Is non-violence about not fighting the false and evil?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readJan 23, 2020

Non-violence is not synonymous with non-resistance or cowardice.

Violence is fear, fear is ignorance — it’s obvious.

When you do not know yourself, then you somehow want your own limited, physical, personal security at the cost of everybody else, at the cost of the entire universe. This division is fear and violence.

“I take myself as what I am not, I take myself as this little physical unit, I take my personal welfare as separate from that of universal welfare. In fact, I take my personal interests as opposite to the interests of others” — this is fear, and this is violence.

When you are afraid, then you want to increase your welfare by decreasing the welfare of others. This is what is these days called as ‘a zero-sum game’. You say, “I as a unit am different, rather separate from you as a unit. And there is this one piece of bread in between two of us. If I want to ensure my welfare, then I must deny this piece to you” — this is violence.

Do you see how fear and violence go together?

“I am afraid for my personal welfare, so I want to have the piece of bread for myself. And because I want to have it for myself, I want to forcibly deny it to you” — this is violence.

Fear towards one’s own security is violence towards the other.

And this fear first of all is engendered by ignorance. “I do not know who I am, so I am afraid for myself, and therefore I am violent towards you.”

Now, what is non-violence then? Non-violence is to not to be afraid. Violence comes from fear, fear comes from ignorance. Non-violence is fearlessness, and fearlessness is self-knowledge.

So, non-violence really does not have much to do with the other.

Non-violence does not mean that you will not fight the other, or not resist the other, or will be good to the other, or will serve the other.

Non-violence really is not much about ‘the other’, non-violence is about self-knowledge.

If you know yourself then you are not afraid, if you are not afraid then you do not treat the other as an enemy. You do not even treat the other as a friend. You do not treat the other…

Acharya Prashant