"Our body and this complex world around us is meant to reveal and display the Self variously. Spiritual seeking lies in looking for That which animates the body. Turn the mind and intelligence inward to their very Source. Let the thoughts make you search for the thinking substance, the thinker.  Only then the mystery of the Self will be unveiled."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ. The ideal situation will be that you should always be thinking and feeling interested in the welfare of all creatures upon this earth. Think of their welfare. For the sake of your life, you should not interfere with adversely in any other life. Our criminal penal code makes a provision. What is that? When somebody hurts you, you can defend yourself against his hurting and in the process, even if you happen to kill the other person, you are not considered criminally guilty. This is a very, very significant provision.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

I am reminded of two statements in our dharma or dharma-śāstra. One is

आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि, परेषां न समाचरेत् ।

Ātmanaḥ pratikūlāni pareshām na samācharet

(Mahabharata)

Ātmanaḥ pratikūlāni. Whatever is adverse to oneself, unacceptable to oneself, harmful, displeasing, disheartening, troublesome, whatever is so, do not try to extend or inflict it to the others also. Do not inflict it on others. What - Whatever you consider to be adverse and unacceptable to you. Suppose somebody speaks lie before you, would you like it? No. So, do not speak lie before anybody. If somebody beats you, will you like? No. Don’t beat another. Suppose somebody speaks ill of you, will you like? No. Do not speak ill of others. In this one proposition, the entire dharma is covered.

The statement runs like this.

श्रूयतां धर्मसर्वस्वं, श्रुत्वा चैवावधार्यताम् ।

Śrūyatām dharmasarvasvam śrutvā chaivadhāryatām

(Mahabharata)

The whole of Dharma, dhārmic code, listen to me, after listening, keep it in mind and adhere to it scrupulously - Whatever one considers injurious, harmful, or unacceptable to oneself, he should not inflict it on another. Just imagine, this is the test paper for every one of us. Okay we don’t do anything harmful. Is that sufficient, if you ask - No.

सर्वभूतहिते रताः

sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ

(Bhagavad Gita 12.4)

Sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ. The ideal situation will be that you should always be thinking and feeling interested in the welfare of all creatures upon this earth. Think of their welfare. For the sake of your life, you should not interfere with adversely in any other life. Our criminal penal code makes a provision. What is that? When somebody hurts you, you can defend yourself against his hurting and in the process, even if you happen to kill the other person, you are not considered criminally guilty. This is a very, very significant provision. In defending yourself, in protecting your life and body, you can if necessary, as a part of your defense, you have the freedom to hurt another man even to the point of killing him. But you have to prove in the court that it has taken place in this manner.

Sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ - Interested in the welfare of all creatures. Sri Krishna while describing the characteristics of good devotees with whom He is pleased, who will be dear to Him, he speaks of many things, many are spiritual, philosophical and societal principles. One shloka is very relevant to this discussion. What is that?

यस्मान्नोद्विजते लोको लोकान्नोद्विजते च यः ।

yasmān-nodvijate loko lokān-nodvijate ca yaḥ

(Bhagavad Gita 12.15)

A devotee should be one whom the world does not find unacceptable or repulsive. In the name of devotion, you cannot always be naked if that form is not acceptable and pleasing to the others. You cannot dress yourself in an ugly manner which is repulsive or displeasing to the others. Similarly, any way of life you adopt, physically, socially, domestically or otherwise, it should not hurt or cause displeasure to the others. Lokān-nodvijate ca yaḥ. Looking at the world, multifaceted world, you should not have any kind of an agitation, unpleasantness or intolerance.

I once noticed in the National Geography program in the TV, a bison, huge bison walking in the forest. About seven or eleven female lions, lionesses, they were taking their position here, there etc. And ultimately, the bison got afraid. He need not have got afraid. Suppose he had turned back and with his horns he had defended himself or attacked them, all the lionesses would have fled. I am very sure about it. So I was looking at it and feeling, what kind of a heroism and valor is this? A bison, a single bison going and these lionesses are surrounding him from all the directions. Is there any greater cruelty and injustice than this? But it is an injustice, it is a cruelty. It is part of the world. Because it is not a human being, we cannot bring them to the books of law and we don’t oppose it.

One point is there. For the lionesses, this is the food. So if they have to live, they have to eat something and this is the way they can eat. So when I looked at it, my imagination went very high and deep. ‘Who are you to worry about it? This earth is not made by you. The livings are not evolved by you. I have created the bison and I live. I am noticed by the lionesses, they prey on me. They must have some food. A huge bison will be enough for eleven or twelve lionesses for one or two days. What is your problem? Your pity is for the bison, means what? The life of the bison. What is this life? I am myself born as the bison, I am thriving there and I am being hurt, killed and eaten by the lionesses. In the lion also, I am the life form. In their prey also, I am the life form. So if at all anybody is to be felt for, you are feeling for me. I find it quite acceptable. I have no grumbling or complaint at all. I will continue to be born as bison and offer myself as food for the lionesses. I will continue to be born as lionesses and prey on the innocent animal. There are many other things, this is also one.’

This world is a forum for multipronged developments. Looking at the world, you should not say something more could have been here that would have made it fuller. So the world is full with beauty, ugliness, harmony, disharmony, conflicts, cruelty, fondness. Every form of emotion is there. Every form of life is there. So it is the full expression of life, full expression of existence. Simply look at it, draw your lesson and keep quiet. Don’t try to kill the lionesses. Don’t try to protect also the bison. Then you will be denying the food for the lionesses. What will they do poor creatures? Can you understand this?

But the same principle cannot be extended to human beings. If a set of human beings start preying upon another human being, that will not be allowed because the human beings have got their own will, wish, discrimination, ingenuity etc. What are the humans doing? They have resorted to various strides of civilization as a result of which they have resulted in global warming. The globe was not warming before human beings came up with his ideas of civilization. He started using fossil oils. All of them are burnt and the carbon deposits and heat generated are so much. He has polluted the virgin soil, earth. Similarly the air and water. Is it right? It is under his own loss and his own ambition called science and technology and civilization. Now he will have to understand that these adverse factors are not admissible. So I leave it to his prudence.

So far as non-humans are concerned, don’t interfere. Look at the huge forests, mountains. The mountains and forests have been remaining for quite a number of millennia. No population has become extinct there, either animals or worms or birds, creepers, plants, trees. Everything falls dead there and everything is assimilated by the earth, cycled by the earth. The leaves decay. They become food and nourishment for plants. These plants are eaten by animals. They also die. Their carcasses get decomposed.

I was told, I cannot give you facts, in olden times, there was a man who was suffering from TB (Tuberculosis). No medicine was there. It is considered to be a mahāvyādhi. An Ayurvedic physician said, “Give me some time.” He went into the forest, followed upward the course of a river and there he found a huge python dead and it is almost on the brink of the river and the water. It is a huge python. He came back and told this man, “I will show you a spot near which you should live on the bank of the river. Every day, take two or three times bath. Drink that water of the river.” It was a spot a few yards below that point which he had noticed. This man lived there, did what exactly the doctor said and after a few weeks and months, he was cured of the disease. Why am I telling you this?

Everything is recycled by nature. All the plants upon the earth are either food and nourishment or medicines. Gold may be a metal extracted from deep down. Similarly, all other metals. But you will find there are many plants on the surface which contain gold, silver, lead, tin, brass, copper, mica. They are in huge ore form down below. But all these things are on the surface blended with the earth. And that is why so many different plants grow drawing different materials in different proportions and they are all in a digestible form. That is why these Ayurvedic medicines which consists of herbs are the best suitable to our system because they are already assimilated by life forms or organized so to say.

Yasmān-nodvijate loko lokān-nodvijate ca yaḥ. You should not be repulsive to the world and you should not look at the world and find repulsion at any point whatsoever. My dear soul, this is something very serious. Here raping is being repeatedly reported. Who rapes? Our own men, boys. Have you incorporated a type of education which organizes their minds against raping? I don’t think. I don’t think. Not yet, there is a lesson there. Have you told everybody the consequences of raping? You should feed and tuition, tuition their mind, that is for not doing. And you should punish them, book them after commission.

Every law takes effect only after committing the wrong. But we want a system whereby the mind will be persuaded and enlightened not to do it. So there is no law or legislation to act upon the mind against raping. That has to be achieved by dhārmic tuition. Have you made any arrangement for it? I think,

Ātmanaḥ pratikūlāni pareshām na samācharet
sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ
yasmān-nodvijate loko lokān-nodvijate ca yaḥ

These are fundamental notes of our dharma. And see how they relate.

I am thinking of it in the context of disposal of waste and garbage. Our dharma clearly says that your garbage should not be thrust on another. ‘S’ was telling me that there was no system of closet and other things, not even a pit latrine was there, our people used to pass stool somewhere on the banks of river or they will go to the plain ground. Now, the question was, women cannot do it. Even if they do it, their monthly period is another troublesome element. So during the monthly period, they stopped taking bath and that is how it became a pollution period for them. It all came from this. Now they are all using closet, latrine and there are hygienic methods of treating their discharge blood etc. So there is no pollution actually. It is just like an oozing wound. These are all points which we have to consider.

Our dharma is very comprehensive, very specific, very particular. We were highly reasonable, rational and logical in treating with any item of life. Remember this.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.