Poem By Gajanan Mishra
A dialogue between the teacher and the pupil
The pupil asks his teacher:
'Sir, what is ‘Ahimsa'?
The teacher answers:
'Ahimsa is a comprehensive word
Encompassing a whole lot of virtues!
Ahimsa has to be practised in thought, word and deed!
The teacher continues:
'Ahimsa is the recognition of unity of life,
Wherein, each individual is a part and parcel
Of this one big world!
We are not separate, but One of the Whole.
The pupil weighed down by the enormity of the word says:
'But sir, how can I recognise the unity of life?
How do I learn to be a part of this universe? '
The teacher replies:
'Firstly, you have to seek the right knowledge from a Guru!
And then, you need to make sincere effort to study the scriptures
With a focused mind,
And work continuously and persistently with tireless determination!
The pupil questions again:
'O dear! But how is it possible for me to recognise a Guru? '
The teacher answers:
'A Guru is a worthy teacher capable of
Removing the ignorance from the minds of his pupils,
And fill the void with light of knowledge!
A knowledgeable teacher is able to answer all the queries,
Clear all doubts and confusions experienced by the student.
At the same time, remains bathed in humility and grace.
It is only a Guru endowed with a compassionate heart,
Walks, talks, and lives the path of Ahimsa.'
The pupil sits close to the teacher,
Listening with rapt attention!
Smiling graciously, the teacher explains in a vivid manner:
'The great Sage Patanjali is the Grand Master of Yoga -
A Guru par excellence!
Sage Patanjali expostulates
Ahimsa as a ‘Mahavratam' or a great vow!
Just as the giant footprints of an elephant
Can hold within its feet the footprints of all animals,
So does Ahimsa embrace within its folds
In order to accomplish Ahimsa,
The first step -
Is to get rid of three nasty germs -
Greed, anger and hatred!
Then, an attitude of ‘Pratipaksha bhavana'-
A sublime act of paradigm shift
From the repulsive to the redeemed!
An extremely difficult act though,
But if mastered,
Becomes an act of retrospection,
When this sublime attitude
Is fully ignited and activated,
Hail! It is victory!
A great battle won over the complex mind!
Prevention of pain and injury
To any living being;
The highest humanitarian act
Is the path of Ahimsa!
'Respected sir' says the student:
'It is too much to grasp and accomplish the path of Ahimsa!
Isn't this an arduous and strenuous path? '
'So it is! ' answers the Guru calmly.
'One cannot practise Ahimsa simply by the flick of your hat!
It will take days, months, years and
Perhaps, even centuries,
To achieve Ahimsa in totality!
Not just this birth, several births to finally reach the goal!
But atleast, you could begin working on it!
Begin your journey now and you will never regret it,
The virtuous path - that would lead to enlightenment! '