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