Ahimsa is a term that means 'not to injure'. Ahimsa concept includes nonviolence against all human beings and all living beings - including animals - in Hinduism and other Indian religions. It is one of the cardinal virtues in Hinduism and a central premise of its ethical theories.
Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept in Hinduism inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; to hurt another being is to hurt oneself. Ahimsa's precept of 'cause no injury' includes injury to any living being through one's deeds, words, and thoughts.
The Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, is the oldest known Hinduism text with the explicit use of the word Ahimsa in the sense of non-violence and a code of conduct. The Hindu Epic Mahabharata declares Ahimsa is the highest virtue, Ahimsa is the highest self-control, Ahimsa is the greatest gift, Ahimsa is the best suffering, Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice, Ahimsa is the finest strength, Ahimsa is the greatest friend, Ahimsa is the greatest happiness, Ahimsa is the highest truth, and Ahimsa is the greatest teaching. Patanjali's Yoga-sutra includes Ahimsa as the first Yamas (virtuous self-restraint). Later ancient literature of Hinduism debate principles of Ahimsa when one is faced with war and situations requiring self-defense. The historic literature from India and modern discussions have contributed to theories of Just War, and theories of appropriate self-defense.
A Ganesha-centric Panchayatana ("five deities", from the Smarta tradition): Ganesha (centre) with Shiva (top left), Parvati (top right), Vishnu (bottom left) and Surya (bottom right). All these deities also have separate sects dedicated to them.
A wedding is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. A typical Hindu wedding is solemnized before Vedic fire ritual (shown).
Sri Aurobindo spent his life—through his vast writings and through his own development—working for the freedom of India, the path to the further evolution of life on earth, and to bring down what he called the Supramental Truth Consciousness Force to enable such progress. Aurobindo rejected the materialistic tendencies of both Darwinism and Samkhya, and proposed an evolution of spirit rather than matter.