Published on March 4, 2014
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word that literally means non-harm. We use it as a term that implies an attitude of well being for oneself and all others. It expresses cultivating compassion, a reverence for life, a protective caring for all beings.
Without non-violence no living being can attain salvation. Harming living forms in any way (accept for those which are inevitable, like breathing kills microorganisms but we can't stop doing so) increases our sins, and hinders the way to ultimate path of salvation. Even in normal lives, harming animals or humans is not considered good, because there is something, a quality of being a human (humanity), which separates humans and animals.
So, finally it can be concluded that Ahimsa is a quality which makes us human, but its meaning should not be limited to just being a vegetarian, its above that, it clears path to salvation, the ultimate goal of any living being.
One basic Ahimsa Practice that every one can do is to cultivate kindness: Kindness towards oneself; kindness toward others.
Mindfulness meditation, whether sitting, standing or moving. Develops concentration, which allows us to calm and steady the mind. It cultivates our natural wisdom and compassion.
Follow Hinduism's yamas, or observances. These are paired with niyamas, or prohibitions. Generally, both refer to codes of conduct or Dharma. Ahimsa is one of the yamas.
Practice any of the Hindu tradition's yogas. These include Raja Yoga (the Royal Way), Jnana Yoga (the Way of Wisdom), Bhakti Yoga (the Way of Devotion) and Karma Yoga (the Way of Duty). Devoted practice of any of the Hindu paths to God-consciousness will lead naturally to the practice of non-injury and pure love.
Treat others with compassion and kindness. Follow the Golden Rule. Ahimsa, as practiced by Gandhi, was not passive, however, it was active. For example; if you are threatened for peaceful protest, simply go limp in the policeman's grip. Do not resist nor surrender.
Practice non-injury with the smallest of living beings. Rather than killing an insect, remove it to the outdoors.
Consider vegetarianism. Hindu and Buddhist traditions all embrace non-injury by this means.
Practice kindness to yourself. Practice Buddhism's "rainbow light" meditation, in which you visualize multicoloured light radiating within you, outward to the world and back to you. Ironically, selflessness is a loving way to treat yourself kindly.
It is the principle of the pure in heart never to injure others, even when they themselves have been hatefully injured. --Tiru Kural, Verse 312. If a man inflicts sorrow on another in the morning, sorrow will come to him unbidden in the afternoon. --Tiru Kural, Verse 319 Do not injure the beings living on the earth, in the air and in the water. --Yajur Veda If the diet is pure the mind will be pure, and if the mind is pure the intellect also will be pure. --Manu Samhita
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