Ancient Jain sages have testified that our soul is pure happiness (sukha), and that happiness is obstructed and our spiritual essence, of pure contentment and joy, is in a sense “weighed down” by karma. We know this when we feel “lighter” after caring for others, reducing our environmental impact, or generally simplifying our lives. Conversely, we feel “weighed down” by fear, anxiety, and other emotions that are exacerbated when our actions may have some degree of harm to others that causes us self-doubt, or requires “damage control” to fix broken relationships, or protect ourselves from those who we have hurt or have wronged.
By practicing non-violence, we diminish the degree to which karma occludes the radiant “happiness” (sukha) of our soul. Actually, this “happiness” might be better thought of as pure love, since it is best experienced by giving of ourselves, rather than taking, and love is defined as the happiness that one feels from giving of oneself.
Thus, with non-violence, we allow the love of our soul to shine forth fuller and more completely. With non-violence we realize that this loving happiness is at the core of our being. Non-violence is an expression of love, a sharing of one’s internal happiness with others, and is therefore the natural condition and expression of who we are at the core of our beings.