Various aspects and consequences of violence - Jainism

Ācārya Amṛtacandra has described how the consequences of violence (karmas attracted) differ from person to person for similar and different types of acts.

Small violence may bring serious consequences to one person, while to another person grievous violence may bring about lesser consequences.

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For instance, a person hunting and killing only one small animal suffers severe consequences while a person who is building a temple or hospital suffers milder karmic consequences even though its construction kills many animals.

Even when violence is jointly committed by two persons, the same act may result in severe consequences for one person and mild consequences for another person. This may happen in the case where the leader and planner of violence binds severe karmas, while a follower binds much lesser karmas.

One who actually does not commit violence may be responsible for hiṃsā while one who actually commits violence is not responsible for hiṃsā.

For instance, a burglar who fails in his robbery is still a felon but a diligent surgeon who is trying to save a patient is not responsible for violence even if a patient dies during the surgery.

Persons who have not committed violence may become responsible for violence committed by others. This may happen when violence that is carried out by someone is approved and instigated by someone else.

Ahimsa often gives the result of himsa to one and himsa may sometimes give the result of ahimsa to another. For instance, one person saves another from oppression by use of violence and hence enjoys consequences of ahimsa although resorting to violence, while another does not act to save someone wishing that the other person is not saved and thus suffers the consequences of violence although he may have not actually done anything.

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