What is non- violence (ahimsa) ? it is a personal practice of an individual of not harming others in three ways physically, mentally and socially. It described very well In different philosophies and religions. As everyone see non-violence (ahimsa) at different level. For instance in Buddhism and Hinduism ahimsa is treated not that much rigid as Jainism treats. It is treated as an ethical values of not causing harms to others living things.
In this blog we see different views on ahimsa. In Hinduism , ahimsa is considered as not to harm others and there should be no intentions to harm others. Move to Buddhism there are many concepts related to ahimsa.
As Hindus adopt Bali pratha as a practice of sacrifice but Buddhism refutate the concept of bali pratha as we are sacrificing the life of an animal for our welfare. Rules in Buddhism are not right as compared to Jainism. Non- violence (Ahimsa) is considered as a nobel act because it is not only the object of the act, but it also result in happiness to the one who practices it. On the other han those who harbour hatred not only injure others but also bring unhappiness to them.
Non-Violence According to Buddhism:
In Indian Buddhism ahimsa is of 4 categories:
- Violence took place through wars, fights, murders suicides etc.
- Violence took place in form of sacrifice of animal life.
- Violence took place through farming and other related activities.
- Violence took place at the hands of the hunters, butchers in search of food or medicinal purpose also.
Applying all above categories to our lives didn’t held up a literal meaning. To maintain the food chain or for following the cycle of life we all need to practice ahimsa at some point of life but if we practice such activities for fun these are categorised under ahimsa. Strictly speaking suicide is also inconsistent with the principle of ahimsa. Buddha did not set up unduly strict rules for ahmisa as action. Doctrine of ahimsa is perhaps the most important contribution of Buddhism to human civilisation .Ahimsa thus implies deliberate avoidance of injury to living beings.
In Buddhism monks were allowed to eat mean under following exceptions:
a. It cannot be seen, heard or suspected that this was especially acquired for him only.
b. Use of raw meat was not allowed except in sickness.
c. There are 10 animals whose meat are not allowed.
d. This concept is called the rule of tikotiparisuddha, restrained the monks from being directly instrumental in killing animals for meat. Rules are made up with limitations so it cant be used against the society.
In Buddhism there is another concept related to ahimsa that is Varsha Vas, monks were the medicant wanderers and they move from one place to another for meditation but during the month of rainy season which is period of four months, they stayed at one place because according to them many insects and animals are out during rainy season so for not causing harm to them they all stayed up the their monasteries
Non-Violence According to Jainism:
Two concepts are described in Jainism for ahimsa a. anuvrata:- The anuvratas are vows to abstain from violence, falsehood, and stealing; to be content with one’s own wife; and to limit one’s possessions. The other vows are supplementary and meant to strengthen and protect the anuvratas.
b. mahavrata ahimsa applies not only to human beings and to large animals but also to insects, plants, and microbes. Thus many jains practice of not eating and drinking after sunset. Wearing of cloth and covering of masks are not followed by them because it was treated as a part of ahimsa.
Non-Violence According Bhagvat Gita perspective on non violence
Bhagvat Gita which was appeared at the time of Mahabharata in which arjuna has doubt on his mind in regards to fight against his relatives then lord Krishna told” we should priorities eternal dharma or paramo dharma. We seek ahimsa until it will not an obstacle to eternal dharma. Arjuna is a warrior , fight is his duty so fought for the well being of the people is his first duty and thing of relatives come on second place.
Non-Violence According to Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi call Bhagvat gita as his spiritual reference book and he fought against the colonial rule. The Gita lists ahimsa as the first of virtues, affirms the unity of life everywhere so that the yogi feels another’s joys and sorrows as his own, and explains in detail how and why to practice meditation