Language Stories

The Path of Ahiṃsā, and ‘Harm Less’

We made a design for Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा) in the Devanagari Script (देवनागरी), and then we put the design on a shirt. A simple two color print with a graffiti-based style. So? What’s the story, morning glory?

What is Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा)?

Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा), is the Sanskrit word for ‘non-violence’. The word is specific to Sanskrit, one of the underpinning languages for the philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is a word composed of a prefix ‘a’ (अ) and a roothiṁs’ (हिंस्) (as described by the rules of Sanskrit grammar).

The word Ahimsa—sometimes spelled Ahinsa[2][16]—is derived from the Sanskrit root hiṃs, meaning to strike; hiṃsā is injury or harm, while a-hiṃsā, its opposite, is non-harming or nonviolence.[2][17]


Being familiar with the basics: language, etymology, the actual location in canonical texts, are simple ways to set the stage for study. Bringing these practices into a practical routine is a subtle way of transforming habits for the better and making everybody’s Kali Yuga (कलियुग) a little gentler… Onward and upward!

Where is the word Ahimsa (अहिंसा) used in Hinduism?

In Hinduism, Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा), can be found in the Vedas (Rigveda: ऋग्वेदः), Yajurveda,: यजुर्वेदः) and in the Upanishads (Chāndogya Upaniṣad: छान्दोग्योपनिषद्, Sandilya Upanishad: शाण्डिल्य उपनिषत्). It is also featured in the Mahabharata and documents concerning Yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism), specifically the Yoga Sutras (2.30-35) and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika(1.16).

Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा), in Devanagri (देवनागरी)script.

Where is the word Ahimsa (अहिंसा) used in Buddhism?

The Buddhist ‘Five Precepts‘ from the Dhammika Sutta has non-harm listed as the first of five guidelines. For the laymen of Buddhism, non-harm is a guideline. However, for monks and nuns, transgressing against the rule of non-violence may result in severe punishment… It is also a frequent subject in the Buddha’s discourses and stories. Since Buddhism has a range of languages representing the canon of work, it’s worthwhile to mention that the cognate of ahimsa in Pali is ‘avihiṃsā‘. It is also noteworthy that in Buddhist thought, the concept of non-harm extends to economics and trade (Anguttara Nikaya V177).

These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower: trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison.

Anguttara Nikaya V.177, Translated by Martine Batchelor[115]

Up next? Jainism… The folks that went straight edge on non-violence… enjoy!

Language Saraswatī Uncategorized

Devi Saraswati in Colorful Art Deco

Language Saraswatī Stories

Aim 001: Cut-out (on Square Card)

Language Saraswatī Stories

Aim 001: Handmade 3″ with India Ink

Language Saraswatī Stories

Aim 001: Paisley Pattern


Toma Todo


Paul Antonio and Textualis Quadrata


Oh, and there’s more!

Language Saraswatī

Aim 003: Parallel Pen

Slant Pen Exercise 001 (aiṃ ऐँ)

Language Stories

Where, oh where, has that කාලාමසූත්‍රය (Kālāma Sutta) gone…?

Where indeed has that Kālāma Sutta gone? If one wanted to go to the river and read this argument for sound logical reasoning over specious reasoning? Where, oh where, would it be?

For starters, the Kesaputti [Kālāma] Sutta is the fifth sutta in the Mahā vagga of the Tika Nipāta of the Aṅguttara Nikāya (AN), one of the books of the Sutta Pitaka. Or in code, (AN i 188).

Being an older document, I wonder which script was used to first transcribe it? The script used in the title is Sinhala. The following links are pages transliterating and translating this sutta in pali and in english… And below is Kālāma Sutta written with a Sinhala Tamil font called Bhashitha.



Language Saraswatī


The first word of the Saraswati Vandana, simple and unadorned. When doing becomes too hot, or strained, thankfully, there is letting, or allowing, to cool the fever

Galleries Language Saraswatī

Thoughts on AIM, ऐँ

Galleries Language Saraswatī

सरस्वती for the purists

Usually, when hand-written (in देवनागरी devanāgarī), the ligatures for vowels are to be joined to the horizontal joining line, and in good proportion to the consonant and vowel marks being joined.  In more modern times, due to Unicode fonts and kerning concerns, this has been largely dropped in computer applications.  IMHO, this structural loss is more than made up for by the availability of standardized material, that make volumes of recorded information available to all.

But, for the purists, here’s a सरस्वती calligraphic, art-deco style treatment with the ligature joined to the body.  Enjoy!


Anatomy Language Stories

The Illustration of Cultivated Truth: The Lung Inscription

修眞圖 (Xiūzhēn tú) The Illustration of Cultivated Truth: The Lung Inscription (a simple translation). The featured image is a detail from the 修眞圖 (Xiūzhēn tú). Stone tablet (Shanghai, China), Author’s Collection

Chinese Pinyin English Translation
fèi Lung
神形如白虎 shén xíng rú bái hǔ The Spirit of the Lung takes the form of a white tiger
象如懸磬 xiàng rú xuán qìng Its apperance is of a hanging stone chime
居五臟之上 jū wǔ zàng zhī shàng It lives above the five viscera
對胞若覆蓋 duì bāo ruò fù gài The two identical parts take the form of a canopy
故為華蓋 gù wéi huá gài Therefore it becomes the imperial canopy
神名皓華 shén míng hào huá Its spirit’s name is ‘Bright Splendor’
字虛成 zì xū chéng Its character is emptyness
重三斤三兩 zhòng sān jīn sān liǎng It weighs about 1.65kg
六葉兩耳 liù yè liǎng ěr It has six leaves and two ears
總計八葉 zǒng jì bā yè Making 8 leaves in total
肺為脾子 fèi wéi pí zi It originates from the Spleen
為腎母 wéi shèn mǔ It then becomes the mother of the Kidneys
內藏七魄 nèi cáng qī pò The Lung conceals seven spirits
如嬰兒 rú yīng ér These spirits are like infants
名曰:尸狗、伏屍、雀隂、吞賺、非生母 (蜚毒)、除穢、羣臭 míng yuē: shī gǒu, fú shī (shǐ), què yīn, tūn zuàn, fēi shēng mǔ (fēi dú), chú huì, chòu fèi Their names are: Dog’s Corpse, Hidden Arrow, Shady Sparrow, Gulping Thief,  Flying Poison, The Unclean, Rotten Lung
乃七名也 nǎi qī míng yě Only seven names, more or less
鼻為之官 bí wéi zhī guān The Lung’s officer is the nose
左為庚 zuǒ wéi gēng The left [nostril] is the 7th Heavenly Stem
右為辛 yòu wéi xīn The right [nostril] is the 8th Heavenly Stem
在氣為咳 zài qì wéi ké Its sound is coughing
在液為涕 zài yè wéi tì Its humor is nasal mucus
在形為皮毛也 zài xíng wéi pí máo yě Another manifestation is body hair
上通炁至腦 shàng tōng gěng zhì nǎo The energies [of the Lung] flow up to the brain
下通炁至脾中 xià tōng gěng zhì pí zhōng These energies also flow down to the Spleen
是以諸炁屬肺 shì yǐ zhū gěng zhǔ fèi Thus, all energies belong to the Lung
肺為呼吸之根 fèi wéi hū xī zhī gēn The Lung is the root of respiration
《 黃 庭 》云「 喘息呼吸依不快急存 白元和六氣 。」 《 huáng tíng 》 yún 「 chuǎn xī hū xī yī bù kuài jí cún bái yuán hé liù qì . 」 《Canon of the Yellow Court 》When panting, breathing heavily or feeling uncomfortable, one should concentrate on the Spirit of the Lung to harmonize the six energies