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Neo-Ahimsa

by Moss Bliss D.D. (Zaivalananda)

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The Principle of Neo-Ahimsa

Many eastern religions teach the principle of Ahimsa. This means the non-harming of life. Even at best, it is not truly practicable, as life ebbs and flows by the moment. Sometimes to preserve your own life, you must kill other life -- bacteria or virii, as in colds or strep throat or pneumonia; plants and animals for a variety of reasons. Below are the principles I follow, which I now name "Neo-Ahimsa".

1. Do not seek to harm life. However, killing individuals -- whether microbal, vegetable, or animal -- removes nothing from the web of life, it only rearranges it. The spirit remains, the molecules remain, all may be reused by the web. Always thank them for their life and bless them to their ancestors.

2. Kill only for your personal safety, mercy, or food. Do not knowingly kill anything that would remove a species; do not kill more than you need to. I am not worth more than a cow, but neither am I worth less.

3. Within your own house, you may choose to keep certain life out (such as spiders or cockroaches). You bless them away from your house, you put out herbs and sounds to send them away. If they fail to heed these warnings, you may remove them or kill them, using the least potent force necessary. You may extend this principle to your gardens and fields, but not to the whole Earth. All creatures have their place, and all are part of God (Siva).

4. This is a practice, not a doctrine. It is up to each individual to define his use of Neo-Ahimsa, not a topic of debate among scholars. This comes from the heart, not the head or books.

There are repercussions to this. There are repercussions to everything. My actions may mitigate karmic responsibility, but do not remove it.

Gerald L. "Moss" Bliss, D.D. (as Zaivalananda)
June 5, 2005

OM GAM Ganapatiye Namaha! OM DUM Durgaye Namaha!

Devi Spring, author and compiling editor. Copyright Devi Spring 2006.