Ahimsa means you do not

  • Kill any creature,
  • Hire or pay anyone else to kill a creature,
  • Praise or support anyone who kills a creature.
This is an idea that I support and agree with.

Ahimsa means absolute non-violence. The physical part is obvious, but besides that Ahimsa also includes mental non-violence, meaning that you should not mentally attack someone.

This quote courtesy of A.Word.A.Day
    The test of ahimsa is the absence of jealousy. The man whose heart never cherishes even the thought of injury to anyone, who rejoices at the prosperity of even his greatest enemy, that man is the bhakta, he is the yogi, he is the guru of all.
    - Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
This concept was/is also important to Jainism.
Gandhi on ahimsa:

  • No man has ever been able to describe God fully. The same is true of ahimsa.
  • Ahimsa- it is the only true force in life.
  • When the practice of ahimsa becomes universal, God will reign on earth as He does in heaven.
  • In ahimsa, the bravery consists in dying, not in killing.
  • Man as animal is violent but as spirit is non-violent. The moment he awakes to the spirit within he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses towards ahimsa or rushes to his doom.
  • Where there is ahimsa there is Truth and Truth is God. How He manifests Himself I cannot say. All I know is that He is all-pervading and where He is all is well.
  • Ahimsa is an attribute of the brave. Cowardice and ahimsa do not go together any more than water and fire.
  • In ahimsa it is not the votary who acts in his own strength. Strength comes from God. Never have I attributed any independant strength to myself.
  • It is likely that what we believe to be an act of ahimsa (non-violence) is an act of himsa (violence) in the eyes of God.
  • If ahimsa does not appeal to your heart, you should discard it.
  • The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy.
  • I have known many meat eaters to be far more non-violent than vegetarians.
  • The more I practice it the clearer I see how far I am from the full expression of ahimsa in my life.
  • Ahimsa is always infallible. When therefore, it appears to have failed, the failure is due to the inaptitude of the votary.

source text: Gandhi on Non-Violence, ed. Thomas Merton, 1964.
One of the five principles of living within Jainism or "Jain dharma", a religion heavily influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism that stresses the preservation of all forms of life and shuns materialism.

The term has been translated to mean "non-violence in all parts of a person--mental, verbal, and physical."

This non-violence is expected toward not only fellow human beings and animals, but vegetables as well. Strict Jains will only consume products of the preceeding that do not threaten or cause the death of an organism. Therefore, a Jain could consume fruits, milk, and nuts, while meat and even onions, would be prohibited.

Violation of this principle is said to create bad karma and negatively affect an individual's next life.

The following are the other four principles of living within Jainism:

2. Satya

3. Asteya

4. Brahma-charya

5. Aparigraha

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