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Tending the Garden: Ahimsa in the Early Indian Literature
Source: Shakyamuni Buddha – Jataka (Previous Lives). 1800, Zanabazar Mongolia National Museum, Mongolia, https://www.himalayanart.org/items/50191. Accessed 22 Sept. 2022.
The practice of ahiṃsā (non-violence) has a long and illustrious history both in South Asia, where it originated, and elsewhere. This talk will tour a selection of the rich body of texts composed by Jains, Buddhists and Hindus in premodern India that engage with the theme of ahiṃsā to non-humans. These works range from imperial propaganda to stories that illustrate with engaging vividness the karmic dangers of injuring other living beings, the rewards earned by those who refrain from doing so and the relationship between ahiṃsā and the doctrine of reincarnation.
Co-sponsored by the Center for India and South Asia
Dr. Anahita Hoose is a scholar of Indian languages, texts and cultures. Originally from England, she crossed the pond in 2016 to join the UCLA Program in Indo-European Studies as a PhD student and moved to the Center for the Study of Religion after graduating in 2022. In her PhD dissertation, based on texts composed in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain circles over a period of more than a thousand years, she discusses the use of verbs in multiple premodern Indian languages. Her linguistic research is complemented by her interests in religion, myth and literature and she has published articles on both linguistic and cultural topics.