Lord Mahavira was born in ancient India, more than 2600 hundred years ago. Many people know him as ‘founder of Jainism' however, Jain’s believe him to be the last of 24 tirthankars (ford maker). Contemporary of Buddha, his teachings have a deep impact on indian life and culture.
Present times when the whole world is under lockdown due to corona virus and have enough time to contemplate on where we as a race are heading I found the ideas of lord Mahavira appealing.
Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being. ~Mahavira
When there is a debate going on in west whether animals too have soul just like humans ? Or they are just here to serve humanity as humans are the superior of all the creation of Nature(anthropocentrism). Mahavira held all the creatures as equal (not just humans). He asked to avoid harming any creature including even plants and animals an idea which was far ahead of his times.
As it is now evident that our indiscriminate killing and treating all the animals as our food has forced the entire world to live inside their homes. This is not the first time that our eating habits have made us vulnerable to a deadly virus, earlier too many viruses like HIV, ebola, SARS have tried to remind us about the consequences of interfering with nature.
Another of his idea on ‘aparigraha’ is increasingly becoming popular with the name of ‘minimalism’ in west. Consumerism is like oxygen to capitalism. It thrives on the relative deprivation of people buying things to impress people they don’t know. Consumerism and materialism has become religion in West, and are making fast inroads into eastern world.
If you don’t know what you want," the doorman said, "you end up with a lot you don’t.~ fight club.
These are the defining moments for humanity. People are realising the futility of material objects when they are confined to their homes. They have started to realise the futility of material objects and value the simplicity of life. The race they have been running all their life to collect more and buy more have suddenly started to look less inspiring. We are learning to survive with limited resources.
A man is seated on top of a tree in the midst of a burning forest. He sees all living beings perish. But he doesn’t realize that the same fate is soon to overtake him also. That man is fool.
Two of the biggest military and economic superpowers of the world, USA and China have been humbled by a small viruse. Around 60000 people have lost their lives world over till date and the count is still rising. All this without firing a single shot! All those thousands of nuclear weapons are lying useless in their respective countries. All the mighty weapons and large armies are clueless, as the enemy is not visible to naked eyes.
The virus has also reminded us of our fragile nature. A millionaire sitting in silicon valley is as vulnerable to death as a slum dweller in Dharavi. All the social constructs of religion, nation, caste and class have become irrelevant in front of nature.
Nonviolence is the greatest religion.~ Mahavira
It’s high time humanity should wake up to this call and modify it’s behaviour accordingly. Aligning it to natural world, going back to it’s ancient roots. Exploring the Brahma within (know thyself). Treating other life forms as equal and adopting non violence. Otherwise, mother nature has it’s own ways!
When we could no longer venture out, many of us began a journey inwards. We realised how little we really need and how beautifully simple joy was. We needed connection, love, compassion. For that is what makes us human. And that, no pathogen can ever take away.