Ahimsa (February 2014)

This month’s topic is Ahimsa, a way of life. Ahimsa is one of the ideals of Hinduism.
While the literal meaning of the word Ahimsa is non-violence or non-injury, the term has a much wider and deeper significance. One common understanding of Ahimsa is to be nice to all living creatures (humans and animals alike) or not hurt others for one’s selfish purposes. But, Ahimsa is much more than just a mere act of showing compassion: It is a way of life. Ahimsa is lived through actions, speech, and thoughts. One cannot live a life of Ahimsa without incorporating all three.
Another misconception is that Ahimsa is for the weak. It could not be farther from the truth. Only a true brave, courageous, and strong person can exhibit Ahimsa.
This month, kids will research and prepare their understanding of “Ahimsa in actions”, “Ahimsa in speech”, and “Ahimsa in thoughts”. We expect them to understand that Ahimsa is violated (i.e., Himsa is observed) when someone physically hurts another person, shows contempt or hatred towards others, harbors ill-wills, uses offensive language, backbites, causes damages to others – in direct or indirect ways. We expect kids to discuss the topic with parents and build a firmer grasp of its subtleties. Please discuss all three forms of Ahimsa in the context of day-to-day life. Please encourage kids to pick genuine examples of their experiences, which also revise their last month topic of truthfulness.
Harsh Mendiratta