२.३५ अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः

35. When a man becomes steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence.

We are accustomed to use the word “harmless” in a rather derogatory sense; it has become almost synonymous with “ineffectual.” Yet the perfected harmlessness of the saint is by no means ineffectual; it is a positive psychological force of tremendous power. When a man has truly and entirely renounced violence in his own thoughts and in his dealings with others, he begins to create an atmosphere around himself within which violence and enmity must cease to exist because they find no reciprocation. Animals, too, are sensitive to such an atmosphere. Wild beasts may be temporarily cowed with whips, but they can only be rendered harmless by the power of genuine harmlessness, as every good trainer knows. A lady who was accustomed to handle deadly snakes used to explain: You see, they know I won’t hurt them.”

“The test of ahimsa (harmlessness) is absence of jealousy,” said Swami Vivekananda. “The so-called great men of the world may all be seen to become jealous of each other for a small name, for a little fame, and for a few bits of gold. So long as this jealousy exists in a heart, it is far away from the perfection of ahimsa.”


Isherwood, C., & Prabhavananda, S. (1969). How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali. Mentor.


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