Patanjali's yama~ Ahimsa - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-03-2002, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm studying these and was wondering how ahimsa~do not harm anyone can be applied to everyday living? It seems it is so hard to do. Each decision has the potential to harm someone.

Any good questions to ask oneself as they go about their day? I know that ahimsa was supposed to be even more important than satya~not lying. Does anyone have any insite for this?

And while were on the topic, is there a good way to learn mantras? I've read that the pronunciantions are very important, and I have a hard time knowing I am saying anything right. I know no Hindus IRL and I have no Temple in my city.
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#2 of 7 Old 09-03-2002, 02:10 AM
 
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I have a passage that may be of some help:

In the presence of him who has perfected harmlessness, all enmity ceases.

"If emnity and hatred are to be found by the perceiver, it is because in him the seeds of enmity and hatred are present. When they are absent, naught but unity and harmony exists. This is the first stage of universal love, the practical endeavour on the part of the aspirant to be at one with all beings. He begins with himself and sees to it that the seeds of harmfulness in his own nature are eradicated. He deals, therefore, with the cause which produces enimity towards him and others. The natural result is that he is at peace and others are at peace with him. *In his presence even wild beasts are rendered impotent and this by the condition of the mind-state of the aspirant or yogin.*"
-p.195, The Light of the Soul, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

My personal interpretation is that by starting inside ourselves and cultivating unconditional love, our external world creates a reality in which we won't need to be concerned about hurting others.

And you're right--the pronunciation is important in the mantras, as each sound has a specific vibration. Are you familiar with satsangs? There's probably a yoga center near you that has them & you can experience it this way.
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#3 of 7 Old 09-03-2002, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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oh an excellent point about cultivating it within ourselves. I hadn't thought of it that way. I can see how we often harm ourselves first, so by working on not harming ourselves we are also not harming others. Wow thank you.

And good idea about the yoga center, we do have a few near me. I will check them out.
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#4 of 7 Old 09-03-2002, 11:40 AM
 
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You're welcome . It's wonderful, isn't it? I always like to think of the external world being a reflection of my internal world--it tells me very clearly what I need to address.
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#5 of 7 Old 09-03-2002, 11:18 PM
 
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I think it was my faith as a Hindu that directed me towards some of the natural lifestyle things that I do. I try my best never to cause harm to others, although sometimes it's hard. I don't hit or lie or steal although sometimes I do lose my temper and yell. I try not to gossip, at least I don't spread harmful untruths.

I don't eat meat because that harms animals by supporting a miserable and cruel industy. I try to not harm the earth so I do a lot of natural-type things that way too. I can live with a clean conscience in many areas.

No one is perfect, but if you live life with the best of intentions, doing the best that you can, your movement towards ahimsa will help you to find inner peace. It was after I became veg and started trying to practice ahimsa that I was finally able to let go of some anger that had been haunting me since childhood. Many believe that when the animal is killed it is scared and releases endorphins into its tissues. People eat those and it affects their mood and emotional stability.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Many are the lovely flowers of worship offered to the Guru, but none lovelier than non-killing. Respect for life is the highest worship, the bright lamp, the sweet garland and unwavering devotion.
Tirumantiram 197

For a good explanation of Ahimsa written in terms that a Westerner can understand please follow this link:

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/books/dws/M14.html


About mantras:

There are some generic ones that I think it's okay for anyone to say, but there are others that are too powerful to be done unless you are under the guidance of a teacher. I knew a woman who messed around with mantras and Kundalini breathing and she got really unbalanced to the extreme. I mean she went nuts. Just like when I was studying Wicca, my teacher told me not to even try to do certain things until I was at a certain level because I could really mess things up for myself and others.

About pronouncing the words, that is important, but more important are the intentions in your heart. This is one of my favorites, and if you want to learn to pronounce it right you can buy Ravi Shankar's Chants of India CD. An excellent multimedia is called From Untruth to Truth and can be bought at www.ammachi.org. This not only has chants on it but it's a great intro to Hinduism from many different angles.

Aum Saha Naavavathu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Kara Vaavahai
Tejasvi Naavadheetamastu Maa Vidwishaavahai
Aum Shantih Shantih Shantihi

May the Lord protect us, may He nourish us, may we work together with great vigor (divine strength). May we acquire brilliance of our intellect through our studies, may we not hate each other. Let there be peace, peace, peace.


aum shanti,

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#6 of 7 Old 09-04-2002, 02:11 AM
 
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Thank you, Darshani .
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#7 of 7 Old 09-04-2002, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much Darshani. I went looking for a CD with mantras, but I wasn't sure what to get. I will look for the one you recommended :-)
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