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Rationale for non-violent lifestyle based on needonomics
As a protagonist of needonomics (economics of needs) which is non-violent as well as spiritual in nature, I think of non-violence in two ways: as a life style for individuals and as a development strategy for sustainable development including sustainable human development with peace. In either case, it stands in contrast to its opposite, violence which is caused by greedonomics (economics of greed) and it rests on spiritually guided materialism (SGM) strategy flowing from our epics including Gita and Anu Gita.

I went on my maiden visit to Dehra Tijara Jain Mandir on 15th July 2019, on the occasion of Kalas Sathapna of Chaturmas, with His Holiness Acharya 108 Shri Gian Sagar Maharaj. I am grateful to my friend Shri Deepak Jain Ji, Director, Federation of Indian Industries for inviting me on the great event of Jainism which is unique and full of sermons for all of us to imbibe and learn.

In his blessings Acharya Gian Sagar Maharaj quoted Mahavir "Live and let live' and wanted me to propagate a life style for youth without violence which to my mind is caused by greedonomics. We need to understand, analyse, interpret and adopt vegetarianism with full of benefits individually and socially. In Jainism, the understanding and implementation of Ahims (nonviolence) is more radical and comprehensive than in any other religion. Killing any living being out of passion is considered his (to injure) and abstaining from such an act is ahims (non-injury). The vow of ahims is considered the foremost among the 'five vows of Jainism'. Other vows like truth (Satya) are meant for safeguarding the vow of ahims? The statement ahims paramo dharma is found inscribed on the walls of the Jain temples.

Theoretically, all life forms are said to deserve full protection from all kinds of injury, but Jains recognise a hierarchy of life. Mobile beings are given higher protection than immobile ones. For the mobile beings, they distinguish between one-sensed, two-sensed, three-sensed, four-sensed and five-sensed ones; a one-sensed animal has touch as its only sensory modality. The more senses a being has, the more they care about non-injuring it. Among the five-sensed beings, the precept of non-injury and non-violence to the rational ones (humans) is strongest in Jain Ahimsa. I have been given to understand that Jains agree with Hindus that violence in self-defence can be justified. They agree that a soldier who kills enemies in combat is performing a legitimate duty. Jain communities accepted the use of military power for their defence, there were Jain monarchs, military commanders, and soldiers.

It is believed that nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence. This may be based on moral, religious or spiritual principles, or it may be for purely strategic or pragmatic reasons.

We need a nonviolent life style based on needonomics in daily activities from getting up in the morning to sleep at night. Everyone should invest time in thinking to incorporate non-violence into daily life. There is a strong case for training in non-violent direct action techniques based on Jainism and use them to address critical issues including violence, terrorism and corruption.

It is pertinent to mention that non-violence is closely linked with working to end the root causes of violence caused by greedonomics. Efforts toward a sustainable and just economy are a core part of the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence (2001-2010).

To choose a life of non-violence means choosing a life that is based on a whole set of values, one of which is needonomics. That is, an individual aim to be non-violent while also living a life of competition which is survival of weak by becoming unique( survival of the fittest is a jungle raj ).

The lifestyle that includes needonomics as a value, respect and empathy for other individuals, and as an expectation of cooperation and support within society, which I define all minus, I meaning thereby around myself at local level. It requires honest methods and techniques other than greedonomics leading to violence for resolving conflicts that arise. It does not mean avoidance of all disagreements and conflicts.

Individuals like me who believe strongly in nonviolence typically oppose military efforts to resolve conflicts between nations and frequently support strong human and animal rights policies. We may be conscientious objectors to military service, and we are likely to be vegetarians. Individuals who believe in non-violence often work to reduce the factors that cause violence including greedonomics.  To be working for spirituality, social justice, economic sustainability and human rights are part of the non-violent life style and falls in the domain of needonomics require propagation with cooperation and support at all levels.

*The writer is professor specialised in economics of HRD, researcher, orator, writer and experienced educational administrator in higher education under state, public and private sector as Chairperson, Dean, Director, Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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