Violence and Non-Violence – Part 6 (Final)


Defending the weak is an important form of selfless service and it is a part of karma yoga; and use of force, when necessary for this purpose, stands completely justified as an indispensable instrument for securing the desired objective. But any such fighting which may have to be undertaken to defend the weak must be without any selfish motives or hatred, if it is to have unalloyed spiritual importance. It resembles the case of a man defending a woman who is being attacked by another man for vile purposes, thus saving the woman’s honor and life, and correcting the attacking man by punishing him and making him repent.

Meher Baba then commented on the case of killing a mad dog and the case of non-violence of the strong:

he case of destroying the mad dog (situation four) is definitely a case of violence, but it is justified because there is no hatred in it and because it is intended to promote the greater good of the children who would be attacked by the mad dog. The case of the strong man, who gives a sermon instead of seeking revenge (situation five) implies non-violence, but it is not a case of inaction. It neither implies passivity nor weakness but strength and true creative action of an impersonal nature. It is non-violence of the strong.

The detailed analysis of the above diverse situations, as well as their mutual comparison, bring out the fact that questions concerning violence or non-violence, their justification or otherwise and the ascertainment of their true value or lack of value, cannot be decided by any formal enunciation of a universal rule. They involve many delicate spiritual issues and implications. A right understanding of the status of violence and non-violence in the scheme of spiritual values requires a true perception of the meaning of the purpose of existence. Action, therefore, should not be governed by means of any slogans (howsoever high sounding) based upon the incomplete and insufficient ideas of mere violence or mere non-violence; it should be a spontaneous outcome of divine love, which is above duality, and of spiritual understanding, which is above rules.

–, p2781

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