Ahimsa Paramo Dharmaha

I was searching the roots of all famous Sanskrit quotes. But this one “Ahimsa paramo dharmaha“( अहिंसा परमो धर्मः ) did not yield any results in internet. More than 500 results and just “Ahimsa paramo dharmaha”. Every one is happy mentioning only up to there. The meaning is Non-violence is Ultimate religion (or duty). The sentence is repeatedly gets mentioned whenever Indian philosophy and tolerance is explained, especially context of explaining ancient Hindu (sanatan dharma), Buddhism, Jainism and Gandhian philosophy. 

One result gave the latter part of it. धर्म हिंसा तथीव च  – Dharma himsa tathaiva cha “. Now that means Violence is also religion (duty). I am getting different meanings out of them.

1.      Non-violence is the ultimate duty of life, and in some contexts violence is also. Here what is the extremity of the context?

2.      Try to follow Non-violence and given no choice follow violence (for protect your self). This is most optimistic meaning I have taken

Anyway the sentence is frequently mentioned, but forgetting the second part of it. It’s something like Ashvathamaha hato kunjarah, telling half truth. If some one has a better explanation, or complete hymn please leave a comment.

20 thoughts on “Ahimsa Paramo Dharmaha

  1. Thank you Vikram and Kaushik
    But when I wrote this There were no mention of “dhrama himsa thathaiva cha ” in google top 500 results. Hence the post was to give internet presence to the rest of the hymn.


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  3. No need to explain the phrase in detail, Lord Sriram is the perfect Example. He himself follows ahimsa and fight against Himsa using himsa itself.

    Words by the Great Social Reformer Sree Narayana Guru is also relevant here. ie, the actions by someone for His own satisfaction should also result in the satisfaction or should bring good to others also…


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