Chapter 8: The Dewdrop and the Ocean
Let us also consider this from the opposite end. Does this imply that there is no meaning in Mahavira’s and Buddha’s nonviolence? If the violence that took place in Hiroshima and in the Auschwitz concentration camps has no relevance, then does Mahavira’s and Buddha’s nonviolence also lose all meaning? Yes, if you think that the only purpose of nonviolence is to save someone from dying and being destroyed, then it has no meaning.
But no, Mahavira’s and Buddha’s nonviolence has a different meaning. This desire, this intent to save and protect, this desire and intent not to kill, this state of having no interest in killing, this mental state of feeling joy in protecting.. For example, when Mahavira is walking, making sure that not even an ant is killed under his feet, it doesn’t mean that the ant was saved because of Mahavira’s efforts. That which is going to survive in the ant has already survived forever, and that which is not going to survive cannot be saved by Mahavira either. But this feeling in Mahavira to avoid killing is of great value. This feeling does not cause any particular benefit or loss to the ant, but it certainly does to Mahavira.
Deep down what matters is how one feels, not what happens. Deep down the question is of the feeling, of what the person thinks, because a person lives surrounded in his thoughts. Events take place in reality but the person lives in his thoughts, in his feelings.
Violence or killing is evil. It is evil despite Krishna saying that it doesn’t actually take place. And Krishna’s statement is not at all wrong. In fact, Krishna is speaking from an existential state; he has discovered this in the layers of existence itself.
When Hitler is killing people, he is not in the same state of mind as Krishna is. Hitler enjoys killing; he delights in destroying, in exterminating. Whether anything actually gets destroyed or not is a different matter, but Hitler has a passion for killing. This passion for killing is violence.
Understood rightly, the passion to destroy, the desire to kill, is violence. Whether death actually occurs or not is altogether a separate issue. And this passion in Hitler to kill is the passion of a sick mind.
It is important to understand that if someone feels an interest in killing and destruction, that person is insane inside. The more silent and blissful a person is inside, the more impossible it will be for him to be interested in destruction. The more blissful a person is inside, the more he will be interested in creativity.
Mahavira’s nonviolence is a creative feeling, a creative feeling towards the world. Hitler’s violence is a destructive feeling, a destructive feeling towards the world. So the feeling is important. But from where we are living, what actually happens existentially is not valuable yet.
Let me try to explain this to you through a small anecdote..