Talk:Ahimsa

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Simha's Question concerning Annihilation[edit]

I'm surprised the following isn't included in the Buddhism/War section somehow:

---

"I proclaim, Simha, the annihilation of egotism, of lust, of ill-will, of delusion. However, I do not proclaim the annihilation of forbearance, of love, of charity, and of truth. [12]

"I deem, Simha, unrighteous actions contemptible, whether they be performed by deed, or by word, or by thought; but I deem virtue and righteousness praiseworthy." [13]

And Simha said: "One doubt still lurks in my mind concerning the doctrine of the Blessed One. Will the Blessed One consent to clear the cloud away so that I may understand the Dharma as the Blessed One teaches it?" [14]

The Tathagata having given his consent, Simha continued: "I am a soldier, O Blessed One, and am appointed by the king to enforce his laws and to wage his wars. Does the Tathagata who teaches kindness without end and compassion with all sufferers, permit the punishment of the criminal? and further, does the Tathagata declare that it is wrong to go to war for the protection for our homes, our wives, our children, and our property? Does the Tathagata teach the doctrine of a complete self-surrender, so that I should suffer the evil-doer to do what he pleases and yield submissively to him who threatens to take by violence what is my own? Does the Tathagata maintain that all strife, including such warfare as is waged for a righteous cause, should be forbidden?" [15]

The Buddha replied: "He who deserves punishment must be punished, and he who is worthy of favor must be favored. Yet at the same time he teaches to do no injury to any living being but to be full of love and kindness. These injunctions are not contradictory, for whosoever must be punished for the crimes which he has committed, suffers his injury not through the ill-will of the judge but on account of his evil-doing. His own acts have brought upon him the injury that the executor of the law inflicts. When a magistrate punishes, let him not harbor hatred in his breast, yet a murderer, when put to death, should consider that this is the fruit of his own act. As soon as he will understand that the punishment will purify his soul, he will no longer lament his fate but rejoice at it." [16]

And the Blessed One continued: "The Tathagata teaches that all warfare in which man tries to slay his brother is lamentable, but he does not teach that those who go to war in a righteous cause after having exhausted all means to preserve the peace are blame-worthy. He must be blamed who is the cause of war. [17]

"The Tathagata teaches a complete surrender of self, but he does not teach a surrender of anything to those powers that are evil, be they men or gods or the elements of nature. Struggle must be, for all life is a struggle of some kind. But he that struggles should look to it lest he struggle in the interest of self against truth and righteousness. [18]

"He who struggles in the interest of self, so that he himself may be great or powerful or rich or famous, will have no reward, but he who struggles for righteousness and truth, will have great reward, for even his defeat will be a victory. [19]

"Self is not a fit vessel to receive any great success; self is small and brittle and its contents will soon be split for the benefit, and perhaps also for the curse, of others. [20]

"Truth, however, is large enough to receive the yearnings and aspirations of all selves and when the selves break like soap-bubbles, their contents will be preserved and in the truth they will lead a life everlasting. [21]

"He who goeth to battle, O Simha, even though it be in a righteous cause, must be prepared to be slain by his enemies, for that is the destiny of warriors; and should his fate overtake him he has no reason for complaint. [22]

"But he who is victorious should remember the instability of earthly things. His success may be great, but be it ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust. [23]

"However, if he moderates himself and, extinguishing all hatred in his heart lifts his down-trodden adversary up and says to him, 'Come now and make peace and let us be brothers,' he will gain a victory that is not a transient success, for its fruits will remain forever. [24]

"Great is a successful general, O Simha, but he who had conquered self is the greater victor. [25]

"The doctrine of the conquest of self, O Simha, is not taught to destroy the souls of men, but to preserve them. He who has conquered self is more fit to live, to be successful, and to gain victories than he who is the slave of self. [26]

"He whose mind is free from the illusion of self, will stand and not fall in the battle of life. [27]

"He whose intentions are righteousness and justice, will meet with no failure, but be successful in his enterprises and his success will endure. [28]

"He who harbors in his heart love of truth will live and not die, for he has drunk the water of immortality. [29]

"Struggle then, O general, courageously; and fight thy battles vigorously, but be a soldier of truth and the Tathagata will bless thee." [30]

http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospel_buddha/chapter_51.htm — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.78.226.161 (talk) 08:09, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure how this works. My comment is about attributions to "Buddhism." The Buddha did not found a religion called "Buddhism." He taught a non-sectarian technique helpful to all, of any or no faith. I understand from Pali scholars that the terms "Buddhist" and Buddhism" first appear in the literature about 500 years after the Buddha's passing, at a time when his main teaching - Vipassana meditation - was about to be lost to India. Those initiating the religion of Buddhism sought to accrue followers and status, contrary to the Buddha's approach and teaching. Therefore, the terms "Buddhist" and "Buddhism" should not be used for the period before about 50 BC. My main source is a scholar at Harvard and Berkeley who spent several years at the Vipassana Research Institute north of Mumbai. Genghis Cunn 7 Sept 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Genghis Cunn (talkcontribs) 04:26, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

on the pic it says ahinsa not ahimsa — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.153.199 (talk) 15:27, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

pāli name[edit]

isn't the pāli pronunciation the same as in sanskrit for ahimsa? PadmaPhala (talk) 07:35, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Ahimsa spelled as ahinsa through much of article.[edit]

I noticed the spelling of ahimsa is misspelled with an "n" through much of the article. Either someone wiki bombed the article, or there is an alternate spelling. Just bringing this up as I am interested in accuracy in articles. If the spelling with "n" is a correct alternate spelling, it would be useful if a reference in the beginning of the article showed as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.63.101.90 (talk) 19:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done AgadaUrbanit (talk) 20:39, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Primary sources in parts of Non-human life and some subsections[edit]

Some subsections of this article, such as Non-human life, use a lot of primary sources. Is this original research? Perhaps, someone can cite second sources, that are reliable secondary or tertiary sources, in Non-human life subsection, for example, to help improve this article. If secondary and tertiary sources cannot be found, this section needs to be revised to reflect scholarly consensus, and avoid the impression that parts of this article is a personal essay.

While a direct quote from a primary source is sometimes useful and necessary (such as definitions or origins of a word), in most cases secondary and tertiary sources need to be relied upon for encyclopedic articles, or at least included as well to help verification. I hope someone will try to add second sources, or rewrite such subsections from secondary/tertiary sources. Meanwhile, I will check into wikipedia policies on content sourcing, then continue reading and verifying the cited sources. Peace, Lisa.davis (talk) 23:07, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Another issue with this subsection is the relative emphasis and undue weight it leads to, between "Ahimsa to every human being" versus "Ahimsa to non-human life". Non-human life needs to be discussed in this article. That discussion must be in the right sequence and with proper due weight, as reflected in major secondary and tertiary reliable sources. I will do so in the next few days. Peace, Lisa.davis (talk) 17:28, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

I have moved this sub-section, after checking the sources and complimenting primary with secondary/tertiary reliable source. I have shrunk it down a bit to keep this article focussed on Ahimsa. Some of the old removed material may be better in wiki article on Animal Rights and Hinduism. I will move it in due course. Lisa.davis (talk) 03:23, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Definition in the lede[edit]

The current article, and the version of this article before I edited for the first time, uses a reference from sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln. That dictionary defines ahimsa as "not injure anything." (see: http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/monier/serveimg.pl?file=/scans/MWScan/MWScanjpg/mw0125-ahalyA.jpg)

I have read 10 encylcopedias and about 20 journal papers / books for definition of ahimsa. I find ample support for 'cause no injury' and 'do no harm', but I am unable to find any other support for the word anything. I can read Sanskrit as well as European languages that have translated vedic Sanskrit literature - there too, as yet, I have found no support for the word 'anything'. I find some support for the definition: 'cause no injury to living beings'. If someone is aware of additional reliable respected source that supports the word 'anything', please post a link here. If not, I propose we strike out the word 'anything', and replace sanskrit-lexicon citation with two more broadly accepted/cited reliable sources for the definition of ahimsa.

This may sound technical, but 'anything' is an important word. Every human action causes change to something - whether it is farming, cooking, writing, carving a stone or whatever. It matters whether the secondary and tertiary sources mean 'anything' which can include non-living matter such as stone, or only 'living beings'. Peace, Lisa.davis (talk) 03:06, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Lisa, thank you for heads up. According to sources Ahimsa is a term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence – hiṃsā). The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs – to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm, a-hiṃsā is the opposite of this, i.e. non harming. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 09:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

AgadUrbanit, I have removed the [1] source (Devasthanam), as there is no evidence it is a reviewed/refereed reliable source (see wikipedia's reliable sourcing policy). Reference [2] is better, but weak as I explained above. Reference [3] is reliable. Reference [2], sanskrit-lexicon, defines ahinsa as non-injury. Reference [3], an encyclopedia, also defines it as non-injury, both in the article on page 713, and in a different article on page 720. We should use the most accepted, verifiable definition in the lede. I have revised it to reflect the sources accurately.

You have moved some of the references I added, behind sentences that you restored/added. I feel you are misquoting the references. Please identify the pages from Bodewitz or Walli that you think support what you included. Peace, Lisa.davis (talk) 20:00, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, the sourcing is not ideal, feel free to fix it. I've learned the meaning of the word from Nagler's online course on the subject, but I am hardly an expert. Nagler though provides detailed etymology for the word, during his course, so you can dig it if you want. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 20:34, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Lisa, I would prefer to restore non-violence (which could be easily sourced), as English meaning. Hope you don't mind. AgadaUrbanit (talk) 21:10, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

I too was thinking of adding in non-violence into the lede, because it well sourced and generally accepted. Some stuff currently in the lede needs to come out, because it isn't supported by the cited sources (or other reliable sources). The other issue with the lede is that it is not a good summary of the article, per wiki lede guidelines. I will edit it a bit today and tomorrow. Peace, Lisa.davis (talk) 21:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

The changes, look good to me. Also liked Ahinsa clarification in etymology. Peace, AgadaUrbanit (talk) 21:03, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Wrong spelling of article name[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. --BDD (talk) 20:31, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Hello All, I know this is a good article and has crossed very experienced eyes but I would still like to draw your attention towards the wrong spelling of this page name. It should be spelt Ahinsa and not Ahimsa. I tried to move the page but could not and was advised by Admin Gilliam to start a discussion here. Please share your views. Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 16:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • AhimsaAhinsa (move (@subpage)) – Ahimsa spelling is wrong. I know this is a good article but somehow the wrong spelling slipped by. Please review. Thanks Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 16:53, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Supported AKS.9955 is actually correct. No one spells it as "Ahimsa" at all. "Ahinsa" has 1,300,000+ Results, "Ahimsa" got 800,000+, Thus if we are aware of WP:Commonname, title should be "Ahinsa". Bladesmulti (talk) 17:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • In Sanskrit scholarship it is usual to transcribe anusvara (the dot above the letters in the Devanagari spelling अहिंसा , represents nasalization) as m-dot (ṃ) as in ahiṃsā. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 23:01, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Hello Anthony, appreciate your response. Hindi is my mother tongue (same script and this word is the same in Hindi & Sanskrit languages) I have received formal education in both languages for over 10 years, speak Hindi daily and this is the first time in my life I noticed that such an important word is widely misquoted and misspelt. It reminds me of my fellow Indians living in Newark, US and calling it Ney-Waark (and they think they are right). Please understand that Grammar rules are very different and even if they are the same, its application & usage vastly differs from language to language; especially if it is a different script. What might be good in English might not be acceptable in Hindhi and v.v. Not going far, a close example. My first name is Arun. It is written in Hindi as अरुण. Whilst we have some letters in English language for first two characters of my name, there is no single or combination of letters in English alphabet that can pronounce " ण " correctly. Result, I am popularly called "Arun" with N. There is no literal translation for simple words like Cheers or Bon Appetite in Hindi language.
So the point I am trying to make here is, it does not matter what is the interpretation of someone for Ahinsa, we have to account for how it is originally meant to be. In case of Ahinsa, English language does have a suitable letter that can define the word. I will leave you with this. Trust this clarifies. Cheers, Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 04:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • The linguists' transcription of अरुण is Aruṇa (Sanskrit) / Aruṇ (Hindi) with cerebralization represented by putting a dot under. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:28, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Often in email groups Indians represent dot-under (and long vowel) by capitalization, e.g. I have seen the name of the god Vishnu ( विष्णु ) typed as "viSNu"; the scholarly transcription is Viṣṇu. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:35, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Ahimsa has historically been the way to write it in English, and as Anthony Appleyard points out, it represents the standard transliteration from Sanskrit, which should be considered the source language. Google book search shows a much stronger use of this term than 'ahinsa' (223000 to 6000). In many other languages it is spoken and written as 'ahimsa' or similar (e.g. Telugu అహింస ahimsa, Kannada ಅಹಿಂಸೆ ahimse). Similar issues over the Hindi pronounciation of this nasal consonant occur from time to time with Simha/Sinha. As to whether the word is the same in Hindi and Sanskrit, numerous words are written the same in both languages but we know that they are not always pronounced the same (e.g. अरुण is pronounced Aruna in Sanskrit, despite Hindi speakers reading it as Arun). Imc (talk) 07:33, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Dear Imc & Anthony Appleyard, whilst I appreciate your enthusiasm on this subject, let me humbly highlight that if not the language, then atleast don't try to teach me what my own name means or how it should be written / spelt. I did not acquire this knowledge of (my) name by internet and Google search. Aruna is a feminine name whereas Arun is masculine; I make no mistakes here. Ahinsa is predominantly a word from Sanskrit language and it does not matter how does it crosses over to other languages OR how it was historically written in some other script; it has to be spelt correctly in its original shape and form. What is important is how it was original written and pronounced in the original language. Don't get me wrong guys but this is a humble request, consider this with an open mind. Ahimsa is the wrong spelling and the worst is that it has been made popular by people whose first language is not even Hindi. Thanks, Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 08:31, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • And whilst we are on the subject of my name, check this out Wat Arun. This is a temple in Thailand and yes, Arun there means what it means in India and it is an Indian word. 15 years back, I visited this temple and the most surprising thing I noticed was the way they pronounced "Arun" - it was "Alunn". So, does that mean we change the spelling of the name? No. Talking about English, Hawaiian alphabet has 17 letters & 7 diphthongs. I confess that I don't know for sure but it is a good guess that lots of English words will lose their actual pronunciation / spelling in Hawai since there are no "C", "F" etc letters in their alphabet. How would we receive it then? Just food for thought. This article (Ahimsa) has been on Wikipedia with wrong name for appx 10 years and due to which majority of Google searches are also getting effected. Over the past decade, scores of other website have taking "learning" from this small misinterpretation on Wikipedia; and that's why we are getting convoluted results. Cheers, Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 08:54, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
You are being overly sensitive on the subject of your own name, after having been the first to bring it into this discussion. I'm perfectly aware that Aruna is commonly used as a female name now especially in northern India, but that should be with a long final a (Arunā). In the original Sanskrit Aruna, with the short final a which has been dropped in modern Hindia, was / is a male name. The relevant Wikipedia policy on naming and transliteration is set out at WP:NCIN. Imc (talk) 09:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC)────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
  • Imc, Relax. No one is getting sensitive here. It is a common mistake people make when they cross over from one culture to another; most frequent being not adapting to accent and language. For example, Lord Ram became Rama, Buddh became Buddha, Karm became Karma, Yog became Yoga..and so on. Same way Aruna. Aruna as a word / name is valid but Arun and Aruna are different. I am sure you are aware that there is a dialect called "Hinglish" when Hindhi speaking people made their own way of speaking English and created a new style. Similar is the case with Mauritian Creole. Now I am experiencing something called "Eng-di" where Hindi has been messed up by English speaking people ;) (on the pun intended side). Inapt spelling has become an accepted word; either my Sanskrit & Hindi teachers taught me nothing OR I slept though some sort of "Sanskrit transformation" ceremony. Whatever the case may be, I would like to end the discussion now (from my side) with one caution / advice that it is not important here who makes a better point in the Talk Page, what is important is that the valid & authentic information is displayed here. It gets more crucial, considering the mass penetration, readership and influence of Wikipedia. If we lose the larger picture, we might end up distorting some facts forever. I will leave you with this YouTube video. Listen from 0:24 to 1:10 minutes where she pronounces Ahinsa several times. Cheers, Arun Kumar SINGH (Talk) 09:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It is pointless to argue about whether Sanskrit or Hindi is "correct" for this concept; this is the English Wikipedia and the only question is how the term is usually written in English. Google NGram shows that the "ahimsa" spelling is consistently much more common in English since 1900, with "ahinsa" almost never used. We should be consistent with this existing English spelling, not with other languages. 172.9.22.150 (talk) 15:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Supported - Non-indigenous people at first instance would read/memorise it as AHIMSA which is purely a spelling mistake. AHINSA & HINS is the actual way of writing. Also, a proper pronounciation needs to be specified in the lede section in English & then in Sanskrit (Half the world cannot understand it & hence not much useful). Wiki works on sources & what if the data in sources itself are mistaken agelong ? This discussion is to focus on the actual spelling & pronounciation. It is crystal clear, that we Indians pronounce it as AHINSA, then why not the article be named identically ? Thanks ! Arun Kumar Singh for bringing it. - Ninney (talk) 15:12, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Ahimsa is the proper spelling as per the pronunciation in Sanskrit. Hindi speakers pronounce it as Ahinsa, not all Indians. --Redtigerxyz Talk 05:40, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A quick search on Sanskrit to English transliteration conventions led me to this. ṃ and m are two different characters with two different pronunciations. The page on Anusvara also points out that allophones of /m/ and /n/ are used interchangeably depending on the nature of the character that follows the anusvara. To quote "the anusvāra (lit. "after-sound") is a sound that occurs as an allophone of /m/ — at a morpheme boundary — or /n/ — morpheme-internally—, if they are preceded by a vowel and followed by a fricative (/ś/, /ṣ/, /s/ or /h/)". While Ahimsa is indeed pronounced as Ahinsa, transliterations can end up confusing most people. But since it's a loanword now, I believe the Sanskrit pronunciation doesn't matter anymore. Most of the western world pronounces 'curry' as 'kari' and that isn't particularly bothersome. Also, 'Gurgaon' is pronounced with a ḍ in 'Gudgaon'. That's just how transliterations work. Cheers. Vignesh.Mukund (talk) 17:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.