A Dharmic Spider Trap


Back to the topic of ahimsa, if there are bugs in ones home- particularly in one's bedroom and particularly spiders- what is the proper way of dealing with such a situation. They seem to sit mainly in their web, but it is still quite discomforting having multiple, fairly large spiders just hanging out in a place where I sleep.

—A., usa


Dear Friend,

In Conversations with Yogananda Swami Kriyananda asks Yogananda about killing flies and mosquitos. Yogananda recommends this, saying that in countries where such insects are allowed to proliferate, human life expectancy is lower. He also said that such insects are instruments of evil.

Unfortunately, Swami did not ask about spiders, which help to eliminate other insects. But some spiders have been known to be harmful to humans or pets. Your discomfort with their presence is important to acknowledge.

I will give you a suggestion that does not come from any scripture, but may provide a help: A friend made a “spider catcher” for me out of the inside cardboard tube of a paper towel roll. He taped one end of the roll together. The tube makes it very easy to scoop up a spider and throw it out a window or door. Then, clean up the spider webs with a vacuum cleaner.

Personally, I would love to know what Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda would say about killing spiders. The key aspect of ahimsa, of course, is attitude.

In Autobiography of a Yogi, when Yogananda starts to swat a mosquito and then remembers ahimsa and stops, his guru says, “Why don’t you finish the job?” — and goes on to tell him that his thought of injury was already there, so he might as well actually kill the insect. You might want to examine your thinking to see if this applies to your feelings about spiders.

I wish I had a more definitive answer for you, but at least this provides a harmless way of getting rid of spiders!