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Ahimsa

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Hindu dharma proclains, “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma” or, Ahimsa is the highest form of dharma (virtue).  Ahimsa means non-violence, non-injury or non-killing.  In all the Hindu paths, and especially, Jain and Buddha in dharma Ahimsa is a paramount virtue.   

Hindu dharma teaches that all forms of life are manifestations of the Supreme Self (Brahman).  We must not be indifferent to the sufferings of others. One must consider all living beings in the image of one’s own self and thus not commit acts of violence in thought, word or deed against other living creatures.

Anger and hatred cannot coexist with ahimsa.  Anger blinds reason and leads one to violence.  Greed and possessiveness are two main causes of social injustice and suffering and a practitioner of ahimsa should not hoard wealth beyond needs.  Compassion and austerity are essential elements of ahimsa. 

Concept ahimsa extends to all living beings, and therefore, protection of environment, natural habitats and vegetarianism are natural derivatives of the concept of ahimsa.

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