“Ahimsa” or NonviolenceSocial Studies for 8th E.G.B. | Teacher: Mauricio Torres
Groups react to Hinduism Although Hinduism was widely followed in India, not everyone agreed with its beliefs. They searched for different religious beliefs and group such as the Jains emerged, who believed in Jainism.
Jainism It is based on the teachings of a man named Mahavira, who is believed to have been born around the 600s. He was born and raised a Hindu, but as he grew up, he thought Hinduism emphasized too much on rituals. Instead of rituals he would emphasize on: Injure no life. Tell the truth. Do not steal. Own no property.
Nonviolence In their efforts to injure no one or anything, the Jains practice nonviolence It is the avoidance of violent actions. In sanskrit, this is called ahimsa. It is even practiced by Hindus. They believe that everything is alive and is part of the rebirth cycle. They are very serious not injuring or killing no living creature. Therefore they are vegetarians.
Historical examples of nonviolence When India wanted to become independent from the British Empire, Gandhi embraced Ahimsa. By using the power of love, he believed people could convert, even the worst wrongdoer to the right course of action. Jesus is also known to preach nonviolence, and even as far as preaching to love your enemies! Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Matt. 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28)
Historical examples of nonviolence Martin Luther King Jr. described nonviolent resistance as: “passive physically, but strongly active spiritually; it is nonaggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually”. What do you think he meant by this?
Linking to Today Open your books on page 134. Take a look at the section called Linking to today, where it talks about nonviolence. Read it, discuss it in class, and use it as a source of information for your homework.
Ask Yourself Identify On whose teachings was Jainism based? Name some important historical figures that practiced and preached Ahimsa, even if they never heard of it? Contrast How did Jainism differ from Hinduism? Do you think Christianity preaches similar ideals as Jainism? Why or why not? Recall What are the four main teachings of Jainism?
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