• ahimsa
  • audio pronunciation
  • \uh-HIM-sah\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of refraining from harming any living being
  • EXAMPLES

The young man has renounced his violent past and now adheres to the doctrine of ahimsa.

"There are few schools, particularly in the yoga stronghold of New York City, that don't offer some sort of ethical framework to their students, if only recommending that they practice ahimsa, which translates to 'nonviolence,' and train their minds to become unstuck on gluttonous practices…." — From an article by Vanessa Grigoriadis in New York Magazine, April 23, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Ahimsa" has been part of the English language since at least the late 19th century, but the word didn't gain the attention of the English-speaking world until the first half of the 20th century, when it was recognized as an important component of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. "Ahimsa" comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "noninjury," and Gandhi's policy of nonviolent protest played a crucial role in the political and social changes that eventually led to India's independence from Britain in 1947.

Test Your Vocabulary: What word from Sanskrit begins with "a" and can mean "a religious retreat"? The answer is ...

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