Ahimsa

Ahimsa (Ahinsa)(Sanskrit: अहिंसा IAST: ahiṃsā, Pāli:[1] avihiṃsā) means 'not to injure' and 'compassion' and refers to a key virtue in Indian religions.[2][3][4] 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.[5][6] Ahimsa is also referred to as nonviolence, and it applies to all living beings—including all animals—in ancient Indian religions.[7]

Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues[3] and an important tenet of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept,[8] 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.[3][9] Most popularly, Mahatma Gandhi strongly believed in the principle of ahimsa.[10]

Ahimsa's precept of 'cause no injury' includes one's deeds, words, and thoughts.[11][12] Classical literature of Hinduism such as Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as modern scholars[13] 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 appropriate self-defence.[14]

Lord Mahavir Gold
Mahavira, The Torch-bearer of Ahinsa

Etymology

The word Ahimsa—sometimes spelled as Ahinsa[2][15]—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 nonviolence.[2][16]

Nonviolence or Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues[3] and an important tenet of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It is a multidimensional concept,[8] 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. It 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.[3][9]

Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara of Jainism, revived, advocated for and preached the concept of nonviolence in around eighth-century BC.[17] Mahavira, the twenty-fourth and the last tirthankara further strengthened the idea in sixth-century BC; which was believed to be founded by the first tirthankara Rushabhdev over a million years ago.[18][19]

Hinduism

Ancient Vedic texts

Ahimsa as an ethical concept evolved in Vedic texts.[9][20] The oldest scripts 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 the Rig Veda uses the words Satya (truthfulness) and Ahimsa in a prayer to deity Indra;[21] 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 a friend".[9][22]

The term Ahimsa appears in the text Taittiriya Shakha of the Yajurveda (TS 5.2.8.7), where it refers to non-injury to the sacrificer himself.[23] It occurs several times in the Shatapatha Brahmana in the sense of "non-injury".[24] The Ahimsa doctrine is a late Vedic era development in Brahmanical culture.[25] 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 Yajurveda (KapS 31.11), which may have been written in about the 8th century BCE.[26]

Bowker states the word appears but is uncommon in the principal Upanishads.[27] Kaneda gives examples of the word Ahimsa in these Upanishads.[12] Other scholars[8][28] 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).[29] Some scholars state that this 8th or 7th-century BCE mention may have been an influence of Jainism on Vedic Hinduism.[30] 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.[31][32]

Chāndogya Upaniṣad also names Ahimsa, along with Satyavacanam (truthfulness), Arjavam (sincerity), Danam (charity), Tapo (penance/meditation), as one of five essential virtues (CU 3.17.4).[8][33]

The Sandilya Upanishad lists ten forbearances: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Daya, Arjava, Kshama, Dhriti, Mitahara and Saucha.[34][35] According to Kaneda,[12] 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 Epics

The Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, has multiple mentions of the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma (अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मः), which literally means: non-violence is the highest moral virtue. For example, Mahaprasthanika Parva has the verse:[36]

अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मस तथाहिंसा परॊ दमः।
अहिंसा परमं दानम अहिंसा परमस तपः।
अहिंसा परमॊ यज्ञस तथाहिस्मा परं बलम।
अहिंसा परमं मित्रम अहिंसा परमं सुखम।
अहिंसा परमं सत्यम अहिंसा परमं शरुतम॥

The above passage from Mahabharata emphasises the cardinal importance of 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 teaching.[37][38]

Some other examples where the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma are 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.[39]

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 punishment.[14][40] Arthashastra discusses, among other things, why and what constitutes proportionate response and punishment.[41][42]

War

The precepts of Ahimsa under 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.[14][41] 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.[43] 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.[41] Children, women and civilians must not be injured. While the war is in progress, sincere dialogue for peace must continue.[14][40]

Self-defence

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 attacker.[44][45] Ahimsa is not meant to imply pacifism.[46]

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.[47] According to this interpretation of Ahimsa in 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.[48][49]

Criminal law

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.[50]

Other scholars[40][41] conclude that the scriptures of Hinduism suggest sentences for any crime must be fair, proportional and not cruel.

Non-human life

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.[51][52] 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.[53][54]

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 fruits alone.[51][55]

Later texts of Hinduism declare 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[56] 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.[57][58] 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,[59][60] and the Charaka Samhita describes meat as superior to all other kinds of food for convalescents.[61]

Across the texts of Hinduism, there is a profusion of ideas about the virtue of Ahimsa when applied to non-human life, but without a universal consensus.[62] 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.[63][64][65] In the Mahabharata both sides present various arguments to substantiate their viewpoints. Moreover, a hunter defends his profession in a long discourse.[66]

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.[67][68]

The ancient 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.[69][70] Scholars[71][72] 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, the Tirukkural, written between 200 BC and 400 AD, and sometimes called the Tamil Veda, is one of the most cherished classics on Hinduism written in a South Indian language. The Kural dedicates Chapters 26, 32 and 33 of Book I to the virtue of Ahimsa, namely, vegetarianism, non-harming, and non-killing, respectively. The Kural says that Ahimsa applies to all life forms.[73][74][75]

Modern times

Portrait Gandhi
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 Shrimad Rajchandraji[76] and Swami Vivekananda[77] emphasised the importance of Ahimsa.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi promoted the principle of Ahimsa, very successful by applying it to all spheres of life, particularly to politics (Swaraj).[78] 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.[79] Gandhi believed Ahimsa to be a creative energy force, encompassing all interactions leading one's self to find satya, "Divine Truth".[80] 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.[81]

Gandhi stated that he viewed "Ahimsa is in Hinduism, it is in Christianity as well as in Islam."[82] He added, "Nonviolence is common to all religions, but it has found the highest expression and application in Hinduism (I do not regard Jainism or Buddhism as separate from Hinduism)."[82] 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."[82][83]

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 ethics of 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 humankind", 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.[84]

Yoga

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 Yoga philosophy.[85][86] Ahimsa is also one of the ten Yamas in Hatha Yoga according to verse 1.1.17 of its classic manual Hatha Yoga Pradipika.[87] The significance of Ahimsa as 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.

Jainism

Ahimsa
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.[88] Killing any living being out of passions is considered hiṃsā (to injure) and abstaining from such an act is ahimsā (noninjury).[89] 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.[90] 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 the Mahavrata "Great Vows".[91] The statement ahimsā paramo dharmaḥ is often found inscribed on the walls of the Jain temples.[4] Like in Hinduism, the aim is to prevent the accumulation of harmful karma.[92] When Mahavira revived and reorganised the Jain faith in the 6th or 5th century BCE,[93] Ahimsa was already an established, strictly observed rule.[94] Rishabhanatha (Ādinātha), the first Jain Tirthankara, whom modern Western historians consider to be a historical figure, followed by Parshvanatha (Pārśvanātha)[95] the twenty-third Tirthankara lived in about the 8th century BCE.[96] He founded the community to which Mahavira's parents belonged.[97] Ahimsa was already part of the "Fourfold Restraint" (Caujjama), the vows taken by Parshva's followers.[98] 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.[99] According to the Jain tradition either lacto vegetarianism or veganism is mandatory.[100]

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.[101] 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.[102] Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even small insects and other minuscule animals.[103] 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.[104] Eating honey is strictly outlawed, as it would amount to violence against the bees.[105] Some Jains abstain from farming because it inevitably entails unintentional killing or injuring of many small animals, such as worms and insects,[106] but agriculture is not forbidden in general and there are Jain farmers.[107]

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.[108]

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".[109][110]

Mahatma Gandhi, who was greatly influenced by Jainism, said:[111]

No religion in the World has explained the principle of Ahiṃsā so deeply and systematically as is discussed with its applicability in every human life in Jainism. As and when the benevolent principle of Ahiṃsā or non-violence will be ascribed for practice by the people of the world to achieve their end of life in this world and beyond, Jainism is sure to have the uppermost status and Mahāvīra is sure to be respected as the greatest authority on Ahiṃsā.

Buddhism

In Buddhist texts Ahimsa (or its Pāli cognate avihiṃsā) is part of the 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.[112][113][114]

The Ahimsa precept is not a commandment and transgressions did not invite religious sanctions for laypersons, but their power has been in the Buddhist belief in karmic consequences and their impact in afterlife during rebirth.[115] 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.[115] 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.[116] 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[117]

Unlike lay Buddhists, transgressions by monks do invite sanctions.[118] Full expulsion of a monk from sangha follows instances of killing, just like any other serious offense against the monastic nikaya code of conduct.[118]

War

Violent ways of punishing criminals and prisoners of war was not explicitly condemned in Buddhism,[119] but peaceful ways of conflict resolution and punishment with the least amount of injury were encouraged.[120][121] The early texts condemn the mental states that lead to violent behavior.[122]

Nonviolence is an overriding theme within the Pali Canon.[123] While the early texts condemn killing in the strongest terms, and portray the ideal queen/king as a pacifist, such a queen/king is nonetheless flanked by an army.[124] 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.[124] The early texts assume war to be a fact of life, and well-skilled warriors are viewed as necessary for defensive warfare.[125] 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 well.[126]

The early texts do not contain just-war ideology as such.[127] 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 she/he has been told, soldiers slain in battle are reborn in a heavenly realm. The Buddha reluctantly replies that if she/he is killed in battle while her/his mind is seized with the intention to kill, she/he will undergo an unpleasant rebirth.[128] 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.[129]

Some Buddhists point to other early texts as justifying defensive war.[130] 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 Ajatasattu and captured him alive. He thought that, although this King of Magadha has transgressed against his kingdom, he had not transgressed against him personally, and Ajatasattu was still his nephew. He released Ajatasattu and did not harm him.[131] Upon his return, the Buddha said (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.[132]

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.[133] Some Buddhists have argued on this basis that the act of killing is complicated, and its ethicization is predicated upon intent.[134] 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.[135]

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 act.[136]

Laws

The emperors of Sui dynasty, Tang dynasty and early Song dynasty banned killing in Lunar calendar 1st, 5th, and 9th month.[137][138] Empress Wu Tse-Tien banned killing for more than half a year in 692.[139] Some also banned fishing for some time each year.[140]

There were bans after death of emperors,[141] Buddhist and Taoist prayers,[142] 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 Flood.[143]

People avoid killing during some festivals, like the Taoist Ghost Festival,[144] the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the Vegetarian Festival and many others.[145][146]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c Sanskrit dictionary reference
  3. ^ a b c d e 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, 701–849, 1867
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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
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  10. ^ Gandhi, M. (2002). The essential Gandhi: an anthology of his writings on his life, work, and ideas. Random House Digital, Inc.
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  12. ^ a b c Kaneda, T. (2008). Shanti, peacefulness of mind. C. Eppert & H. Wang (Eds.), Cross cultural studies in curriculum: Eastern thought, educational insights, pages 171–192, ISBN 978-0-8058-5673-6, Taylor & Francis
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  15. ^ Standing, E. M. (1924). THE SUPER‐VEGETARIANS. New Blackfriars, 5(50), pages 103–108
  16. ^ A Hindu Primer Archived 8 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine, by Shukavak N. Dasa
  17. ^ "Parshvanatha", britannica.com
  18. ^ "Mahavira", britannica.com
  19. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=SXgEfiNY46sC&pg=PA271&dq=Rushabhdev+million&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwin-beChPTZAhVELI8KHaB5AD0Q6AEIKTAB#v=onepage&q=Rushabhdev%20million&f=false
  20. ^ Walli, Koshelya: The Conception of Ahimsa in Indian Thought, Varanasi 1974, p. 113–145.
  21. ^ Sanskrit: अस्मे ता त इन्द्र सन्तु सत्याहिंसन्तीरुपस्पृशः । विद्याम यासां भुजो धेनूनां न वज्रिवः ॥१३॥ Rigveda 10.22 Wikisource;
    English: Unto Tähtinen (1964), Non-violence as an Ethical Principle, Turun Yliopisto, Finland, PhD Thesis, pages 23–25; OCLC 4288274;
    For other occurrence of Ahimsa in Rigveda, see Rigveda 5.64.3, Rigveda 1.141.5;
  22. ^ To do no harm Project Gutenberg, see translation for Yajurveda 36.18 VE;
    For other occurrences of Ahimsa in Vedic literature, see A Vedic Concordance Maurice Bloomfield, Harvard University Press, page 151
  23. ^ Tähtinen p. 2.
  24. ^ Shatapatha Brahmana 2.3.4.30; 2.5.1.14; 6.3.1.26; 6.3.1.39.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Tähtinen pp. 2–3.
  27. ^ John Bowker, Problems of suffering in religions of the world. Cambridge University Press, 1975, page 233.
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  29. ^ Tähtinen pp. 2–5; English translation: Schmidt p. 631.
  30. ^ 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
  31. ^ Jeffery D. Long (2009). Jainism: An Introduction. I. B. Tauris. pp. 31–33. ISBN 978-1-84511-625-5.
  32. ^ Paul Dundas (2002). The Jains. Routledge. pp. 22–24, 73–83. ISBN 978-0415266055.
  33. ^ Ravindra Kumar (2008), Non-violence and Its Philosophy, ISBN 978-81-7933-159-0, see page 11–14
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  36. ^ Mahabharata 13.117.37–38
  37. ^ Chapple, C. (1990). Ecological Nonviolence and the Hindu Tradition. In Perspectives on Nonviolence (pp. 168–177). Springer New York.
  38. ^ Ahimsa: To do no harm Subramuniyaswami, What is Hinduism?, Chapter 45, Pages 359–361
  39. ^ Fischer, Louis: Gandhi: His Life and Message to the World Mentor, New York 1954, pp. 15–16
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  44. ^ Tähtinen pp. 96, 98–101.
  45. ^ Mahabharata 12.15.55; Manu Smriti 8.349–350; Matsya Purana 226.116.
  46. ^ Tähtinen pp. 91–93.
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  52. ^ W Norman Brown (February 1964), The sanctity of the cow in Hinduism, The Economic Weekly, pages 245–255
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  54. ^ Steven Rosen (2004), Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to Vegetarianism and Animal Rights, ISBN 1-59056-066-3, pages 19–39
  55. ^ 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 Dharmasutra 14.12.
  56. ^ 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; Ramayana 1-2-8:19
  57. ^ Alsdorf pp. 592–593.
  58. ^ Mahabharata 13.115.59–60; 13.116.15–18.
  59. ^ 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
  60. ^ Sutrasthana 46.89; Sharirasthana 3.25.
  61. ^ Sutrasthana 27.87.
  62. ^ Mahabharata 3.199.11–12 (3.199 is 3.207 elsewhere); 13.115; 13.116.26; 13.148.17; Bhagavata Purana (11.5.13–14), and the Chandogya Upanishad (8.15.1).
  63. ^ Alsdorf pp. 572–577 (for the Manusmṛti) and pp. 585–597 (for the Mahabharata); Tähtinen pp. 34–36.
  64. ^ The Mahabharata and the Manusmṛti (5.27–55) contain lengthy discussions about the legitimacy of ritual slaughter.
  65. ^ Mahabharata 12.260 (12.260 is 12.268 according to another count); 13.115–116; 14.28.
  66. ^ Mahabharata 3.199 (3.199 is 3.207 according to another count).
  67. ^ Tähtinen pp. 39–43.
  68. ^ Alsdorf p. 589–590; Schmidt pp. 634–635, 640–643; Tähtinen pp. 41–42.
  69. ^ Schmidt pp. 637–639; Manusmriti 10.63, 11.145
  70. ^ Rod Preece, Animals and Nature: Cultural Myths, Cultural Realities, ISBN 978-0-7748-0725-8, University of British Columbia Press, pages 212–217
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  72. ^ Van Horn, G. (2006). Hindu Traditions and Nature: Survey Article. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 10(1), 5–39
  73. ^ Tirukkural 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
  74. ^ Tirukkural Archived 16 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine see Chapter 32 and 33, Book 1
  75. ^ Tirukkural Translated by V.V.R. Aiyar, Tirupparaithurai : Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam (1998)
  76. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=8P0KAQAAIAAJ&q=shrimad+rajchandra+and+gandhiji&dq=shrimad+rajchandra+and+gandhiji&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi_7uC9uMjaAhVLqY8KHU3wAbYQ6AEIPTAF
  77. ^ Religious Vegetarianism, ed. Kerry S. Walters and Lisa Portmess, Albany 2001, p. 50–52.
  78. ^ Tähtinen pp. 116–124.
  79. ^ Walli pp. XXII-XLVII; Borman, William: Gandhi and Non-Violence, Albany 1986, p. 11–12.
  80. ^ Jackson pp. 39–54. Religion East & West. 2008.
  81. ^ Tähtinen pp. 115–116.
  82. ^ a b c Prabhu and Rao (1966), The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, Encyclopedia of Gandhi's Thoughts, p. 120–121
  83. ^ 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
  84. ^ Schweitzer, Albert: Indian Thought and its Development, London 1956, pages 82–83
  85. ^
  86. ^ James Lochtefeld, "Yama (2)", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8, page 777
  87. ^ Sanskrit: अथ यम-नियमाः अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं बरह्मछर्यं कष्हमा धॄतिः | दयार्जवं मिताहारः शौछं छैव यमा दश || १७ ||
    English Translation: 1.1.17, CHAPTER 1. On Âsanas THE HAṬHA YOGA PRADIPIKA
  88. ^ Laidlaw, pp. 154–160; Jindal, pp. 74–90; Tähtinen p. 110.
  89. ^ Jain 2012, p. 34.
  90. ^ Jain 2012, p. 33.
  91. ^ 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).
  92. ^ Laidlaw pp. 26–30, 191–195.
  93. ^ Dundas p. 24 suggests the 5th century; the traditional dating of Mahavira's death is 527 BCE.
  94. ^ Goyal, S.R.: A History of Indian Buddhism, Meerut 1987, p. 83–85.
  95. ^ Dundas pp. 19, 30; Tähtinen p. 132.
  96. ^ Dundas p. 30 suggests the 8th or 7th century; the traditional chronology places him in the late 9th or early 8th century.
  97. ^ Acaranga Sutra 2.15.
  98. ^ Sthananga Sutra 266; Tähtinen p. 132; Goyal p. 83–84, 103.
  99. ^ 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.
  100. ^ Laidlaw p. 169.
  101. ^ Laidlaw pp. 166–167; Tähtinen p. 37.
  102. ^ Lodha, R.M.: Conservation of Vegetation and Jain Philosophy, in: Medieval Jainism: Culture and Environment, New Delhi 1990, p. 137–141; Tähtinen p. 105.
  103. ^ Jindal p. 89; Laidlaw pp. 54, 154–155, 180.
  104. ^ Sutrakrtangasutram 1.8.3; Uttaradhyayanasutra 10; Tattvarthasutra 7.8; Dundas pp. 161–162.
  105. ^ Hemacandra: Yogashastra 3.37; Laidlaw pp. 166–167.
  106. ^ Laidlaw p. 180.
  107. ^ Sangave, Vilas Adinath: Jaina Community. A Social Survey, second edition, Bombay 1980, p. 259; Dundas p. 191.
  108. ^ Jindal pp. 89, 125–133 (detailed exposition of the classification system); Tähtinen pp. 17, 113.
  109. ^ Dundas 2002, p. 160.
  110. ^ Markham & Lohr 2009, p. 71.
  111. ^ Rudolph & Rudolph 1984, p. 171.
  112. ^ Paul Williams (2005). Buddhism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies. Routledge. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-415-33226-2.
  113. ^ 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.;
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  114. ^ Lamotte, pp. 54–55.
  115. ^ a b McFarlane 2001, p. 187.
  116. ^ McFarlane 2001, pp. 187–191.
  117. ^ Martine Batchelor (2014). The Spirit of the Buddha. Yale University Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-300-17500-4.
  118. ^ a b McFarlane 2001, p. 192.
  119. ^ Sarao p. 53; Tähtinen pp. 95, 102.
  120. ^ Tähtinen pp. 95, 102–103.
  121. ^ Kurt A. Raaflaub, War and Peace in the Ancient World. Blackwell Publishing, 2007, p. 61.
  122. ^ Bartholomeusz, p. 52.
  123. ^ Bartholomeusz, p. 111.
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  125. ^ Bartholomeusz, p. 50.
  126. ^ Stewart McFarlane in Peter Harvey, ed., Buddhism. Continuum, 2001, pages 195–196.
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  129. ^ Rune E.A. Johansson, The Dynamic Psychology of Early Buddhism. Curzon Press 1979, page 33.
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Bibliography

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External links

Ahimsa in Jainism

Ahinsā (Ahinsā) in Jainism is a fundamental principle forming the cornerstone of its ethics and doctrine. The term ahinsa means nonviolence, non-injury and absence of desire to harm any life forms. Vegetarianism and other nonviolent practices and rituals of Jains flow from the principle of ahinsa. The Jain concept of ahinsa is very different from the concept of nonviolence found in other philosophies. Violence is usually associated with causing harm to others. But according to the Jain philosophy, violence refers primarily to injuring one's own self – behaviour which inhibits the soul's own ability to attain moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths). At the same time it also means violence to others because it is this tendency to harm others that ultimately harms one's own soul. Furthermore, the Jains extend the concept of ahinsa not only to humans but to all animals, plants, micro-organisms and all beings having life or life potential. All life is sacred and everything has a right to live fearlessly to its maximum potential. Living beings need not fear those who have taken the vow of ahinsa. According to Jainism, protection of life, also known as abhayadānam, is the supreme charity that a person can make.Ahinsa does not merely indicate absence of physical violence, but also indicates absence of desire to indulge in any sort of violence. Jains have strongly advocated vegetarianism and nonviolence throughout the ages.

Ahinsa Sthal

Ahinsa Sthal is a Jain temple located in Mehrauli, Delhi. The main deity of the temple is Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara (human spiritual guide) of Avasarpiṇī (present half cycle of time). A magnificent statue of Tirthankara Mahāvīra is installed here.

Anekantavada

Anekāntavāda (Sanskrit: अनेकान्तवाद, "many-sidedness") refers to the Jain doctrine about metaphysical truths that emerged in ancient India. It states that the ultimate truth and reality is complex and has multiple aspects. Anekantavada has also been interpreted to mean non-absolutism, "intellectual Ahimsa", religious pluralism, as well as a rejection of fanaticism that leads to terror attacks and mass violence. Some scholars state that modern revisionism has attempted to reinterpret anekantavada with religious tolerance, openmindedness and pluralism.According to Jainism, no single, specific statement can describe the nature of existence and the absolute truth. This knowledge (Kevala Jnana), it adds, is comprehended only by the Arihants. Other beings and their statements about absolute truth are incomplete, and at best a partial truth. All knowledge claims, according to the anekāntavāda doctrine must be qualified in many ways, including being affirmed and denied. Anekāntavāda is a fundamental doctrine of Jainism.

The origins of anekāntavāda can be traced back to the teachings of Mahāvīra (599–527 BCE), the 24th Jain Tīrthankara. The dialectical concepts of syādvāda "conditioned viewpoints" and nayavāda "partial viewpoints" arose from anekāntavāda in the medieval era, providing Jainism with more detailed logical structure and expression. The details of the doctrine emerged in Jainism in the 1st millennium CE, from debates between scholars of Jain, Buddhist and Hindu schools of philosophies.

Arjava

Ārjav(Sanskrit: आर्जव) literally means sincerity, straightness and non-hypocrisy. It is one of the ten Yamas in ancient Hindu and Jaina texts.

Dharma (Jainism)

Jain texts assign a wide range of meaning to the Sanskrit dharma or Prakrit dhamma. It is often translated as “religion” and as such, Jainism is called Jain Dharma by its adherents.

In Jainism, the word Dharma is used to refer the following:

Religion

Dharma as a dravya (substance or a reality) (the principle of motion)

The true nature of a thing

Ten virtues like forgiveness, etc. also called ten forms of Dharma

Ethics of Jainism

Jain ethical code prescribes two dharmas or rules of conduct. One for those who wish to become ascetic and another for the śrāvaka (householders). Five fundamental vows are prescribed for both votaries. These vows are observed by śrāvakas (householders) partially and are termed as anuvratas (small vows). Ascetics observe these fives vows more strictly and therefore observe complete abstinence. These five vows are:

Ahiṃsā (Non-violence)

Satya (Truth)

Asteya (Non-stealing)

Brahmacharya (Chastity)

Aparigraha (Non-possession)

According to Jain text, Puruşārthasiddhyupāya:All these subdivisions (injury, falsehood, stealing, unchastity, and attachment) are hiṃsā as indulgence in these sullies the pure nature of the soul. Falsehood etc. have been mentioned separately only to make the disciple understand through illustrations.

Apart from five main vows, a householder is expected to observe seven supplementary vows (śeelas) and last sallekhanā vow.

Jain symbols

Jain symbols are symbols based on the Jain philosophy.

Jain vegetarianism

Jain vegetarianism is practiced by the followers of Jain culture and philosophy. It is one of the most rigorous forms of spiritually motivated diet on the Indian subcontinent and beyond. The Jain cuisine is completely vegetarian and also excludes underground vegetables such as garlic, etc, to prevent injuring small insects and microorganisms; and also to prevent the entire plant getting uprooted and killed. It is practised by Jain ascetics and lay Jains.Jain objections to the eating of meat, fish and eggs are based on the principle of non-violence (ahimsa, figuratively "non-injuring"). Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing or injury is seen as act of violence (himsa), which creates harmful reaction karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karma. The extent to which this intention is put into effect varies greatly among Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Jains believe nonviolence is the most essential religious duty for everyone (ahinsā paramo dharmaḥ, a statement often inscribed on Jain temples). It is an indispensable condition for liberation from the cycle of reincarnation, which is the ultimate goal of all Jain activities. Jains share this goal with Hindus and Buddhists, but their approach is particularly rigorous and comprehensive. Their scrupulous and thorough way of applying nonviolence to everyday activities, and especially to food, shapes their entire lives and is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity. A side effect of this strict discipline is the exercise of asceticism, which is strongly encouraged in Jainism for lay people as well as for monks and nuns. Out of the five types of living beings, a householder is forbidden to kill, or destroy, intentionally, all except the lowest (the one sensed, such as vegetables, herbs, cereals, etc., which are endowed with only the sense of touch).

Jainism

Jainism (), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion. Followers of Jainism are called "Jains", a word derived from the Sanskrit word jina (victor) and connoting the path of victory in crossing over life's stream of rebirths through an ethical and spiritual life. Jains trace their history through a succession of twenty-four victorious saviours and teachers known as tirthankaras, with the first being Rishabhanatha, who according to Jain tradition lived millions of years ago, twenty-third being Parshvanatha in 8th century BC and twenty-fourth being the Mahāvīra around 500 BCE. Jains believe that Jainism is an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every cycle of the Jain cosmology.

The main religious premises of Jainism are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism. Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity), and aparigraha (non-attachment). These principles have impacted Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle that avoids harm to animals and their life cycles. Parasparopagraho Jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is the motto of Jainism. Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most common and basic prayer in Jainism.Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras; and several smaller sub-traditions that emerged in the 2nd millennium CE. The Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras have different views on ascetic practices, gender and which Jain texts can be considered canonical. Jain mendicants are found in all Jain sub-traditions, with laypersons (śrāvakas) supporting the mendicants' spiritual pursuits with resources.

Jainism has between four and five million followers, with most Jains residing in India. Outside India, some of the largest Jain communities are present in Canada, Europe, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Suriname, Fiji, and the United States. Major Jain festivals include Paryushana and Daslakshana, Mahavir Jayanti, and Diwali.

Jivamukti Yoga

The Jivamukti Yoga method is a proprietary style of yoga created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984.Jivamukti is a physical, ethical, and spiritual practice, combining a vigorous hatha yoga, vinyasa-based physical style with adherence to five central tenets: shastra (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsā (nonviolence, non-harming), nāda (music), and dhyana (meditation). Animal rights, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism are also emphasized. Jivamukti Yoga has developed a reputation as the chosen yoga style of many celebrities.

Kshamavani

Kshamavani (Sanskrit: Kṣamāvaṇī) or "Forgiveness Day" is a day of forgiving and seeking forgiveness for the followers of Jainism. Digambaras celebrate it on the first day of Ashvin Krishna month of the lunar-based Jain calendar. Śvētāmbaras celebrate it on Samvatsari, the last day of the annual Paryushana festival. which coincides with the Chaturthi, 4th day of Shukla Paksha in the holy month of Bhadra. "Micchami Dukkadam" is the common phrase when asking for forgiveness. It is a Prakrit phrase meaning "May all the evil that has been done be fruitless".

Malini Fonseka

Wanniarachchige Malini Senehelatha Fonseka, popularly as Malini Fonseka (Sinhala:මාලිනී ෆොන්සේකා) (born 30 April 1947 in Kelaniya) is an award-winning Sri Lankan film actress and former member of Sri Lanka Parliament, who became known as the "Queen of Sinhalese cinema". Her cinema career that has spanned many decades began with Tissa Liyansooriya's Punchi Baba in 1968. She first became widely known when she won the 'Best Actress Award' at the 1969 National State Drama Festival This was followed by Sarasaviya Best Actress Awards for Hingana Kolla in 1980, Aradhana in 1982 and Yasa Isuru in 1983. In 2010, she was named by CNN as one of Asia's 25 greatest film actors of all time.

Non-cooperation movement

The Non-Cooperation Movement was a significant but short phase of the Indian independence movement from British rule. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and lasted from 1920 to February 1922. It aimed to resist British rule in India through non-violent means, or "Ahimsa". Protesters would refuse to buy British goods, adopt the use of local handicrafts and picket liquor shops. The ideas of Ahimsa and non-violence, and Gandhi's ability to rally hundreds of thousands of common citizens towards the cause of Indian independence, were first seen on a large scale in this movement through the summer of 1920. Gandhi feared that the movement might lead to popular violence. The non-cooperation movement was launched on 1 August 1920 and withdrawn in February 1922 after the Chauri Chaura incident.

Nonviolence

Nonviolence is the personal practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence. This may be based on moral, religious or spiritual principles, or it may be for purely strategic or pragmatic reasons.Nonviolence also has "active" or "activist" elements, in that believers generally accept the need for nonviolence as a means to achieve political and social change. Thus, for example, the Tolstoy and Gandhian non violence is a philosophy and strategy for social change that rejects the use of violence, but at the same time sees nonviolent action (also called civil resistance) as an alternative to passive acceptance of oppression or armed struggle against it. In general, advocates of an activist philosophy of nonviolence use diverse methods in their campaigns for social change, including critical forms of education and persuasion, mass noncooperation, civil disobedience, nonviolent direct action, and social, political, cultural and economic forms of intervention.

In modern times, nonviolent methods of action have been a powerful tool for social protest and revolutionary social and political change. There are many examples of their use. Fuller surveys may be found in the entries on civil resistance, nonviolent resistance and nonviolent revolution. Here certain movements particularly influenced by a philosophy of nonviolence should be mentioned, including Mahatma Gandhi leading a successful decades-long nonviolent struggle against British rule in India, Martin Luther King's and James Bevel's adoption of Gandhi's nonviolent methods in their campaigns to win civil rights for African Americans, and César Chávez's campaigns of nonviolence in the 1960s to protest the treatment of farm workers in California. The 1989 "Velvet Revolution" in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the Communist government is considered one of the most important of the largely nonviolent Revolutions of 1989. Most recently the nonviolent campaigns of Leymah Gbowee and the women of Liberia were able to achieve peace after a 14-year civil war. This story is captured in a 2008 documentary film Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

The term "nonviolence" is often linked with or used as a synonym for peace, and despite being frequently equated with passivity and pacifism, this is rejected by nonviolent advocates and activists. Nonviolence refers specifically to the absence of violence and is always the choice to do no harm or the least harm, and passivity is the choice to do nothing. Sometimes nonviolence is passive, and other times it isn't. For example, if a house is burning down with mice or insects in it, the most harmless appropriate action is to put the fire out, not to sit by and passively let the fire burn. There is at times confusion and contradiction written about nonviolence, harmlessness and passivity. A confused person may advocate nonviolence in a specific context while advocating violence in other contexts. For example, someone who passionately opposes abortion or meat eating may concurrently advocate violence to kill an abortionist or attack a slaughterhouse, which makes that person a violent person.

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it."

Quit India speech

The Quit India speech is a speech made by Mahatma Gandhi on 8 August 1942, on the eve of the Quit India movement. He called for determined, but passive resistance that signified the certitude that Gandhi foresaw for the movement, best described by his call to Do or Die. His speech was issued at the Gowalia Tank Maidan park in Bombay (now Mumbai), since renamed August Kranti Maidan (August Revolution Ground). However, almost the entire Congress leadership, and not merely at the national level, was put into confinement less than twenty-four hours after Gandhi's speech, and the greater number of the Congress leaders were to spend the rest of the war in jail. Gandhi made this speech to help India gain Independence.

Satyagraha

Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह; satya: "truth", graha: "insistence" or "holding firmly to") or holding onto truth or truth force – is a particular form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. Someone who practices satyagraha is a satyagrahi.

The term satyagraha was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948). He deployed satyagraha in the Indian independence movement and also during his earlier struggles in South Africa for Indian rights. Satyagraha theory influenced Martin Luther King Jr.'s and James Bevel's campaigns during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and many other social justice and similar movements.

Statue of Ahimsa

The Statue of Ahimsa is located at Mangi-Tungi, near Nashik in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the tallest Jain statue in the world. The statue depicts the first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha. The statue is 108 feet (32.9 meters) tall – 121 feet (36.8 meters) including pedestal. The statue has been carved out of the Mangi-Tungi hills, which are considered to be sacred by the Jains. This statue holds the Guinness world record for the tallest Jain Idol. The certificate was awarded to Ganini Gyanmati Mataji, Chandnamati Mataji and Swami Ravindrakirtiji on 6 March 2016.The statue was built by the inspiration of Supreme Jain Sadhvi Ganineepramukh Aryika Shri Gyanmati Mataji, and under the guidance of Aryika Sri Chandanamati Mataji. The chairman & director of the project is Swami Raveendra Kirtiji. The construction of the statue started in 2002 under the guidance of Chief Secretary Dr. Pannalalji Papdiwal and Chief engineer Shri C.R. Patil. It was completed on 24 January 2016, (Tithi-Magh Krishna Ekam). Other devotees include working President - Anil Kumar Jain, Pramod Jain kasliwal, Bhushan kasliwal, Naresh Jain Bansal, Secretary Sanjay Papdiwal and others. The Sculptor is Shri Moolchand Ramchand Nahata Firm (Proprietor- Ashish Nahata).

Timeline of Jainism

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. It prescribes ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living beings to the greatest possible extent. The three main teachings of Jainism are ahimsa, anekantavada (non-absolutism), aparigraha (non-possessiveness). Followers of Jainism take five main vows: ahimsa, satya (not lying), asteya (non stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha. Monks follow them completely whereas śrāvakas (householders) observe them partially. Self-discipline and asceticism are thus major focuses of Jainism.

Yamas

Yamas (Sanskrit: यम), and its complement, Niyamas, represent a series of "right living" or ethical rules within Hinduism and Yoga. It means "reining in" or "control". These are restraints for Proper Conduct as given in the Holy Veda. They are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules or goals. The Yamas are the "don't do these" list of self-restraints, typically representing commitments that affect one's relations with others and self. The complementary Niyamas represent the "do these" list of observances, and together Yamas and Niyamas are personal obligations to live well.The earliest mention of the word Yamas is in the Rigveda, and over fifty texts of Hinduism, from its various traditions, discuss Yamas. Patañjali lists five yamas in his Yoga Sūtras. Ten yamas are codified as "the restraints" in numerous Hindu texts including Yajnavalkya Smriti in verse 3.313, the Śāṇḍilya and Vārāha Upanishads, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svātmārāma, and the Tirumantiram of Tirumular.The most often mentioned Yamas are – Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (non-falsehood, truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Mitahara (non-excess in food, moderation in food), Kṣamā (non-agitation about suffering, forgiveness), Dayā (non-prejudgment, compassion) are among the widely discussed Yamas. The Yamas apply broadly and include self-restraints in one's actions, words and thoughts.

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