East Asian Mādhyamaka
Hundred Schools of Thought
Four Tenets system
Mahavira, The Torch-bearer of Ahinsa
Ahimsa (IAST: ahiṃsā, Pāli: avihiṃsā) means 'not to injure'
and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Indian
religions. The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs
– to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm, a-hiṃsā is the opposite
of this, i.e. cause no injury, do no harm.
Ahimsa is also
referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living
beings—including all animals—in ancient Indian religions.
Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues and an important tenet of
Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
Ahimsa is a multidimensional
concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the
spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being
is to hurt oneself.
Ahimsa has also been related to the notion that
any violence has karmic consequences. While ancient scholars of
Hinduism pioneered and over time perfected the principles of Ahimsa,
the concept reached an extraordinary status in the ethical philosophy
of Jainism. Most popularly,
Mahatma Gandhi strongly believed in
the principle of ahimsa.
Ahimsa's precept of 'cause no injury' includes one's deeds, words, and
thoughts. Classical literature of
Hinduism such as Mahabharata
and Ramayana, as well as modern scholars debate principles of
Ahimsa when one is faced with war and situations requiring
self-defence. The historic literature from India and modern
discussions have contributed to theories of Just War, and theories of
2.1 Ancient Vedic texts
2.2 The Epics
2.3 Self-defence, criminal law, and war
2.4 Non-human life
2.5 Modern times
5 See also
7 External links
The word Ahimsa—sometimes spelled as Ahinsa—is derived from
the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm,
a-hiṃsā is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming or
There is a debate on the origins of the word Ahimsa, and how its
meaning evolved. Mayrhofer as well as Dumot suggest the root word may
be han which means kill, which leads to the interpretation that ahimsa
means do not kill. Schmidt as well as Bodewitz explain the proper root
word is hiṃs and the Sanskrit verb hinasti, which leads to the
interpretation ahimsa means do not injure, or do not hurt.
Wackernagel-Debrunner concur with the latter explanation.
Ancient texts use ahimsa to mean non-injury, a broader concept than
non-violence. Non-injury implies not killing others, as well as not
hurting others mentally or verbally; it includes avoiding all violent
means—including physical violence—anything that injures others. In
classical Sanskrit literature of Hinduism, another word Adrohi is
sometimes used instead of Ahimsa, as one of the cardinal virtues
necessary for moral life. One example is in
भूतानाम् अद्रोही (One who does not
injure others with words, thoughts or acts is named Adrohi).
Ancient Vedic texts
Ahimsa as an ethical concept evolved in Vedic texts. The oldest
scripts, along with discussing ritual animal sacrifices, indirectly
mention Ahimsa, but do not emphasise it. Over time, the Hindu scripts
revise ritual practices and the concept of
Ahimsa is increasingly
refined and emphasised, ultimately
Ahimsa becomes the highest virtue
by the late Vedic era (about 500 BC). For example, hymn 10.22.25 in
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
Ahimsa appears in the text
Taittiriya Shakha of the Yajurveda
(TS 184.108.40.206), where it refers to non-injury to the sacrificer
himself. It occurs several times in the
Shatapatha Brahmana in the
sense of "non-injury". The
Ahimsa doctrine is a late Vedic era
development in Brahmanical culture. The earliest reference to the
idea of non-violence to animals ("pashu-Ahimsa"), apparently in a
moral sense, is in the Kapisthala Katha Samhita of the
31.11), which may have been written in about the 8th century BCE.
Bowker states the word appears but is uncommon in the principal
Upanishads. Kaneda gives examples of the word
Ahimsa in these
Upanishads. Other scholars suggest
Ahimsa as an ethical
concept that started evolving in the Vedas, becoming an increasingly
central concept in Upanishads.
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). 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). Some scholars state that this 8th or
7th-century BCE mention may have been an influence of
Jainism on Vedic
Hinduism. Others scholar state that this relationship is
speculative, and though
Jainism is an ancient tradition the oldest
traceable texts of
Jainism tradition are from many centuries after the
Vedic era ended.
Chāndogya Upaniṣad also names Ahimsa, along with Satyavacanam
(truthfulness), Arjavam (sincerity), Danam (charity), Tapo
(penance/meditation), as one of five essential virtues (CU
Upanishad lists ten forbearances: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya,
Brahmacharya, Daya, Arjava, Kshama, Dhriti, Mitahara and
Saucha. According to Kaneda, the term
Ahimsa is an
important spiritual doctrine shared by Hinduism,
Buddhism and Jainism.
It literally means 'non-injury' and 'non-killing'. It implies the
total avoidance of harming of any kind of living creatures not only by
deeds, but also by words and in thoughts.
The Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, has multiple mentions
of the phrase
Dharma (अहिंसा परमॊ
धर्मः), which literally means: non-violence is the highest
moral virtue. For example,
Mahaprasthanika Parva has the verse:
अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मस
तथाहिंसा परॊ दमः।
अहिंसा परमं दानम अहिंसा
अहिंसा परमॊ यज्ञस
तथाहिस्मा परं बलम।
अहिंसा परमं मित्रम अहिंसा
अहिंसा परमं सत्यम अहिंसा
The above passage from
Mahabharata emphasises the cardinal importance
Ahimsa in Hinduism, and literally means:
Ahimsa is the highest virtue,
Ahimsa is the highest self-control,
Ahimsa is the greatest gift,
Ahimsa is the best suffering,
Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice,
Ahimsa is the finest strength,
Ahimsa is the greatest friend,
Ahimsa is the greatest happiness,
Ahimsa is the highest truth, and
Ahimsa is the greatest
Some other examples where the phrase
discussed include Adi Parva,
Vana Parva and Anushasana Parva. The
Bhagavad Gita, among other things, discusses the doubts and questions
about appropriate response when one faces systematic violence or war.
These verses develop the concepts of lawful violence in self-defence
and the theories of just war. However, there is no consensus on this
interpretation. Gandhi, for example, considers this debate about
non-violence and lawful violence as a mere metaphor for the internal
war within each human being, when he or she faces moral questions.
Self-defence, criminal law, and war
The classical texts of
Hinduism devote numerous chapters discussing
what people who practice the virtue of Ahimsa, can and must do when
they are faced with war, violent threat or need to sentence someone
convicted of a crime. These discussions have led to theories of just
war, theories of reasonable self-defence and theories of proportionate
Arthashastra discusses, among other things, why
and what constitutes proportionate response and punishment.
The precepts of
Hinduism require that war must be
avoided, with sincere and truthful dialogue. Force must be the last
resort. If war becomes necessary, its cause must be just, its purpose
virtuous, its objective to restrain the wicked, its aim peace, its
method lawful. War can only be started and stopped by a
legitimate authority. Weapons used must be proportionate to the
opponent and the aim of war, not indiscriminate tools of
destruction. All strategies and weapons used in the war must be to
defeat the opponent, not designed to cause misery to the opponent; for
example, use of arrows is allowed, but use of arrows smeared with
painful poison is not allowed. Warriors must use judgment in the
battlefield. Cruelty to the opponent during war is forbidden. Wounded,
unarmed opponent warriors must not be attacked or killed, they must be
brought to your realm and given medical treatment. Children, women
and civilians must not be injured. While the war is in progress,
sincere dialogue for peace must continue.
In matters of self-defence, different interpretations of ancient Hindu
texts have been offered. For example, Tähtinen suggests self-defence
is appropriate, criminals are not protected by the rule of Ahimsa, and
Hindu scriptures support the use of violence against an armed
Ahimsa is not meant to imply pacifism.
Alternate theories of self-defence, inspired by Ahimsa, build
principles similar to theories of just war. Aikido, pioneered in
Japan, illustrates one such principles of self-defence. Morihei
Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, described his inspiration as
Ahimsa. According to this interpretation of
self-defence, one must not assume that the world is free of
aggression. One must presume that some people will, out of ignorance,
error or fear, attack other persons or intrude into their space,
physically or verbally. The aim of self-defence, suggested Ueshiba,
must be to neutralise the aggression of the attacker, and avoid the
conflict. The best defence is one where the victim is protected, as
well as the attacker is respected and not injured if possible. Under
Ahimsa and Aikido, there are no enemies, and appropriate self-defence
focuses on neutralising the immaturity, assumptions and aggressive
strivings of the attacker.
Tähtinen concludes that Hindus have no misgivings about death
penalty; their position is that evil-doers who deserve death should be
killed, and that a king in particular is obliged to punish criminals
and should not hesitate to kill them, even if they happen to be his
own brothers and sons.
Other scholars conclude that the scriptures of Hinduism
suggest sentences for any crime must be fair, proportional and not
There is no consensus on pacifism among modern Hindu scholars. The
conflict between pacifistic interpretations of
Ahimsa and the theories
of just war prescribed by the Gita has been resolved by some scholars
such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, as being an allegory, wherein
the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, the war is within each human
being, where man's higher impulses struggle against his own evil
The Hindu precept of 'cause no injury' applies to animals and all life
forms. This precept isn't found in the oldest verses of Vedas, but
increasingly becomes one of the central ideas between 500 BC and 400
AD. In the oldest texts, numerous ritual sacrifices of
animals, including cows and horses, are highlighted and hardly any
mention is made of
Ahimsa to non-human life.
Hindu texts dated to 1st millennium BC, initially mention meat as
food, then evolve to suggestions that only meat obtained through
ritual sacrifice can be eaten, thereafter evolving to the stance that
one should eat no meat because it hurts animals, with verses
describing the noble life as one that lives on flowers, roots and
Later texts of
Ahimsa one of the primary virtues,
declare any killing or harming any life as against dharma (moral
life). Finally, the discussion in
Upanishads and Hindu Epics
shifts to whether a human being can ever live his or her life without
harming animal and plant life in some way; which and when plants or
animal meat may be eaten, whether violence against animals causes
human beings to become less compassionate, and if and how one may
exert least harm to non-human life consistent with ahimsa precept,
given the constraints of life and human needs. The Mahabharata
permits hunting by warriors, but opposes it in the case of hermits who
must be strictly non-violent. Sushruta Samhita, a Hindu text written
in the 3rd or 4th century, in Chapter XLVI suggests proper diet as a
means of treating certain illnesses, and recommends various fishes and
meats for different ailments and for pregnant women, and the
Charaka Samhita describes meat as superior to all other kinds of food
Across the texts of Hinduism, there is a profusion of ideas about the
Ahimsa when applied to non-human life, but without a
universal consensus. Alsdorf claims the debate and disagreements
between supporters of vegetarian lifestyle and meat eaters was
significant. Even suggested exceptions – ritual slaughter and
hunting – were challenged by advocates of Ahimsa. In the
Mahabharata both sides present various arguments to substantiate their
viewpoints. Moreover, a hunter defends his profession in a long
Many of the arguments proposed in favor of non-violence to animals
refer to the bliss one feels, the rewards it entails before or after
death, the danger and harm it prevents, as well as to the karmic
consequences of violence.
Hindu texts discuss
Ahimsa and non-animal life. They
discourage wanton destruction of nature including of wild and
cultivated plants. Hermits (sannyasins) were urged to live on a
fruitarian diet so as to avoid the destruction of plants.
Scholars claim the principles of ecological non-violence is
innate in the Hindu tradition, and its conceptual fountain has been
Ahimsa as their cardinal virtue.
The classical literature of
Hinduism exists in many Indian languages.
For example, Tirukkuṛaḷ, written between 200 BC and 400 AD, and
sometimes called the Tamil Veda, is one of the most cherished classics
Hinduism written in a South Indian language. Tirukkuṛaḷ
dedicates Chapters 26, 32 and 33 of Book I to the virtue of Ahimsa,
namely, vegetarianism, non-harming, and non-killing, respectively.
Tirukkuṛaḷ says that
Ahimsa applies to all life forms.
Gandhi promoted the principle of
Ahimsa very successfully by applying
it to all spheres of life, particularly to politics.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, prominent figures of Indian
spirituality such as Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami
Sivananda, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and in the present time
Vijaypal Baghel emphasised the importance of Ahimsa.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi promoted the principle of Ahimsa, very
successful by applying it to all spheres of life, particularly to
politics (Swaraj). His non-violent resistance movement satyagraha
had an immense impact on India, impressed public opinion in Western
countries, and influenced the leaders of various civil and political
rights movements such as the American civil rights movement's Martin
Luther King, Jr. and James Bevel. In Gandhi's thought, Ahimsa
precludes not only the act of inflicting a physical injury, but also
mental states like evil thoughts and hatred, unkind behavior such as
harsh words, dishonesty and lying, all of which he saw as
manifestations of violence incompatible with Ahimsa. Gandhi
Ahimsa to be a creative energy force, encompassing all
interactions leading one's self to find satya, "Divine Truth". Sri
Aurobindo criticised the Gandhian concept of
Ahimsa as unrealistic and
not universally applicable; he adopted a pragmatic non-pacifist
position, saying that the justification of violence depends on the
specific circumstances of the given situation. Sri
indicated that Gandhi's
Ahimsa led to partition of India as it blocked
the forceful action that the Indian people were engaged in during the
1920s and 30s, which caused delay in independence, allowing other
forces to take root, including those who wanted India divided.
Gandhi stated that he viewed "
Ahimsa is in Hinduism, it is in
Christianity as well as in Islam." He added, "
common to all religions, but it has found the highest expression and
Hinduism (I do not regard
separate from Hinduism)." When questioned whether violence and
non-violence is both taught in Quran, he stated, "I have heard it from
many Muslim friends that the Koran teaches the use of non-violence.
(... The) argument about non-violence in the Holy Koran is an
interpolation, not necessary for my thesis."
A historical and philosophical study of
Ahimsa was instrumental in the
shaping of Albert Schweitzer's principle of "reverence for life".
Schweitzer praised Indian philosophical and religious traditions for
Ahimsa as, "the laying down of the commandment not to kill
and not to damage is one of the greatest events in the spiritual
history of mankind", but suggested that "not-killing and not-harming"
is not always practically possible as in self-defence, nor ethical as
in chronic starving during a famine case.
Ahimsa is imperative for practitioners of Patañjali's eight limb Raja
yoga system. 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
Ahimsa is also
one of the ten
Yamas in Hatha
Yoga according to verse 1.1.17 of its
classic manual Hatha
Yoga Pradipika. The significance of
the very first restraint in the very first limb of
Yoga (Yamas), is
that it defines the necessary foundation for progress through Yoga. It
is a precursor to Asana, implying that success in Yogasana can be had
only if the self is purified in thought, word and deed through the
self-restraint of Ahimsa.
Ahimsa in Jainism
See also: Jain vegetarianism
The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolises the Jain Vow of Ahimsa.
The word in the middle is "Ahimsa". The wheel represents the
dharmacakra which stands for the resolve to halt the cycle of
reincarnation through relentless pursuit of truth and non-violence.
In Jainism, the understanding and implementation of Ahimsā is more
radical, scrupulous, and comprehensive than in any other religion.
Killing any living being out of passions is considered hiṃsā (to
injure) and abstaining from such an act is ahimsā (noninjury).
The vow of ahimsā is considered the foremost among the 'five vows of
Jainism'. Other vows like truth (satya) are meant for safeguarding the
vow of ahimsā. In the practice of Ahimsa, the requirements are
less strict for the lay persons (sravakas) who have undertaken
anuvrata (Smaller Vows) than for the Jain monastics who are bound by
Mahavrata "Great Vows". The statement ahimsā paramo dharmaḥ
is often found inscribed on the walls of the Jain temples. Like in
Hinduism, the aim is to prevent the accumulation of harmful karma.
Mahavira revived and reorganised the Jain faith in the 6th or 5th
Ahimsa was already an established, strictly observed
Rishabhanatha (Ādinātha), the first Jain Tirthankara, whom
modern Western historians consider to be a historical figure, followed
Parshvanatha (Pārśvanātha) the twenty-third Tirthankara
lived in about the 8th century BCE. He founded the community to
which Mahavira's parents belonged.
Ahimsa was already part of the
"Fourfold Restraint" (Caujjama), the vows taken by Parshva's
followers. In the times of
Mahavira and in the following
centuries, Jains were at odds with both Buddhists and followers of the
Vedic religion or Hindus, whom they accused of negligence and
inconsistency in the implementation of Ahimsa. According to the
Jain tradition either lacto vegetarianism or veganism is
The Jain concept of
Ahimsa is characterised by several aspects. It
does not make any exception for ritual sacrificers and professional
warrior-hunters. Killing of animals for food is absolutely ruled
out. Jains also make considerable efforts not to injure plants in
everyday life as far as possible. Though they admit that plants must
be destroyed for the sake of food, they accept such violence only
inasmuch as it is indispensable for human survival, and there are
special instructions for preventing unnecessary violence against
plants. Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small
insects and other minuscule animals. For example, Jains often do
not go out at night, when they are more likely to step upon an insect.
In their view, injury caused by carelessness is like injury caused by
deliberate action. Eating honey is strictly outlawed, as it would
amount to violence against the bees. Some Jains abstain from
farming because it inevitably entails unintentional killing or
injuring of many small animals, such as worms and insects, but
agriculture is not forbidden in general and there are Jain
Theoretically, all life forms are said to deserve full protection from
all kinds of injury, but Jains recognise a hierarchy of life. Mobile
beings are given higher protection than immobile ones. For the mobile
beings, they distinguish between one-sensed, two-sensed, three-sensed,
four-sensed and five-sensed ones; a one-sensed animal has touch as its
only sensory modality. The more senses a being has, the more they care
about non-injuring it. Among the five-sensed beings, the precept of
non-injury and non-violence to the rational ones (humans) is strongest
in Jain Ahimsa.
In Jain theology, it does not matter how correct or defensible the
violence may be, one must not kill any being, and "non-violence is
one's highest religious duty".
Further information: Noble Eightfold Path; Buddhist ethics
§ Killing, causing others to kill;
Buddhism and violence; and
Ahimsa (or its
Pāli cognate avihiṃsā) is part of
Five Precepts (Pañcasīla), the first of which has been to
abstain from killing. This precept of
Ahimsa is applicable to both the
Buddhist layperson and the monk community.
Ahimsa precept is not a commandment and transgressions did not
invite religious sanctions for layperson, but their power has been in
the Buddhist belief in karmic consequences and their impact in
afterlife during rebirth. Killing, in Buddhist belief, could lead
to rebirth in the hellish realm, and for a longer time in more severe
conditions if the murder victim was a monk. Saving animals from
slaughter for meat, is believed to be a way to acquire merit for
better rebirth. These moral precepts have been voluntarily
self-enforced in lay Buddhist culture through the associated belief in
karma and rebirth. The
Buddhist texts not only recommended
Ahimsa, but suggest avoiding trading goods that contribute to or are a
result of violence:
These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower:
trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat,
trading in intoxicants, trading in poison.
— Anguttara Nikaya V.177, Translated by Martine Batchelor
Unlike lay Buddhists, transgressions by monks do invite
sanctions. Full expulsion of a monk from sangha follows instances
of killing, just like any other serious offense against the monastic
nikaya code of conduct.
Violent ways of punishing criminals and prisoners of war was not
explicitly condemned in Buddhism, but peaceful ways of conflict
resolution and punishment with the least amount of injury were
encouraged. The early texts condemn the mental states that
lead to violent behavior.
Nonviolence is an overriding theme within the
Pali Canon. While
the early texts condemn killing in the strongest terms, and portray
the ideal king as a pacifist, such a king is nonetheless flanked by an
army. It seems that the Buddha's teaching on nonviolence was not
interpreted or put into practice in an uncompromisingly pacifist or
anti-military-service way by early Buddhists. The early texts
assume war to be a fact of life, and well-skilled warriors are viewed
as necessary for defensive warfare. In
Pali texts, injunctions to
abstain from violence and involvement with military affairs are
directed at members of the sangha; later Mahayana texts, which often
generalise monastic norms to laity, require this of lay people as
The early texts do not contain just-war ideology as such. Some
argue that a sutta in the Gamani Samyuttam rules out all military
service. In this passage, a soldier asks the
Buddha if it is true
that, as he has been told, soldiers slain in battle are reborn in a
heavenly realm. The
Buddha reluctantly replies that if he is killed in
battle while his mind is seized with the intention to kill, he will
undergo an unpleasant rebirth. In the early texts, a person's
mental state at the time of death is generally viewed as having a
great impact on the next birth.
Some Buddhists point to other early texts as justifying defensive
war. One example is the Kosala Samyutta, in which King Pasenadi,
a righteous king favored by the Buddha, learns of an impending attack
on his kingdom. He arms himself in defence, and leads his army into
battle to protect his kingdom from attack. He lost this battle but won
the war. King
Pasenadi eventually defeated King
captured him alive. He thought that, although this King of
transgressed against his kingdom, he had not transgressed against him
Ajatasattu was still his nephew. He released
Ajatasattu and did not harm him. Upon his return, the
(among other things) that
Pasenadi "is a friend of virtue, acquainted
with virtue, intimate with virtue", while the opposite is said of the
aggressor, King Ajatasattu.
According to Theravada commentaries, there are five requisite factors
that must all be fulfilled for an act to be both an act of killing and
to be karmically negative. These are: (1) the presence of a living
being, human or animal; (2) the knowledge that the being is a living
being; (3) the intent to kill; (4) the act of killing by some means;
and (5) the resulting death. Some Buddhists have argued on this
basis that the act of killing is complicated, and its ethicization is
predicated upon intent. Some have argued that in defensive
postures, for example, the primary intention of a soldier is not to
kill, but to defend against aggression, and the act of killing in that
situation would have minimal negative karmic repercussions.
According to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, there is circumstantial evidence
encouraging Ahimsa, from the Buddha's doctrine, "Love all, so that you
may not wish to kill any." Gautama
Buddha distinguished between a
principle and a rule. He did not make
Ahimsa a matter of rule, but
suggested it as a matter of principle. This gives Buddhists freedom to
The emperors of Sui dynasty,
Tang dynasty and early Song dynasty
banned killing in Lunar calendar 1st, 5th, and 9th month.
Empress Wu Tse-Tien banned killing for more than half a year in
692. Some also banned fishing for some time each year.
There were bans after death of emperors, Buddhist and Taoist
prayers, and natural disasters such as after a drought in 1926
summer Shanghai and an 8 days ban from August 12, 1959, after the
August 7 flood (八七水災), the last big flood before the 88 Taiwan
People avoid killing during some festivals, like the Taoist Ghost
Festival, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the Vegetarian Festival
and many others.
Consistent life ethic
Vegetarianism and religion
History of vegetarianism
^ Rune E. A. Johansson (6 December 2012).
Pali Buddhist Texts: An
Introductory Reader and Grammar. Routledge. p. 143.
^ a b c Sanskrit dictionary reference
^ a b c Stephen H. Phillips & other authors (2008), in
Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, & Conflict (Second Edition),
ISBN 978-0-12-373985-8, Elsevier Science, Pages 1347–1356,
^ a b Dundas, Paul: The Jains, second edition, London 2002, p. 160;
Wiley, Kristi L.:
Ahimsa and Compassion in Jainism, in: Studies in
Jaina History and Culture, ed. Peter Flügel, London 2006, p. 438;
Laidlaw pp. 153–154.
^ Mayton, D. M., & Burrows, C. A. (2012), Psychology of
Nonviolence, The Encyclopedia of
Peace Psychology, Vol. 1, pages
713–716 and 720–723, Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 978-1-4051-9644-4
^ Encyclopædia Britannica, see Ahimsa
^ Bajpai, Shiva (2011). The History of India - From Ancient to Modern
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ISBN 978-1-934145-38-8; see pages 8, 98
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Vālmı̄ki Rāmāyaṇa: Just War Criteria in an Ancient Indian Epic,
Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 80(3), 659–690.
^ Standing, E. M. (1924). THE SUPER‐VEGETARIANS. New Blackfriars,
5(50), pages 103–108
^ A Hindu Primer Archived 8 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine., by
Shukavak N. Dasa
^ a b
Henk Bodewitz (in Jan E. M. Houben, Karel Rijk van Kooij, Eds.),
Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of
Violence in South Asian Cultural History, ISBN 978-90-04-11344-2,
Brill Academic Pub (June 1999), see Chapter 2
^ a b Walli pp. XXII-XLVII; Borman, William: Gandhi and Non-Violence,
Albany 1986, p. 11–12.
Baudhayana Dharmasutra 2.6
^ Walli, Koshelya: The Conception of
Ahimsa in Indian Thought,
Varanasi 1974, p. 113–145.
^ Sanskrit: अस्मे ता त इन्द्र
विद्याम यासां भुजो
धेनूनां न वज्रिवः ॥१३॥ Rigveda
English: Unto Tähtinen (1964),
Non-violence as an Ethical Principle,
Turun Yliopisto, Finland, PhD Thesis, pages 23–25;
For other occurrence of
Ahimsa in Rigveda, see Rigveda 5.64.3, Rigveda
^ To do no harm Project Gutenberg, see translation for
For other occurrences of
Ahimsa in Vedic literature, see A Vedic
Concordance Maurice Bloomfield, Harvard University Press, page 151
^ Tähtinen p. 2.
Shatapatha Brahmana 220.127.116.11; 18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124; 126.96.36.199.
^ Henk M. Bodewitz in Jan E. M. Houben, K. R. van Kooij, ed., Violence
denied: violence, non-violence and the rationalisation of violence in
"South Asian" cultural history. BRILL, 1999 page 30.
^ Tähtinen pp. 2–3.
^ John Bowker, Problems of suffering in religions of the world.
Cambridge University Press, 1975, page 233.
^ Izawa, A. (2008). Empathy for Pain in Vedic Ritual. Journal of the
International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies, 12, 78
^ Tähtinen pp. 2–5; English translation: Schmidt p. 631.
^ M.K Sridhar and Puruṣottama Bilimoria (2007), Indian Ethics:
Classical traditions and contemporary challenges, Editors:
Puruṣottama Bilimoria, Joseph Prabhu, Renuka M. Sharma, Ashgate
Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7546-3301-3, page 315
^ Jeffery D. Long (2009). Jainism: An Introduction. I. B. Tauris.
pp. 31–33. ISBN 978-1-84511-625-5.
^ Paul Dundas (2002). The Jains. Routledge. pp. 22–24, 73–83.
^ Ravindra Kumar (2008),
Non-violence and Its Philosophy,
ISBN 978-81-7933-159-0, see page 11–14
^ Swami, P. (2000). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Upaniṣads: SZ (Vol.
3). Sarup & Sons; see pages 630–631
^ Ballantyne, J. R., & Yogīndra, S. (1850). A Lecture on the
Vedánta: Embracing the Text of the Vedánta-sára. Presbyterian
^ Chapple, C. (1990). Ecological
Nonviolence and the Hindu Tradition.
In Perspectives on
Nonviolence (pp. 168–177). Springer New York.
^ Ahimsa: To do no harm Subramuniyaswami, What is Hinduism?, Chapter
45, Pages 359–361
^ a b Fischer, Louis: Gandhi: His Life and Message to the World
Mentor, New York 1954, pp. 15–16
^ a b c
Klaus K. Klostermaier (1996), in Harvey Leonard Dyck and Peter
Brock (Ed), The Pacifist Impulse in Historical Perspective, see
Chapter on Himsa and
Ahimsa Traditions in Hinduism,
ISBN 978-0-8020-0777-3, University of Toronto Press, pages
^ a b c d Paul F. Robinson (2003), Just War in Comparative
Perspective, ISBN 0-7546-3587-2, Ashgate Publishing, see pages
^ Coates, B. E. (2008). Modern India's Strategic Advantage to the
United States: Her Twin Strengths in Himsa and Ahimsa. Comparative
Strategy, 27(2), pages 133–147
^ Subedi, S. P. (2003). The Concept in
Hinduism of 'Just War'. Journal
of Conflict and Security Law, 8(2), pages 339–361
^ Tähtinen pp. 96, 98–101.
Mahabharata 12.15.55; Manu Smriti 8.349–350; Matsya Purana
^ Tähtinen pp. 91–93.
^ The Role of Teachers in Martial Arts Nebojša Vasic, University of
Zenica (2011); Sport SPA Vol. 8, Issue 2: 47–51; see page 46, 2nd
^ SOCIAL CONFLICT, AGGRESSION, AND THE BODY IN EURO-AMERICAN AND ASIAN
SOCIAL THOUGHT Donald Levine, University of Chicago (2004)
^ Ueshiba, Kisshōmaru (2004), The Art of Aikido: Principles and
Essential Techniques, Kodansha International, ISBN 4-7700-2945-4
^ Tähtinen pp. 96, 98–99.
^ Gandhi, Mohandas K., The
Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi Berkeley
Hills Books, Berkeley 2000
^ a b Christopher Chapple (1993),
Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and
Self in Asian Traditions, State University of New York Press,
ISBN 0-7914-1498-1, pages 16–17
^ W Norman Brown (February 1964), The sanctity of the cow in Hinduism,
The Economic Weekly, pages 245–255
^ D.N. Jha (2002), The Myth of the Holy Cow, ISBN 1-85984-676-9,
^ Steven Rosen (2004), Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to
Vegetarianism and Animal Rights, ISBN 1-59056-066-3, pages
Baudhayana Dharmasutra 2.4.7; 2.6.2; 2.11.15; 2.12.8; 3.1.13; 3.3.6;
Apastamba Dharmasutra 1.17.15; 1.17.19; 2.17.26–2.18.3; Vasistha
^ Manu Smriti 5.30, 5.32, 5.39 and 5.44;
Mahabharata 3.199 (3.207),
3.199.5 (3.207.5), 3.199.19–29 (3.207.19), 3.199.23–24
(3.207.23–24), 13.116.15–18, 14.28;
^ Alsdorf pp. 592–593.
Mahabharata 13.115.59–60; 13.116.15–18.
^ Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna (1907), An English Translation of the
Sushruta Samhita, Volume I, Part 2; see Chapter starting on page 469;
for discussion on meats and fishes, see page 480 and onwards
^ Sutrasthana 46.89; Sharirasthana 3.25.
^ Sutrasthana 27.87.
Mahabharata 3.199.11–12 (3.199 is 3.207 elsewhere); 13.115;
Bhagavata Purana (11.5.13–14), and the
^ Alsdorf pp. 572–577 (for the Manusmṛti) and pp. 585–597 (for
the Mahabharata); Tähtinen pp. 34–36.
Mahabharata and the Manusmṛti (5.27–55) contain lengthy
discussions about the legitimacy of ritual slaughter.
Mahabharata 12.260 (12.260 is 12.268 according to another count);
Mahabharata 3.199 (3.199 is 3.207 according to another count).
^ Tähtinen pp. 39–43.
^ Alsdorf p. 589–590; Schmidt pp. 634–635, 640–643; Tähtinen
^ Schmidt pp. 637–639; Manusmriti 10.63, 11.145
^ Rod Preece, Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities,
ISBN 978-0-7748-0725-8, University of British Columbia Press,
^ Chapple, C. (1990). Ecological
Nonviolence and the Hindu Tradition.
In Perspectives on
Nonviolence (pages 168–177). Springer New York
^ Van Horn, G. (2006). Hindu Traditions and Nature: Survey Article.
Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 10(1), 5–39
Tirukkuṛaḷ Translated by Rev G.U. Pope, Rev W.H. Drew, Rev John
Lazarus, and Mr F W Ellis (1886), WH Allen & Company; see pages
40–41, verses 311–330
Tirukkuṛaḷ Archived 16 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. see
Chapter 32 and 33, Book 1
Tirukkuṛaḷ Translated by V.V.R. Aiyar, Tirupparaithurai :
Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam (1998)
^ Religious Vegetarianism, ed.
Kerry S. Walters and Lisa Portmess,
Albany 2001, p. 50–52.
^ Ramana Maharishi: ''Be as you are'' Archived 19 April 2010 at the
Wayback Machine.. Beasyouare.info. Retrieved on 2011-06-15.
^ Swami Sivananda: ''Bliss Divine'', p. 3–8. Dlshq.org (2005-12-11).
Retrieved on 2011-06-15.
Vegetarianism p. 56–60.
^ Tähtinen pp. 116–124.
^ Jackson pp. 39–54. Religion East & West. 2008.
^ Tähtinen pp. 115–116.
^ a b c Prabhu and Rao (1966), The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi,
Encyclopedia of Gandhi's Thoughts, p. 120–121
^ Gandhi, Mahatma. 1962. All Religions are True. Bharatiya Vidya
Bhavan. p. 128.; Banshlal Ramnauth, Dev. 1989. Mahatma Gandhi: Insight
and Impact. Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture & Mahatma
Gandhi Institute. p. 48
^ Schweitzer, Albert: Indian Thought and its Development, London 1956,
Sanskrit Original with Translation 1: The
Yoga Philosophy TR Tatya
(Translator), with Bhojaraja commentary; Harvard University Archives;
Translation 2: The Yoga-darsana: The sutras of
Patanjali with the
Vyasa GN Jha (Translator), with notes; Harvard University
Translation 3: The Yogasutras of
Patanjali Charles Johnston
^ James Lochtefeld, "Yama (2)", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing.
ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8, page 777
^ Sanskrit: अथ यम-नियमाः अहिंसा
कष्हमा धॄतिः दयार्जवं
मिताहारः शौछं छैव यमा दश
English Translation: 1.1.17, CHAPTER 1. On Âsanas THE HAṬHA YOGA
^ Laidlaw, pp. 154–160; Jindal, pp. 74–90; Tähtinen p. 110.
^ Jain 2012, p. 34.
^ Jain 2012, p. 33.
^ Dundas pp. 158–159, 189–192; Laidlaw pp. 173–175, 179;
Religious Vegetarianism, ed.
Kerry S. Walters and Lisa Portmess,
Albany 2001, p. 43–46 (translation of the First Great Vow).
^ Laidlaw pp. 26–30, 191–195.
^ Dundas p. 24 suggests the 5th century; the traditional dating of
Mahavira's death is 527 BCE.
^ Goyal, S.R.: A History of Indian Buddhism, Meerut 1987, p. 83–85.
^ Dundas pp. 19, 30; Tähtinen p. 132.
^ Dundas p. 30 suggests the 8th or 7th century; the traditional
chronology places him in the late 9th or early 8th century.
Acaranga Sutra 2.15.
Sthananga Sutra 266; Tähtinen p. 132; Goyal p. 83–84, 103.
^ Dundas pp. 160, 234, 241; Wiley p. 448; Granoff, Phyllis: The
Violence of Non-Violence: A Study of Some Jain Responses to Non-Jain
Religious Practices, in: Journal of the International Association of
Buddhist Studies 15 (1992) pp. 1–43; Tähtinen pp. 8–9.
^ Laidlaw p. 169.
^ Laidlaw pp. 166–167; Tähtinen p. 37.
^ Lodha, R.M.: Conservation of Vegetation and Jain Philosophy, in:
Medieval Jainism: Culture and Environment, New Delhi 1990, p.
137–141; Tähtinen p. 105.
^ Jindal p. 89; Laidlaw pp. 54, 154–155, 180.
^ Sutrakrtangasutram 1.8.3; Uttaradhyayanasutra 10; Tattvarthasutra
7.8; Dundas pp. 161–162.
^ Hemacandra: Yogashastra 3.37; Laidlaw pp. 166–167.
^ Laidlaw p. 180.
^ Sangave, Vilas Adinath: Jaina Community. A Social Survey, second
edition, Bombay 1980, p. 259; Dundas p. 191.
^ Jindal pp. 89, 125–133 (detailed exposition of the classification
system); Tähtinen pp. 17, 113.
^ Dundas 2002, p. 160.
^ Markham & Lohr 2009, p. 71.
^ Paul Williams (2005). Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious
Studies. Routledge. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-415-33226-2.
^ Bodhi Bhikkhu (1997). Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives,
Their Works, Their Legacy. Wisdom Publications. pp. 387 with
footnote 12. ISBN 978-0-86171-128-4. ;
Sarao, p. 49; Goyal p. 143; Tähtinen p. 37.
^ Lamotte, pp. 54–55.
^ a b McFarlane 2001, p. 187.
^ McFarlane 2001, pp. 187–191.
^ Martine Batchelor (2014). The Spirit of the Buddha. Yale University
Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-300-17500-4.
^ a b McFarlane 2001, p. 192.
^ Sarao p. 53; Tähtinen pp. 95, 102.
^ Tähtinen pp. 95, 102–103.
^ Kurt A. Raaflaub, War and
Peace in the Ancient World. Blackwell
Publishing, 2007, p. 61.
^ Bartholomeusz, p. 52.
^ Bartholomeusz, p. 111.
^ a b Bartholomeusz, p. 41.
^ Bartholomeusz, p. 50.
^ Stewart McFarlane in Peter Harvey, ed., Buddhism. Continuum, 2001,
^ Bartholomeusz, p. 40.
^ Bartholomeusz, pp. 125–126. Full texts of the sutta:.
^ Rune E.A. Johansson, The Dynamic Psychology of Early Buddhism.
Curzon Press 1979, page 33.
^ Bartholomeusz, pp. 40–53. Some examples are the Cakkavati Sihanada
Sutta, the Kosala Samyutta, the Ratthapala Sutta, and the Sinha Sutta.
See also page 125. See also Trevor Ling, Buddhism, Imperialism, and
War. George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1979, pages 136–137.
^ Bodhi, Bhikkhu (trans.) (2000). The Connected Discourses of the
Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom
Publications. ISBN 0-86171-331-1.
^ Bartholomeusz, pp. 49, 52–53.
^ Hammalawa Saddhatissa, Buddhist Ethics. Wisdom Publications, 1997,
pages 60, 159, see also Bartholomeusz page 121.
^ Bartholomeusz, p. 121.
^ Bartholomeusz, pp. 44, 121–122, 124.
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Laidlaw, James: Riches and Renunciation. Religion, economy, and
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Realization of the Pure Self, With Hindi and English Translation,
Vikalp, ISBN 978-81-903639-4-5, This article incorporates text
from this source, which is in the public domain.
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