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Ahimsa

Ahimsa Meaning The Sanskrit word Ahimsa is the antonym of Himsa. Himsa means harmfulness and causing pain and grief to other beings. Hence Ahimsa means harmlessness or non-violence. But the meaning goes beyond non-violence. 

Though the Sanskrit word has been the part of English Language since the late 19th Century, it became popular only when Mahatma Gandhiji made the non-violent protest against the then British Government of India which eventually leads to the independence in the year 1947. 
Ahimsa as a yogic virtueThe primary virtue to be practiced for the attainment of yoga is non-violence. This is why it has become the foremost of the Yamas of Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and most of the Yoga Upanishads

Interestingly, Yoga Tattva Upanishad classifies Non-violence under Niyama and calls it as the foremost Niyama: Ahimsa Niyamesvega Mukhya.

According to Yoga Sutra, If a yogi has established himself in Non-violence, all beings lose their animosity in his presence.

Why it has become the prima…

Yama

Yama is one of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. It is also the name of the God of death in Hindu Mythology. This article is not about the God of death, but it is about the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga.

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the eight limbs of Yoga. The Yoga of these eight limbs is called Ashtanga Yoga which is one of the various versions of Raja Yoga discipline. Meaning and DefinitionYama is the set of activities which one should abstain from. Trishikhibrahmana Upanishad defines Yama as "dehendriyeṣu vairāgyaṃ Yama" which means the detachment of the body from the sense organs is Yama. 

Tejo Bindu Upanishad defines Yama as "the mastery over senses and continuous focusing upon the knowledge that Sarvam Brahma - All is Brahman." 

The same definition is found in Aparokshanubuti of Sri Adi Sankara.

It is the practice of given virtues for the attainment of the yogic goal. It is the code of self-discipline. It is the adher…