Ahimsa means non-injury, not harming or wishing to harm any being. It is the cornerstone of traditional Indian ethics and especially prominent in jam doctrine and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Ahimsa is the essence of compassion and humane nature. It advocates positive practices that may include vegetarianism, cow and animal protection and nonviolence. The yogi begins the journey of enlightenment by perfecting his conduct through five restraints of which the first is Ahimsa.
The great gods of Hinduism are believed to love and aid all beings, their devotees strive to emulate that model. The ancient sage Vyasa stated, “Ahimsa means not to cause any pain to any creature, by any means or at any time. The restraints and disciplines that follow have their roots in Ahimsa and tend to perfect Ahimsa”. Ahimsa is personified in Hinduism as the wife of Dharma (Righteousness).