Ahiṃsā

Ahimsanon-violenceAhinsanon-harmingAhimsa in Buddhismgenerally pacifist traditionahimsAhimsa § HinduismAhimsāAhingsa
Ahimsa (Ahinsa) (Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ', Pāli: ') means 'not to injure' and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.wikipedia
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Jainism

JainJainsJaina
Ahimsa (Ahinsa) (Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ', Pāli: ') means 'not to injure' and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism where it is first of the Pancha Mahavrata and Hinduism, and in Buddhism where it is the first of the five precepts.
Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity or sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-attachment).

Hinduism

HinduHindusHindu culture
Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism where it is first of the Pancha Mahavrata and Hinduism, and in Buddhism where it is the first of the five precepts.
Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and compassion, among others.

Buddhism

BuddhistBuddhistsBuddhadharma
Ahimsa (Ahinsa) (Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ', Pāli: ') means 'not to injure' and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism where it is first of the Pancha Mahavrata and Hinduism, and in Buddhism where it is the first of the five precepts.
Undertaking and upholding the five precepts is based on the principle of non-harming (Pāli and ahiṃsa).

Nonviolence

nonviolentnon-violencenon-violent
Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings—including all animals—in ancient Indian religions.
This might include abolitionism against animals as property, the practice of not eating animal products or by-products (vegetarianism or veganism), spiritual practices of non-harm to all beings, and caring for the rights of all beings.

Reincarnation

reincarnatedrebirthpast lives
It bars violence against "all creatures" (sarvabhuta) and the practitioner of Ahimsa is said to escape from the cycle of rebirths (CU 8.15.1).
For example, all three discuss various virtues – sometimes grouped as Yamas and Niyamas – such as non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-possessiveness, compassion for all living beings, charity and many others.

Virtue

virtuesvirtuouspurity
Ahimsa (Ahinsa) (Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ', Pāli: ') means 'not to injure' and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The shorter list of virtues became: Ahimsa (Non-violence), Dama (self restraint), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Satyam (truthfulness).

Tirukkuṛaḷ

TirukkuralThirukkuralKural text
For example, the Tirukkural, written in three volumes, likely between 450–500 CE, dedicates verses 251–260 and 321–333 of its first volume to the virtue of Ahimsa, particularly vegetarianism and non-killing (kollamai).
It emphasizes non-violence and moral vegetarianism as virtues for an individual.

Dāna

danagenerositygiving
Chāndogya Upaniṣad also names Ahimsa, along with Satyavacanam (truthfulness), Arjavam (sincerity), Danam (charity), Tapo (penance/meditation), as one of five essential virtues (CU 3.17.4).
Chandogya Upanishad, Book III, similarly, states that a virtuous life requires: tapas (asceticism), dāna (charity), arjava (straightforwardness), ahimsa (non-injury to all sentinent beings) and satyavacana (truthfulness).

Chandogya Upanishad

Chāndogya UpaniṣadChandogyaChhandogya
The Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, one of the oldest Upanishads, has the earliest evidence for the Vedic era use of the word Ahimsa in the sense familiar in Hinduism (a code of conduct).
This is one of the earliest statement of the Ahimsa principle as an ethical code of life, that later evolved to become the highest virtue in Hinduism.

Sannyasa

sannyasisanyasisannyasin
Hermits (sannyasins) were urged to live on a fruitarian diet so as to avoid the destruction of plants.
Sannyasa has historically been a stage of renunciation, ahimsa (non-violence) peaceful and simple life and spiritual pursuit in Indian traditions.

Vegetarianism

vegetarianvegetariansvegetarian diet
For example, the Tirukkural, written in three volumes, likely between 450–500 CE, dedicates verses 251–260 and 321–333 of its first volume to the virtue of Ahimsa, particularly vegetarianism and non-killing (kollamai).
Parshwanatha and Mahavira, the 23rd & 24th tirthankaras in Jainism respectively revived and advocated ahimsa and Jain vegetarianism in 8th to 6th century BC; the most comprehensive and strictest form of vegetarianism.

Mahavira

MahavirMahāvīraMahaveer
Mahavira, the twenty-fourth and the last tirthankara further strengthened the idea in 6th century BC.
His ascetic teachings have a higher order of magnitude than those of Buddhism or Hinduism, and his emphasis on ahimsa (non-violence) is greater than that in other Indian religions.

Bhagavad Gita

GitaBhagavad-GitaBhagvad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita, among other things, discusses the doubts and questions about appropriate response when one faces systematic violence or war.
This and other moral dilemmas in the first chapter are set in a context where the Hindu epic and Krishna have already extolled ahimsa (non-violence) to be the highest and divine virtue of a human being.

Parshvanatha

ParshvaParshvanathParshwanath
Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara of Jainism, revived, advocated for and preached the concept of nonviolence in around 8th century BC.
According to the Śvētāmbaras, Mahavira expanded Parshvanatha's first four restraints with his ideas on ahimsa (non-violence) and added the fifth monastic vow (celibacy).

Five precepts

PancasilaTen PreceptsPanchsheel
Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of Jainism where it is first of the Pancha Mahavrata and Hinduism, and in Buddhism where it is the first of the five precepts.
Undertaking and upholding the five precepts is based on the principle of non-harming (Pāli and ahiṃsa).

Adi Parva

AdiparvaAdhi ParwamAdi
Some other examples where the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma are discussed include Adi Parva, Vana Parva and Anushasana Parva.

Yamas

YamaPatanjali's Yoga Sutraself-restrained
It is included in the first limb and is the first of five Yamas (self restraints) which, together with the second limb, make up the code of ethical conduct in Yoga philosophy.
The most often mentioned Yamas are – Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (non-falsehood, truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Mitahara (non-excess in food, moderation in food), Kṣamā (non-agitation about suffering, forgiveness), Dayā (non-prejudgment, compassion) are among the widely discussed Yamas.

Veganism

veganvegansvegan diet
According to the Jain tradition either lacto vegetarianism or veganism is prescribed.
In 1960, H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society (AVS), linking veganism to the concept of ahimsa, "non-harming" in Sanskrit.

Aram (Kural book)

aramBook of VirtueBook I
For example, the Tirukkural, written in three volumes, likely between 450–500 CE, dedicates verses 251–260 and 321–333 of its first volume to the virtue of Ahimsa, particularly vegetarianism and non-killing (kollamai).
In a practical sense, the Book of Aṟam deals with the essentials of the Yoga philosophy by expounding the household life that begins with compassion and ahimsa, ultimately leading to the path to renunciation.

Upanishads

UpanishadUpanishadicUpanisads
The Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, one of the oldest Upanishads, has the earliest evidence for the Vedic era use of the word Ahimsa in the sense familiar in Hinduism (a code of conduct).
For example, the Chandogya Upanishad includes one of the earliest known declaration of Ahimsa (non-violence) as an ethical precept.

Satya

SatTruthanirta
For example, hymn 10.22.25 in the Rig Veda uses the words Satya (truthfulness) and Ahimsa in a prayer to deity Indra; later, the Yajur Veda dated to be between 1000 BC and 600 BC, states, "may all beings look at me with a friendly eye, may I do likewise, and may we look at each other with the eyes of a friend".

Arthashastra

ArthasastraArthaśāstraArtha Shastra
Arthashastra discusses, among other things, why and what constitutes proportionate response and punishment.
The Raja-rishi has self-control and does not fall for the temptations of the senses, he learns continuously and cultivates his thoughts, he avoids false and flattering advisors and instead associates with the true and accomplished elders, he is genuinely promoting the security and welfare of his people, he enriches and empowers his people, he practices ahimsa (non-violence against all living beings), he lives a simple life and avoids harmful people or activities, he keeps away from another's wife nor craves for other people's property.

Lacto vegetarianism

lacto-vegetarianlacto vegetarianlacto-vegetarianism
According to the Jain tradition either lacto vegetarianism or veganism is prescribed.
The core of their beliefs behind a lacto-vegetarian diet is the law of ahimsa, or non-violence.

Agni

FireAgnīTejas
The late Vedic era literature (pre-500 BCE) condemns all killings of men, cattle, birds and horses, and prays to god Agni to punish those who kill.
Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the highest precept in Jainism.

Shrimad Rajchandra

RajchandraSrimad RajchandraRaychandbhai
In the 19th and 20th centuries, prominent figures of Indian spirituality such as Shrimad Rajchandraji and Swami Vivekananda emphasised the importance of Ahimsa.
He continued to study other Indian religions and was attracted to Ahimsa (non-violence) doctrine of Jainism.