Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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(4,007 words)

Ahiṃsā is a noun from the Sanskrit root hiṃs- meaning “to injure,” “to harm,” “to kill,” or “to destroy,” and the negative particle “a,” together meaning “noninjury.” Ahiṃsā as a central element of religious practice was promoted in the Śramaṇa tradition, from which Jainism and Buddhism developed in the 1st millennium before the Common Era, and by which the Hindu traditions have been strongly influenced. An import…

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Jacobsen, Knut A., “Ahiṃsā”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 27 February 2020 <>
First published online: 2018

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