Akbar yields to a Jaina monk

In 1582 the great Moghul Emperor Akbar invited a Jaina monk to come to his court and participate in religious and philosophical debates. Akbar was very fond of these debates and he tried to include representatives from many different paths. The name of the monk whom he invited was Haravijaya.

As a warrior, Akbar engaged in many battles. He was also deeply enamoured of hunting. Haravijaya knew that for him to accept the principle of ahimsa in its totality would be an impossibility. At the same time, he found that Akbar saw the virtue of non-violence. So Haravijaya counselled Akbar to set aside certain days of the calendar when all hunting and killing of animals would be forbidden throughout the empire. Although this entailed considerable personal sacrifice, Akbar agreed to this request. He also released many prisoners and caged birds on those festive occasions.