On Conquering Cruelty

Verses of Vemana – 66

champagudadetti jantuvunai
champavalayu loka satrugunamu
telukondi gotta delemicheyura
viswadhabhirama vinura vema

Commentary: Vemana advocates against cruelty towards the dumb creatures. He speaks about the need to cultivate compassion. He says that we should give up the quality of violence in all its forms and specially killing of animals. We should rather slay the deadly beasts of ignorance roaming in the jungles of our mind[1]. A scorpion whose telson is removed, of what harm will it be? Similarly, we should cut out the stinger of evil nature in us and foster good behaviour. Else, it will be like the story of the Frog and the Scorpion.

[1] Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, (Bombay: Jaico Publishing House, 1989), p. 57


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