In Sanskrit, placing an “a” in front of a word is used to denote the opposite of the root word. Ahimsa, which is taken to mean non-violence, could literally be translated as the opposite of violence. If you ask yourself what the opposite of violence is, I’d guess that it is highly unlikely that you would respond by saying non-violence. Non-violence is in fact the absence of violence but it is not the true opposite of violence. Let’s take another pair of Sanskrit words that appears in the Sutras to illustrate my point. Punya and apunya are presented as a pair of opposites used to denote virtue and malevolence, or good and evil. Apunya is rarely, if ever, translated as non-virtue yet it takes the same linguistic structure as ahimsa. So, rather than merely thinking of ahimsa as non-violence, I’d like to challenge you to change the paradigm of your concept of ahimsa. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what the opposite of violence is. The answer that comes to me is more like healing, peace or, without falling into the often over used cliche, love. Himsa is sometimes translated as “hate” and a very easy opposite to hate is love.
Once we redefine ahimsa as love, it actually changes the entire paradigm of yogic values, like ahimsa 2.0. Love is itself an action whose shape and form is not simple or easy to understand. But love is active, sometimes fierce, sharp, poignant, brave, courageous, strong, bold, defiant, and disruptive. And sometimes also peaceful, graceful, forgiving, quiet, patient and humble.
Read the full blog here:
Link also in bio.
Photo @sigismondiphotography behind the scenes filming for @omstarsofficial Yes we are filming a Global Yogi in Berlin.