Editorial : July-Oct 2018
Mahaprasthanika Parva, also known as the ‘Book of the Great Journey’, and some other Parvas (Adi Parva, Vana Parva, Anushasana Parva) of the Mahabharata, one of the greatest epics of Hinduism, has numerous depictions of the phrase– Ahimsa Paramo Dharma, which means that non-violence is the topmost duty:
Ahimsa is the highest virtue, Ahimsa is the highest self-control,
Ahimsa is the greatest gift, Ahimsa is the best suffering,
Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice, Ahimsa is the finest strength,
Ahimsa is the greatest friend, Ahimsa is the greatest happiness,
Ahimsa is the highest truth, and Ahimsa is the greatest teaching.
The above quote from the Mahabharata (13.117.37–38) highlights the prime significance of Ahimsa in Hinduism. Ahimsa is a small word in view, but its miniature form has a vast meaning. If a person wants to practice virtue, develop self-control, achieve the greatest gift, have the best suffering, build the finest strength, make the greatest friend, attain the greatest happiness, worship the highest truth and learn the greatest teaching, he can walk on the path of non-violence. These golden nuggets are pragmatic and attainable and non-violence is the means of achieving these utmost virtues.
The term Ahimsa (Ahinsa), which literary means 'not to do harm' and 'compassion', is applicable to all the living and non-living entities– including all animals, plants, mountains, rivers, etc. Non-violence is averse to violence, the behaviour using physical force so as to hurt or kill someone or something. Violence does not only mean to cut someone’s throat or to torture someone or something, but also not to speak truth, not to love others, not to have compassion, not to fulfill promise, not to make sacrifice, not to perform assigned duties, not to assist the family, not to cooperate the society, not to contribute to the country and not to harmonize with the world. In fact, non-violence is a means to have the right view, to have the right intention, to have the right concept, to have the right action, to have the right livelihood, to have the right mindfulness, and to travel on the right path to collective happiness and self-enlightenment.
Here, we, the editors, present the joint issue of Creation and Criticism with the hope that you will enjoy its reading. A tour of the CC, we believe, will motivate you for fresh ponderings.
All the best!
Abnish Singh Chauhan