Sample Paper on The Notion of Ahimsa: Buddhist and Jain Traditions


In relation to the beliefs of both Buddha and Jain religions, Ahimsa is the upright belief that holds creation, nurtures as well as conserves the presence of life via mankind. To fruitfully give credit by the necessities of Ahimsa, humans ought to apprehend that there is no division when it comes to creation, and this is solitary easy to accomplish via becoming wise as well as fighting illiteracy. In line with Jayaram (2), mankind ought to fill his mind with tolerance, knowledge as well as affection and this restricts the opening of aggression, ferocity as well as jealousy finding a spot in the human mind.

Shakyamuni Buddha founded Buddhism in India and the lessons extended to China and Asia and other regions world widely. The religion is established on the thought of connections of diverse living things as well as modes of life (Jayaram 3). Buddhists have faith in that varied living things are in the course of alteration, none is self-governing, and therefore the globe can only be progressive via realization of the worldwide nature of interdependence.  As stated by Buddhist teachings, violence and warfare emerge from anger, desire for revenge as well as hatred and therefore the teaching of Sunyata need the evasion of connection to the contributing facets (Henk et al., 15).  The practice of Ahimsa is looked up as the answer to dealing with anger, desire to revenge as well as animosity that can cause war anytime. The religion advises individuals to be sympathetic, thoughtful as well as affectionate whenever met by hostile circumstances.

“All beings fear violence; all fear death, if you take yourself as the measure, do not kill and do not let others kill. All beings fear violence; all love life. If you take yourself as the measure, do not kill and do not let others kill. Do not kill living beings, do not let others kill, do not allow others to kill, one needs to control violence toward all living beings whether they are strong and powerful in society or they are fearful and weak” (Dundas, 34).

The belief of Ahimsa pinpoints love and compassion as well as build unity amongst households and the society in general as the negative facets are sidestepped.  Both religions enlighten that God is omnipresent in the forms of organisms in the world as well as caring for them is the best way of showing ones love towards God. Love develops from the foundation of healing and lack of harm that is known to as Ahimsa and non-violence makes it easy for human beings to get real liberty in nature.

Three key aspects are known to make up human life, this incorporates spiritual, ideal and material and it is demonstrated via doctrines such as compassion, humility, patience and forgiveness. Utilization of non-violence in communication produces contentment as winning is solitary undertaken via wisdom, sympathy and love (Dundas, 36). The belief of non-violence is looked up as the greatest virtue in both religions as Ahimsa principle is core in the five philosophies in each religion. Spiritual front-runners maintain the desire to shun hostility to a degree of tolerating anguish to shun the intimidation of other individuals.


The theory of Ahimsa is evident in both Buddhism and Jainism to justify not to do harm and therefore devotees are anticipated to shun hostility. The Ahimsa idea compels followers to be caring as well as shun hostility on living creatures; this incorporates both animals as well as humans due to the assumption that living things are fundamentally linked to each other. The belief as well includes evasion of diverse kinds of hostility and acknowledges as well as consents the necessity for self-defense as an indication of a strong self-control and inner self.

Both religions recognize that diverse kinds of hostility have destructive karmic effects to the society. The comprehension as well as execution of Ahimsa is the core doctrine in the religion of Jainism as of the faith that devotees have the responsibility to sustain a serene co-existence with each other.  The desire to sustain unity originates from the trust that all living organisms are one and therefore life ought to be accepting in the sense that no living being experiences unessential anguish in order to shun karmic effects linked with hostility (Lodha 19).

In Buddhism, the opinion of Ahimsa was utilized to take care of battles that could cause warfare via directing individuals to shun harming others.  In contrast, in Jainism, extensive actions were undertaken to shun hurting even the least known creatures via promises that apprehended believers indebted to stick to the non-hostile principle. Literature shows that on the Jain custom, vegetarianism was obligatory to avert human beings from feeding on animals as hostility towards animals is against the doctrine of Ahimsa. In the Jain religion, slaughtering animals for ritual sacrifice as well as by expertise hunters is perceived as a sin as there is no kind of hurt towards animals is recognized in the society (Dundas 37).

The comprehension as well as enactment of Ahimsa is a responsibility to every person and the statement is inscribed on all temples with an aim of averting destructive karma impacts. The religion as well attempts to safeguard unessential damage to plants as they are also a part of living organisms. Even though plants ought to be utilized as food, the damage is solitary acceptable in cases where it backs survival of humans and therefore unwanted damage ought to be shunned (Dundas 38). In contrast, In the Buddhist practice, Ahimsa is a little bit merciful in comparison to Jain custom as slaughtering of animals is permitted to some point.  the religion is against violence as well as harm towards living creatures, even though vegetarianism is not obligatory between all the orders of human taxonomies. For example, monks and laypersons are permitted to take meat as long as the animal in question was slaughtered for eating. Nevertheless, in Mahayana, monks are banned from taking meat and common people are spurred to be vegetarians and evade feeding on meat (Lodha 20).

Sheer cautiousness is necessary to shun harm to small insects and therefore, Jains are not allowed to go out at night as they may step on these creatures. The religious lessons emphasizes that harm wreaked by negligence is equivalent to that caused by cautious measure and therefore people should be careful always. For instance, to reduce hostility towards bees during harvesting and interference of their day to day activities, Jains are not permitted to eat honey. Even though agriculture is not banned as plants are perceived as the core source of food, a number of devotees stay away from farming to shun damaging as well as hurting animals that live in the soil such as worms and insects  (Lodha 21). Contrary, non-violence to living creatures identifies the karmic effects that may follow the slaughter of a particular animal in question. For example, Buddhists perceive that a person who purposely slaughters an animals is in danger of being attacked by the animal in coming days. Giving credit to Ahimsa offers supernatural authority as well as redemption to safeguard a person from diverse types of risks that are as a result of slaughter.

In spite of the dismal desire to sustain non-violence as well as shun the connected harm in the necessary ways. Jains validate violence in self-protection as well as look at a soldier who murders in battle as undertaking his or her legal responsibility to safeguard the society. Due to the necessity to safeguard the society as well as guarantee their existence during battle, the societies have rulers, military commanders as well as soldiers. On top of this, military authority and the linked force are embraced in defense as an indication of both personal and societal resolve and power to guarantee their existence. Buddhism sustained the necessity to make use of non-violent kinds of penalties on wrongdoers as well as prisoners of war. As a result, battles were solved via peaceful means and penalties that were probably to lead to lesser amount of harm were utilized to penalize criminals.

Even though the religion demands diverse creatures to be safeguarded from harm, this concept is not workable and therefore the society has categorized living creatures in an order with a high priority to fortification of life provided to animals. Animals are categorized as well as differentiated using senses varying from one-sensed to six-sensed, the kind of care that ought to be given surges with increase in the number of senses. For example, humans are looked upon as rational animals and they are highly safeguarded by the doctrine of Ahimsa. On top of this, human beings are moreover grouped in accord to a person’s devotion in the religion, for example, the practice is stringent on rulers who have taken “Mahavrata” (Great Vows) in contrast to “Anuvrata” (Lesser Vows).

In contrast, the Buddhist institution necessitate monks and nuns to give credit to 5 doctrines of moral behavior, with the initial one demanding them to aid safeguard life as well as stay away from all undertakings that may cause death of another creature. Additionally, they ought to as well reduce harm on trees as they are means of support for other creatures. Conversely, common people are spurred to stay away from hostility via giving credit to the five doctrines of ethics (Lodha 22).

To sum up, in line with Jainism lessons, life is sacred and all living things contain a soul that ought to be treasured. Violence, regardless of being deliberate or non-intentional can cause a destructive karma as well as a person can only save himself from the Karma via safeguarding other creatures. Caution is taken to guarantee that the small creatures are not harmed in the procedure of feeding, walking, drinking water, breathing due to the fact that any anguish caused on a living creature has costs.  On top of this, Jains are destined by promises to stay away from wreaking any anguish may fail to take part in chores like carpentry as well as farming to guarantee that no murder takes place in the process of cutting wood or farming.

In Buddhism, the doctrine of Ahimsa was embraced to resolve battles that could cause war via directing individuals to shun harming others. The doctrine of Ahimsa hints to love as well as sympathy as well as forms unity amongst households and the community in general as the negative facets are kept away. Both religions enlighten that God is omnipresent in the form of living things on earth and caring for them is the solitary manner of communicating ones love to God.

Works cited

Dundas Paul, The Jains, second edition, London 2002, p. 160; Wiley, Kristi L.: Ahimsa and Compassion in Jainism, in: Studies in Jain History and Culture, p. 438; Laidlaw, 2006. pp. 153–154.

Henk Mills, Bodewitz, Neil, Jan Earnest., Houben Keller, Van, Kay, Violence denied: violence, non-violence and the rationalization of violence in “South Asian” cultural history. 1999, Pp. 30

Jayaram Vraul., Ahimsa or nonviolence in Indian Religious Traditions,, 2013. Retrieved on 10th November, 2013.

Lodha Reiss., Conservation of Vegetation and Jain Philosophy, in: Medieval Jainism: Culture and Environment, New Delhi, 1990. Pp. 137-141