I imagine you are in class and a boy pushes you. You fall down and hurt yourself. What do you feel like doing? Do you feel like pushing him too? If you push him, you are no better than him. Maybe he will push you again. And it will go on and on. In the end you will both get hurt.
Is there anything you can do instead of pushing him? Yes, there is. You can stand up to him without pushing or hitting him. You can firmly tell him to stop. You can walk away from that place or you can try talking to him.
Instead of fighting back, we can look for other peaceful ways. When we do this live a life of non-violence or ahmisa.
In the forest, there lived a cobra. The cobra was lonely. Whenever it heard children playing, it would rush forward to play with them. But the children were afraid of the cobra.
`Snake, snake! Kill the snake’, they shouted, as they threw stones as it. The cobra went back sadly to the forest.
One day, one of the stones hit the cobra. So it tried to bite one of the children. The children threw more stones at it. The poor cobra crawled away bleeding.
A few days later, a monk came by. `Don’t go inside the forest. There is a mistake there. It will bite you’, the children said.
The monk found an angry snake in the forest. `Why did you try to bite the children?’ he asked.
`Because they threw stones at me and hurt Me.’ said cobra.
`Don’t chase them. Don’t bite them. Then they wouldn’t be frightened of you. They won’t throw stones at you’, said the monk.
The cobra thought about what the monk said. The next day, when the cobra saw the children, it did not chase them. It lay there quietly. The children saw it. They were frightened, so they started to throw stones at it. Still the snake did not chase them or bite them.
It took all the beatings quietly and crawled home, hurt and bleeding.
A few days later, the monk visited the forest again.
`What happened to you? The monk asked the snake.
`I did what you asked me to do. I didn’t bite the children. I just lay there quietly. But the children still threw stones at me,’ said the snake.
`You still snake. I did not tell you to lie there quietly. Or to take all the beatings’, said the monk. `I told you not to bite. But you could have hissed loudly. That would have frightened the children’. From that day, when the snake saw the children, he hissed loudly. The children would go away. They stopped throwing stones at the snake.
If we fight every time someone hurts us, our life come a battlefield. Instead of fighting, what can we do? Sometimes, we can talk nicely to the other person.
Sometimes we can ask somebody else to help us in sorting out the problem. We can also just move away from the person or the situation. We can also ignore the problem.
Some people think that if you don’t hit back you are being a coward. This is not so. In fact, not hitting back needs a lot of courage and will power. People who live this way are brave and strong. Look at the snake. It learnt not to bite. But it stood up for itself by hissing loudly. When we learn to live this way, we live the ahimsa way.
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