20 May My Reflections on AHIMSA during the times of Covid-19
Within the midst of the slowdown, I find myself having time and space daily to listen, observe, reflect, try to learn and understand what we as a global community are currently experiencing.
One of the things that I have observed during our Covid-19 “retreat” was an unusually aggressive approach and interaction on social media.
Just the other day, I was listening to a professor on Youtube who has been sharing his opinions around Covid-19 matters. It interests me that he was also astounded by the mix of intense reactions and feedback he received. He recalled a similar past experience he encountered as a university professor. He ran an experiment by dividing his students into two groups. He asked each group to represent opposing arguments. At the end of the debate, he found some of his students no longer talk to each other. Some of them did no longer speak to each other for up to one year.
Throughout this quarantine period, we seem to be investing so much of our time, energy and emotions in reacting on social media. Many try to shame people they don’t agree with and condemn them on social media for violating the social distancing “norms”. And most of these reactions are steeped in anger, hatred and divisiveness which eventually lead to suffering.
It brings me back to review one of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga philosophy: “Ahimsa” (non-violence).
The essence of Ahimsa is the minimisation of harm to self and others, not only in physical form but also in thoughts, action, and speech. And if we apply ahimsa principle in our social media engagement, we can make our digital space so much more compassionate, inclusive and inspiring during this challenging time.
As a yogi, I am invited and committed to practice Ahimsa in every area of my life. So I do my best to be polite. I invite myself to always listen and respect other people’s point of view, despite how I feel about the topic of discussion. I believe only when we succeed to master a non-violent lifestyle, we will live at peace, within and without.
I am also inspired by how advanced and sophisticated the Vedic civilization was. According to the tradition, the “Sahana Vavatu” mantra from Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad (2.2.2) is usually recited as a prayer before the start of each class in school. It is also chanted before the study of any sacred scriptural text or before starting any discussion.
Oṃ saha nāvavatu .
saha nau bhunaktu .
saha vīryaṁ karavāvahai .
tējasvi nāvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai .
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ
Om, May we all be protected
May we all be nourished
May we work together with great energy
May our intellect be sharpened
Let there be no Animosity amongst us
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace
Blessing from my heart to yours,
Linda and Intuitive Flow family ?