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What is Ahimsa? – Yoga Journal

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Ahimsa in Sanskrit

Ahimsa in Sanskrit

When we hear about ideas like nonviolence, we regularly consider historic figures resembling Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. main actions for peace within the face of oppression. Several articles mislabel Gandhi as a “father” of nonviolence, not conscious that he was symbolically reclaiming India’s rights and id from the British Raj by embodying what had lengthy been integral to historical Indian non secular teachings: ahimsa.

Ahimsa, generally known as “nonviolence” however extra actually translated from Sanskrit as “absence of injury” is an historical idea originating within the Vedas—Indian non secular and philosophical knowledge courting from way back to 1900 BCE, or practically 4,000 years in the past. The Vedas, roughly which means “divine knowledge,” had been thought of authorless and had been initially handed down in oral custom for hundreds of years. Four Vedas, which make up the Bhagavad Gita, had been finally compiled and written down in Sanskrit by a sage referred to as Vyasa. Another sage, Patanjali, is stated to have studied these Vedic texts and developed what we all know because the Yoga Sutra and the idea of classical yoga’s eight limbs.

See additionally The First Book of Yoga: The Enduring Influence of the Bhagavad Gita

Ahimsa is a part of the primary of the eight limbs referred to as yama, or practices of self-regulation designed to free us from being victims of our personal human impulses. Yama practices are likened to cleansing strategies for our minds, our bodies, and spirits that permit us to stay extra acutely aware, liberated lives. In addition to being a yama in yoga, ahimsa is additionally a foundational precept of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

See additionally 10 Ways to Bring the Yamas + Niyamas Into Your Yoga Practice



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