These verses develop the concepts of lawful violence in self-defence and the theories of just war.However, there is no consensus on this interpretation.Mayrhofer as well as Dumot suggest the root word may be han which means kill, which leads to the interpretation that ahimsa means do not kill.
It bars violence against "all creatures" (sarvabhuta) and the practitioner of Ahimsa is said to escape from the cycle of rebirths (CU 8.15.1).
The Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, has multiple mentions of the phrase Ahimsa Paramo Dharma (अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मः), which literally means: non-violence is the highest moral virtue.
For example, Mahaprasthanika Parva has the verse: The above passage from Mahabharata emphasises the cardinal importance of Ahimsa in Hinduism, and literally means: Ahimsa is the highest virtue, Ahimsa is the highest self-control, Ahimsa is the greatest gift, Ahimsa is the best suffering, Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice, Ahimsa is the finest strength, Ahimsa is the greatest friend, Ahimsa is the greatest happiness, Ahimsa is the highest truth, and Ahimsa is the greatest teaching.
For example, hymn in the Rig Veda uses the words Satya (truthfulness) and Ahimsa in a prayer to deity Indra; The earliest reference to the idea of non-violence to animals ("pashu-Ahimsa"), apparently in a moral sense, is in the Kapisthala Katha Samhita of the Yajurveda (Kap S 31.11), which may have been written in about the 8th century BCE.
suggest Ahimsa as an ethical concept that started evolving in the Vedas, becoming an increasingly central concept in Upanishads.