, 1996

Notes:

  1. For Ahimsa Practices in your food, refer to Maya Tiwari’s books, Ayurveda: A Life of Balance & Abundance: From Feast to Fast - http://www.motherommedia.com/products.html
  2. Check out the itinerary for Maya Tiwari's Living Ahimsa Tour; come and take the Vow of Ahimsa learn the proven way to cultivate inner-harmony and good health.

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