The turning point for Alexander the Great

Three hundred years before the birth of Christ, Alexander the Great marched across the Asian subcontinent, conquering all that lay in his path. Eventually he reached the Indian village of Taxila. As he and his troops swept through the village, they encountered some naked men sitting directly in the path of the army. They were Digambara monks.

Alexander was curious to speak with the monks and learn from them about their way of life, but they refused to speak with him until he came down from his horse, removed his battle armour and sat down in the dust of the roadside with them.

This Alexander did, to the wonder of all his soldiers. By conversing with the ascetics, he became aware of their deep reverence for life which they expressed through ahimsa. Alexander was humbled by this experience and he ordered the release of a prominent Indian king whom he had taken captive. He then turned his army around and went back home to his native Greece without making any further conquests.