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Translations of
English non-violence,
refraining from harm
Pali avihiṃsā
Sanskrit ahimsa
Tibetan རྣམ་པར་མི་འཚེ་བ་།
(Wylie: rnam par mi ‘tshe ba;
THL: nampar mitsewa

Ahimsa (Sanskrit; Pali: avihiṃsā) is translated as "nonviolence", "non-harming", or "refraining from harm". It is defined as an attitude of loving kindness belonging to non-aggression.[1][2]

Within the Buddhist teachings, Ahimsa is identified as:



Bhikkhu Bodhi states:

...the intentions of good will and harmlessness [avihiṃsā] offer the antidote to aversion. Aversion comes to manifestation either in thoughts of ill will—as angry, hostile, or resentful thoughts; or in thoughts of harming—as the impulses to cruelty, aggression, and destruction. Thoughts of good will counter the former outflow of aversion, thoughts of harmlessness the latter outflow, in this way excising the unwholesome root of aversion itself.[3]


The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:

What is non-violence? It is an attitude of loving kindness belonging to non-hatred. Its function is not to be malicious.[1]

The Necklace of Clear Understanding states:

Non-violence is patient acceptance which expresses itself in the sentiment of how wonderful it would be if suffering sentient beings could be released from all their frustrations. Patient acceptance is an attitude not marred by the slightest idea of inflicting suffering.
This non-violence and the rejection of harming others is the central idea of the Buddha's teaching. [1]

The Khenjuk states:

Non-violence is a compassionate attitude belonging to non-aggression. Its function is to avoid causing harm to others.[2]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Guenther (1975), Kindle Locations 434-440.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kunsang (2004), p. 25.
  3. Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Noble Eightfold Path, 33


External links

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