excerpt du jour ~chopra

When [Jesus] preached, “If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other also,” (Luke 6:29), [he] wasn’t preaching masochism or martyrdom. He was speaking of a quality of consciousness that is know in Sanskrit as Ahimsa. The word is usually translated as “harmlessness” or “nonviolence,” and in modern times it became the watchword of Gandhi’s movement of peaceful resistance. Gandhi himself was often seen as Christlike, but Ahimsa has roots in India going back thousands of years.

In the Indian tradition, several things are understood about nonviolence, and all of them apply to Jesus’ version of turning the other cheek. First, the aim of nonviolence is ultimately to bring peace to yourself, to quell your own violence; the enemy outside serves only to mirror the enemy within. Second, your ability to be nonviolent depends on a shift in consciousness. Last, if you are successful in changing yourself, reality will mirror the change back to you.

Without these conditions, Ahimsa isn’t spiritual or even effective. If someone full of desire for retaliation turns the other cheek to someone equally enraged, the only thing that will occur is more violence. Playing the part of a saint won’t make a difference. But if a person in God-consciousness turns the other cheek, his enemy will be disarmed.

~Deepak Chopra, The Third Jesus

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5 thoughts on “excerpt du jour ~chopra

  1. I’ve known about Ahimsa for a while but this explanation really drives it home. This is wonderful and I’m glad you shared it. I’m going to share it on Facebook and Twitter. I’m a Deepak fan also.

    • I hadn’t heard of Ahimsa before (at least not the word), but this passage has spurred me to look into it further. Interesting…the principle of Ahimsa dovetails with some of my other current reading (funny how that happens!), and I think Chopra’s explanation of it is very accessible. (and thanks for the share!) :)

  2. Pingback: So be conscious of your actions | Transient Reflections

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