Interesting Facts about Ahimsa

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Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term that means non-violence or not to harm. Literally it stands for staying away from violence. Ahimsa is an important factor in almost all Indian Religions. Every Religion like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and others preach Ahimsa, i.e. a non violent and gentle approach towards all living beings on this earth.

Here are some majorly interesting facts about ahimsa:

The Father of The Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a strong believer of this religious tenet. He was always in favor of non violent settlement of disputes and the Indian struggle for Independence, led by him, is marked by his insistence on ahimsa.

According to the Vedas, all sorts of violence create a negative vibe on a human’s mind and work. The term Ahimsa is broadly described in the Yajurveda as non-injury. It has also been mentioned in other religious books like the Shatapatha Brahamana.

The doctrine for Ahimsa was earlier introduced among the Brahmins and became a major component of their lives. Earlier it was referred to as not harming any animals i.e. Pashu- Ahimsa. It was found in the Kapisthala Katha Samhita, which was written long back in the 8th Century BCE.

According to several scholars, Ahimsa is considered as one of the five vital virtues of a human being. It was an essential factor that helped bridge the gap between the Brahminical religion and Shramanic Culture.

Among the five vows of the Jain Religion, Ahimsa is considered the most fundamental and tough vow to be taken, namely the Ahimsa-vrata. The other important vows are Satya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha and Asteya.

The followers of Ahimsa have to follow the rules of contemplation or meditation, noble virtues or Dharma, win over twenty two kinds of suffering or Parishahas and follow six external austerity measures. The Jain scriptures have defined Ahimsa as a strong comprehensive vow that has to be followed with intense care, in the form of universal love and compassion.

Ahimsa strongly opposes a non-vegetarian diet or flesh consumption. Vegetarian diets could only be followed. Slaughtering of animals was strictly prohibited by the tenets of ahimsa. The basis of the foundation of the Jain Religion has been Ahimsa.

In the Vedic Era, a lot of animal and human sacrifices were made in the name of Gods or to please the Almighty. When it became a regular practice, the Dharma decided to curb such evil features in the name of God and thus the rules of Ahimsa came into being.

In the Jain scriptures it has been mentioned that no one likes to suffer from pain and plight be it a human or an animal. So to end the sufferings they decided to emphasize greatly on Ahimsa or non-violence, to avert animal sacrifices and meat-eating. Lord Mahavira took many steps in favor of Ahimsa.

Ahimsa is said to be practiced in daily life through the Anuvratas and the Siavratas. Live and let live is one motto that is widely manifested by all followers of Ahimsa. The observation of these vows must be as accurate as possible.

Finally, Indian culture teaches us that the utmost religion is Ahimsa. Worldly peace can only be attained through the practice of Ahimsa, in the term Ahimsa Param-o-Dharma.

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