Ahimsa describes the very highest code of conduct possible in life. To follow ahimsa is to cause no harm and to experience no pain. To live with ahimsa is to live without fear. Every day spent in ahimsa is a day closer to bliss and comfort. To live against ahimsa is to live in constant fear. Violence will escalate at a faster and faster pace until you live no more.
Ahimsa literally means without harm. Harm is done by all actions carried out in nescience. This includes all actions involving rebellion, hatred, aggression, brutality, cowardliness, domineering, infidelity, fear, anger, gossip, apathy, indifference, sarcasm, prejudice, conformity, decency, cruelty, jaundice, cold, and anxiety. All these actions are considered harmful because they are bound to cause pain and suffering. All of them are unforced. None of them is necessary for the protection of self and others. Harmful actions render yourself without command.
Ahimsa cannot be maintained in turbulence. Turbulence is caused by all actions carried out in ignorance. This includes all actions involving defiance, rashness, nervousness, irritability, deceit, provocation, punishment, complacency, lenientness, weakness, politeness, restlessness, nerves, and carelessness. While these actions are in themselves not intent on harm, they cannot be considered harmless either. This is because they do nothing to prevent harm, but may instead provoke it in others. Turbulent actions make the everyday practice of ahimsa difficult.
Some people may perhaps define all killing as harmful, but if you do, ahimsa becomes practically impossible. Your body needs to fend off aggressive bacteria daily or else it would rapidly deteriorate and meet an early death. If your being is attacked by another being you need to stop the attacker or you will harm yourself, the attacker, and possibly others as well.
Your body also needs food to run. Under ordinary circumstances this does not have to involve killing of humans, animals and plants, but there are things such as extraordinary circumstances. Killing in itself must therefore be considered harmless. As a consequence ahimsa must be defined as no unnecessary killing.
Killing is unnecessary if it can be avoided with no harmful consequences. Killing may be necessary for protection as well as for food. Killing for protection may only be justified if it serves to protect life from injury caused by aggression. If there is no aggression to begin with, then killing for protection is not justified. Killing for food may only be justified if it is clearly necessary for the sustenance of life.
In order to be more specific here are some of the practical consequences of ahimsa in everyday life. The list below just represents a few that may require extra attention. You can probably extend the list with countless others.
- No unnecessary killing of people, be it young or old, born or unborn, healthy or sick, lawful or criminal, tall or short, able or disabled, but instead reverence for all life, and death only when necessary to stop harmful action.
- No punishment and especially no death penalty. Killing for protection must take place without delay at the very moment of aggression. If delayed the killing becomes murder.
- A diet sustaining your body and being without involving any unnecessary killing.