On to day 7 of this journey. My nephew came to spend time with us from San Luis Obispo where he is studying to be a computer science engineer. My DD is delighted, her brother is having a sleepover with us!
I spoke to my friend at length. We talked about our kids and how they are doing since school re-started after 18 months. I had an uneventful morning. DH [ dear husband] was working from home for the morning. I went for a walk with some friends. It was refreshing to walk in the cool air.
Once home, I completed some essential tasks of paying bills and loading the dishwasher.
I load my dishwasher in the mornings. I leave things over night in the sink. My mom, has a fit every time she hears or sees that we leave the vessels in the sink. Per the Ahimsa principle, leaving vessels in the sink overnight, results in death of innumerable living creatures. I am not able to make the shift, I do rinse them and leave them in the sink. I am tired in the evenings so I postpone it, to the morning. Maybe, I need to make a change in that. Maybe, this is going to be my change that persists past the Paryushan days.
Lunch was a simple affair, of a sandwich on sourdough bread, fermented dough, store bought dough, all would be No – Nos on the Jain Path. I put some lettuce, tomato and cheese. Green leafy veg and fruits are a No- No, and cheese is a No no as well due to microbes involved in the preparation of the same. My DD had the same sandwich fir lunch, except it was deconstructed! Curious about deconstructed food, it is Mezze style meals, and now, imagine Indian food, Mezze style….I will share some photos on another post.
DD went to karate after school. My nephew arrived, soon after, at 3.30pm, We went and got my DD from Karate, went to pick up some snacks for him and came home. Thursday dinner was a simple affair of idli, white coconut chutney and sambhar.
During Paryushan, my focus is to decrease experience of Himsa by our souls and other living souls and any activities, that result in Himsa of living creatures is what one wants to avoid. I focus on Himsa, the other areas of focus are Aparigraha or Non possessiveness, and Anekantvad or multiplicity of views being true. Both these add to decreasign Himsa.
So how does Aparigraha or Non possessiveness decrease Himsa, one may ask? To understand that, ask yourself why are we fighting over land and religious philosophy? why are we fighting over resources? Because, we believe, the land belongs to us, which is possessiveness or attachment, Indians will say, “India is ours”, Americans will say, “USA is ours”, and the belief is, and since it is ours, it should benefit only us, as in Indians or Americans and at a Global level, it belongs to Humans, they are the priority and it should only benefit Humans. Take this to the macro level, this is my home, this is my car, this is my religion, this is my…….
Where does Anekantvad fit in? Imagine a world where we all believe only my truth is the truth and everything else is false. We ae right and everybody else is wrong. We have a right, no one and nothing else does. What do you see? Do you see the peace and calm or just fires, blood and gore? Can you see how it is also a tool for Ahimsa?
Now, imagine a world, where we believed, everyone has their own truth, and all truths are acceptable, including us and ours. This is Anekantvad and where Anekantvad fits in to decrease ill thoughts and ill feelings towards people and other living things, who are different from us.
Would there have been a WW1 or a WW2, or been Christian crusades, if Anekantvad was the guiding Principle? Would the Pope have declared that all land and their people won by Spanish Conquistadors are their possessions? Would women have been possessions? Would the Europeans have called the rest of the world, Barbarians, and treated them like animals or property? All of these are different forms of Himsa.
Other than the purpose of decreasing Himsa during Paryushan, the other reason to not eat vegetables and fruits is to spend less time doing activities of daily sustenance and more time doing activities that will allow you to understand your soul and experience it.We will have a hard time, understanding and experiencing our soul if we are surrounded by the death and dying. And, dying vegetables and fruits will cloud us.
I hope all are practicing Non violence today and everyday after Paryushan ends.