Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Jaina heroic non-violence

Does one need to be breave in order to be non-violent? And is this an intrinsic connection or one due to historical reasons?

There has unquestionably been a ubiquitous connection in traditional South Asia between warrior and ascetic meditator, the conqueror of external enemies and the one who overcomes inner psychological foes. Jainism’s position as a religion of non-violence, which at the same time appealed to a warrior aristocracy throughout India up to the early centuries of the second millennium CE, need not then appear paradoxical, being most realistically explained by the central position within it of the quality, required by both ascetic and fighter, of intensely restrained control, and also by the promotion of a type of religio-political authority which in idealised form could encompass both the worldly and the soteriological (Paul Dundas, The non-violence of violence, in Religion and Violence in South Asia (Hinnells and King eds.), 2007, p. 52).

On Jainism and heorism, see this post.

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