Ahimsa, aka: Ahimsā, Ahiṃsā; 11 Definition(s)
Ahimsa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
- 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 29. 69; 30, 35; III. 23. 51, 68 and 72.
- 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 18. 15-16; Matsya-purāṇa 61. 15; 106. 48; 143. 12-13 and 30.
The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Dharmaśāstra (religious law)
Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा) refers to “non violence”, but more specifically, it means not to be vindictive towards anybody. It forms an important part in the concept of value. It is the opposite of violence, hurting (hiṃsā). It is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti and the Baudhāyana-dharmasūtra.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence—himsa). It is an important tenet of the religions that originated in ancient India (Hinduism, Buddhism and especially Jainism). Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences. The extent to which the principle of non violence can or should be applied to different life forms is controversial between various authorities, movements and currents within the three religions and has been a matter of debate for thousands of years. Though the origins of the concept of ahimsa are unknown,
The earliest references to ahimsa are found in the texts of historical Vedic religion, dated to 8th century BCE. Here, ahimsa initially relates to “non injury” without a moral connotation, but later to non violence to animals and then, to all beings.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
ahiṃsā : (f.) non-hurting.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Ahiṃsā, (f.) (a + hiṃsā) not hurting, humanity, kindness D.III, 147; A.I, 151; Dh.261, 270; J.IV, 71; Miln.402. (Page 92)(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
s. avihimsā.(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
General definition (in Buddhism)
Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा, “non-violence”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., ahiṃsā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Non violence(Source): Buddhism Tourism: Glossary of Buddhist Terms
General definition (in Jainism)
Ahimsa in Jainism emphasizes vegetarianism and bans hunting and ritual sacrifice. Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small insects and other minuscule animals and make considerable efforts not to injure plants in everyday life as far as possible. In accordance to this policy, eating of some foods, whose cultivation harms small insects and worms as well as agriculture itself, is to be abstained from. Violence in self defense, criminal law, and war are accepted by Hindus and Jains. Though ahimsa is not used as a technical term in Buddhism unlike the other two religions, it condemns ritual sacrifice and violence, and moral codes emphasize the importance of not taking life.(Source): WikiPedia: Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.
Languages of India and abroad
ahiṃsā (अहिंसा).—f (S) Non-destruction of life (for the sustenance of man; vegetarianism. 2 Harmlessness towards all living creatures; innocence of bloodshedding.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
ahiṃsā (अहिंसा).—f Non-destruction of life.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
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Search found 25 books and stories containing Ahimsa, Ahimsā or Ahiṃsā. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
A History of Indian Philosophy Volume 1 (by Surendranath Dasgupta)
Part 21 - Jaina Yoga < [Chapter VI - The Jaina Philosophy]
Part 23 - Yoga Purificatory Practices (Parikarma) < [Chapter VII - The Kapila and the Pātañjala Sāṃkhya (yoga)]
Part 6 - Yoga and Patañjali < [Chapter VII - The Kapila and the Pātañjala Sāṃkhya (yoga)]
Yoga Sutras with Vedanta Commentaries (by Patañjali)
Sūtras 33-37 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Sūtras 28-30 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Yoga Vasistha Volume 1 (by Vālmīki)
Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi (by Ganganatha Jha)
Verse 12.83 < [Section X - The Highest Good]
Verse 11.222 < [Section XXIX - Description of the Expiatory Penances]
Verse 10.63 < [Section VIII - Improvement in the Status of Castes]
A Happy Married Life (by Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda)
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