Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Walk Lightly

Hari Om
'Freedays' are the 'gather our thoughts' days; Q&As; a general review of the week so far…


The short 'a' sound in Sanskrit is closer to 'uh' and the longer 'a' sound is more 'aah' - so correct pronunciation is 'uhimsaah'. 

Straight away, with the English appearance of the word, we lose something of the value of the Sanskrit. The most common English explanation for this word is 'cause no harm'. That is fair enough an interpretation, but Sanskrit is one of those languages which holds value and meaning far beyond the words themselves.  

For example, the ending 'aah' indicates this word is feminine gender. Appropriate, really, when one thinks of all the ideal qualities of softness, caring, attention, serving and so on which are, traditionally, associated with a woman's role in life. (We can rant and rave about equality and equity, absolutely necessary in the modern age, but we cannot wipe out the biological imperative.) These are all implied when we use 'ahimsa'. 

The root verb for the word is 'him' - to strike. Placing the prefix 'a' negates words (mostly) in Sanskrit. Thus 'a-him' - do not strike. 'Sa' - she; pertaining to Gauri, mother of All. Mother Nature Herself. Every part of nature is included here, so it is not merely that we must not hurt each other, or other creatures, but also the environment, the very Earth which homes us.

In Hindu philosophy, this does not mean only physical harm. Speech can also cause harm. What is more, our thoughts can too. This is the part which challenges most. The minute we have a darkened thought towards another - whether or not we would ever carry it through to the physical expression - we create a potential of harm to them or the environment, but most of all to ourselves. Thinking negatively is a downer! 

It can be a hard one, a battle with every thought, but if we would call ourselves civilised, then ahimsa is a way of life to consider.

1 comment:

  1. YAM, this is very powerful. I need to get back to reading these with diligence. It has been a bit crazy here, lately. Health is a concern. Thank you. HUGS!
    Are you going to do the A-Z? You would rock it!


Hari OM
If what you have read has made you think, tell me why. If you are wondering, others are too, so ask that question. If you have a doubt, let it out.

Please note that only members of this blog can leave comments. You are respectfully requested to refrain from entering hyperlinks to other sites. You may otherwise find your comment deleted. Thank you for your courtesy.