In today’s India, ahiṃsā (nonviolence) is present in all Dharmic religions. Persisting throughout three millennia, it transformed Indian life—its religions, politics, and culture. This literature review (1) examines historically significant tactics of exerted impact, (2) discusses original instigators, and (3) traces the interaction of traditions to arrive at the premise of expansion of the Jain ideals across major traditions in the context of (a) attitude towards all life and (b) sacrificial ritual.
This research traces the origins of Indian Mahāyāna1, a new orientation rooted in early Buddhism. The essay draws from the earliest sūtras and argues that the new development was not antagonistic towards the previous tradition but built on it.
Over a century ago, Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world with a new mass means of liberation of the oppressed. His primary motivation arose from the virtue of nonviolence; ahiṃsā in Sanskrit. It served him to humanely liberate India from British rule. However, this ethical virtue stirred the country long before neo-Hinduism. It was a significant meditative practice and prerequisite for religious life back in ancient times. This research is the last one in the series. It briefly presents evidence from different periods produced by a host of systems exchanging the ideas—on nonviolence.
Brahmanism, Jainism and Buddhism are traditions indigenous to ancient India; while they share common origins, they developed distinct worldviews and methodologies. The purpose of this research is to explore their historical, semantic and doctrinal development and demonstrate links between their meditation systems. This second part of the series is centred around the exchange and divergence of the concept of liberation, and its corresponding beliefs and practices.