Prem and Sandhya Jain Conference on Nonviolence

Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness
November 2-4, 2012
Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major Suite

Conference Flyer
Conference Schedule
Speaker/Panelist Bios



Directions and Parking

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle

In its positive form, ahimsa means the largest love, the greatest charity. – Gandhi


Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness is the theme of the 5 th biannual conference on nonviolence hosted by Ahimsa Center at Cal Poly Pomona in suburban Los Angeles. The conference has significant implications for advancing scholarship, enriching education, and facilitating practical applications based on new insights pertaining to the relationship between ahimsa (nonviolence) and sustainable happiness.

Purpose of the Conference

Historically, all philosophical and spiritual traditions have articulated some vision of a happy life, and have suggested ways of attaining happiness. Ahimsa, with varying degrees of emphasis, has been often recognized both as a vital element of a happy life and also as a pathway to happiness. However, contemporary discourses on happiness and ahimsa have become largely disconnected from each other. The aim of this conference is to explore the synergy, reciprocity, and unity between ahimsa and happiness. Ahimsa is more than a mere avoidance of violence; its positive facets include caring, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, love, mindfulness, reverence for life, and trust. Similarly, happiness is more than an ephemeral feeling of pleasure; in its sustainable form it encompasses liberation from fear and negative emotions, a sense of well-being, flow, flourishing and self-actualization

Major Topics

  • How ahimsa promotes happiness; how happiness is conducive to ahimsa. In what ways ahimsa and happiness are synergistic, and where they become isomorphic.
  • The ahimsa-happiness (A-H) relationships at different levels: intrapersonal , interpersonal, societal, national.
  • The A-H relationship in spheres such as business, nonprofits, healthcare, and education.
  • How ahimsa and happiness relate to the concerns of social justice and equality, animal welfare, and ecological responsibility.
  • Advancing education, scholarship and practical applications focusing on the A-H relationship.

Distinguished Key Speakers

Christopher Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic Studies and Theology, Loyola Marymount University.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Founding Co-Director, Qualify of Life Center, Claremont Graduate University.

Darrin McMahon, Ben Weider Professor of History, and author of Happiness--A History, Florida State University.

Anthony Parel, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary, Canada.

Jane Morrison, Ecologist, author, animal rights activist, Executive Vice President, Dancing Star Foundation.

Rakesh Sarin, Paine Chair in Management at the Anderson School of Business at UCL, and co-author of Engineering Happiness: A New Approach for Building a Joyful Life.

Michael Tobias, Historian of Consciousness, global ecologist, author, filmmaker, and President of Dancing Star Foundation.

For more information, contact: Professor Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center
(909) 869-3868 or

Speaker/Panelist Bios