Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word meaning non-violence. It’s definition is abstention from violent acts in word, deed and thought toward any living thing. It is living from the heart center, the heart center of love, compassion and understanding. It is an expression of love for all things created by the one creator. It is a true way of being.
A yogini/ yogi lives selflessly and is always taking action for the greater good of all human kind. She/he looks upon creation with loving eyes and understands that we are but one light. In Kundalini yoga we speak of a sutra for the Aquarian age that says: “Recognize the other person is you”. In other words, when we look upon the creations of this world they are but mirrors of our own inner light.
“A true follower of ahimsa loves his opponent.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
Seeing the light in every living being can be difficult especially when someone does you wrong. A true yogini/yogi can see through the transgressions of others and recognize that the act, words or thoughts are not that person but a reflection of their mind state, that in their true essence the transgressor is light and love. In loving the transgressor we do not accept the violence but still love the person.
Violence occurs when we live in fear and hold onto the samsakaras (patterns) of the mind. A yogini/yogi disciplines herself/himself to move beyond the mind and into the heart. In this way she/he can see beyond transgressions and still see the light within every living thing. In this way she/he can forgive and let go.
When one walks the Earth in a state of ahimsa and love one can shed light onto the dark corners of the Earth.
Ahimsa in Practice
How can you the practitioner bring ahimsa forth into the world? You can start by observing your own negative thoughts towards yourself and others. Do you ever notice how you can be your own worst critic? A strong ahimsa practice is taking care of yourself; emotionally, physically and psychologically.
If ahimsa is practicing non-violence and its kin is love then spreading good deeds to the world around you is actively living this sutra. By doing simple gestures like smiling to a stranger, giving a hug, giving appreciation, opening a door, you create a space of giving which helps the world around you feel good. When you actively take action and help others you help erase some of the suffering in the world and replace it with hope and gentleness. When you help others, you help reduce fear and when fear is reduced so is violence and peace comes forth.
Together we can work towards peace.
The video below shows a young man who spent a day doing 22 random acts of kindness touching the world around him.