Practicing Ahimsā in Daily Life

July, 2023 by Nishit Shah

जयं चरे जयं चिट्ठे, जयमासे जयं सए I
जयं भुंजंतो मासंतो, पावकम्मं ण बंधइ II

Alertness in Walking

Over time, I have inculcated the practice of walking by looking down and not rushing unnecessarily while walking to try to protect small insects and beings. Also, I am now more conscious of not walking on grass and changing my route wherever possible. Sometimes I miss it in the first instance, but just like a reflex, the memory of alertness pops up and reminds me to look down rather than look around. Hoping, it will become Sat Sanskãr over time and remain deeply implanted in the soul.

Avoid going out in the rain

To protect innumerable water-bodied beings (Apkãy Jeev), I check the weather app and plan my essential activities accordingly, so I am done with them before it rains. If it rains, I stay at home unless emergency.

Avoid baths when possible

Working from home has been a blessing in observing Ahimsā. Since my role went remote, I am able to observe non-bathing days to give Abhaydãn to Apkãy Jeev, especially on Ãtham and Pãkkhi. The feeling of happiness for being able to give Abhaydãn is indescribable.

Check for non-animal tested products

With the growing awareness of vegan brands and products, it has become easy to practice Ahimsā by making sure I don’t buy any leather, woolen, silk, etc. material that is a part of the cruelty. I opt for cruelty-free products if I need to buy anything. Also, it has become a practice to double-check ingredients before purchasing food products.

Avoid slamming doors

Whenever I am shutting the door, I make sure I don’t slam it and check for any signs of small insects before I close the window or door.

Practicing Anekãntvãd

The principle of Anekãntvãd has really helped me in observing Ahimsā in my speech and thoughts. I had an impulsive reaction before with my office colleagues, but ever since I have understood Anekãntvãd, I have known to take a pause and look at things from their viewpoint also and take a holistic approach rather than insisting on my suggestions. The non-physical aspect of Ahimsā is hard to be conscious of but slowly, I am trying to integrate it with Anekãntvãd.

About Author

Nishit Shah

Nishit has a Masters in Engineering Management from Northeastern University, is a Sr. Analyst at Becton Dickinson and lives in Boston, MA. Nishit likes to do Swadhyaya and learn more about secrets about philosophy of Jainism and desires to do an MA in Jainology.

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