Ahimsa – Yamas of Yoga

Ahimsa is a concept that has been promoted in most forms of spirituality for millennia. The word ahimsa embraces the concept of non-violence and compassion. Ahimsa was written about extensively in the yoga sūtras of Patañjali around 400 CE . Ahimsa is the first of the yamas – self restraints – in yogic philosophy. On the surface this concept of non-violence advocates refraining from physically harming another human out of malice. Ahimsa, the concept of not causing physical harm seems straight forward when we talk about murder, rape, shooting, stabbing, torture and punching. However, there are mixed beliefs about violence as it applies to appropriate self defense or even defensive war. As we know in this Kali yuga, times can get wild, unpredictable and dark. This is the time more than ever to guide our actions and thoughts towards peace.

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