Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

I was invited to Jain Convention 2011 by' Jaina Association in North America" from 1st to 4th july 2011. .The theme of the Convention was 'Live & help Live'.I presented the paper on "Aparigraha" as how does it help others to live better by practising Aparigraha in one's life.Jain code of conduct emphasises Aparigraha-Nonpossesion for the spiritual life as other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.Aparigraha leads one to limiting or restraining one's desires and we do not become servant of our passions.Jains have counted different Possesions and showed the limitations to possessions.Aparigraha inspires one to give up.Mahatma Gandhi  practised this vow in his life,Since he was in South Africa and did not allow his wife to carry the ornaments presented to him for  his selfless services to the Indians there while leaving South Africa.Ahimsa and Aparigraha are related to one another.Nonetheless Acharya Vinoba Bhave discusses that all the five vows -Truth,Nonviolence,Nonpossession,Non-stealing,Chastity-are related to another,so much so that the violation of one of the vows leads to the violation of another.

Aparigraha leads to Social Welfare.The positive and the peaceful co-existence has to be on the pattern of the co-existence has tobe on the pattern of a mother and her newly born child  lying on the same bed.When the child cries ,inspite of all her personal ailments  and discomforts the mother pats and feeds the child.The mother and the child co-exist only because the mother takes over the responsibiltty to make otherwise  'unfit' child to survive .Gandhi reminds us the story of Tolstoy 'How much land a man requires?'and adds 'if Tolstoy had known much of cremation ,he would even have allowed much less of space and ,if the body were to receive scientific treatment of reduction,it would be resolved into five elements and then no space at all would be required.”

Aparigraha is related to Ecology also.Gandhi adds ‘there is enough for everybody’s need but not for anybody’s greed.’He says ,’Civilization ,in the real sense of the term ,consists not in the multiplication ,but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants.Aparigraha is an ideal condition like the straight line of Geometry,we cannot reach it ,so long as we have body ,but we should try to realize as best as we can.”

 Dr.Geeta Mehta

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Comment by Garvin Brown on August 9, 2011 at 1:49

Geeta very beautiful true words. Aparigraha is the key to it all.





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