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ahimsa

AHIMSA.

I got a tattoo of the word "ahimsa" in my own handwriting about five years ago, and my interpretation of the meaning somehow still remains unchanged. Nearly everything in my life has shifted since that day, but I remain entirely connected to my initial thought—which ultimately makes me feel connected to myself. Not only do I love this word for the meaning itself, but also for the deep consistency in thought it has brought me over the past five years. This word, although short and simple, represents an unfading sense of security that grounds me in self-understanding. 

To me, the word "ahimsa" describes the ultimate sacred, essential moral truth I believe in to my core. I agree with many spiritual principles, and want to believe fully in many, however I am all too aware that I know nearly nothing for certain. The meaning of ahimsa (at least as I see it), is the one thing I feel completely connected to without doubt. It is my personal compass, my personal truth. To me, it is certain. Unwavering. Timeless. Perfect. Its meaning, to me, encompasses a plethora of principles, but always returns to a core truth—which is vastly open to interpretation. It is a truth like a quiet whisper of wind blowing across the earth. Free, constantly flowing, gentle and unbinding; full of good. 


Ahimsa is a sanskrit word, associated with hindu and buddhist principles of non-violence, sanctity of life, and often vegetarian/veganism. The first translation I learned of this word was simply "harmlessness". Harmlessness of thoughts, words, and deeds. Nearly everything I connected with in any religion fundamentally came down to this concept. In all things, strive to do no harm. Obviously, taking it a step further and doing good is even better... but the primary goal is to avoid harming others, oneself, the earth, etc. 

I believe people think in terms of good, bad, and indifference. Ahimsa, to me, is an essential alternative to indifference. It isn't invasive, it isn't an attempt to control or change others, it is passive love. It is an awareness of others and the earth, a loving effort to care for it by abstaining from damaging behaviors. 

All in all, whether my interpretation is exactly what the word means or not, I feel that it is a tool to express something dear to my heart, and fundamental to my worldview. 

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