The Benefit of Ahimsa
Ahimsa is not causing pain. Some authors translate it as non-killing, but it is not that. Himsa means to cause pain; ahimsa, not to cause pain. Killing is different from causing pain. Causing pain can be even more harmful than killing. Even by your words, even by your thoughts, you can cause pain.
When the vow of ahimsa is established in someone, all enmity ceases in his or her presence because that person emits harmonious vibrations. If two people who have enmity between them come to such a person, they will temporarily forget it. That is the benefit of ahimsa. When it is practiced continuously in thought, word and deed for some time, the entire personality brings out those vibrations.
The Buddha cultivated this practice. Wherever he went he brought peace, harmony and friendliness. St. Francis is another great example of this. Mahatma Gandhi tried his best to practice and propagate ahimsa, bringing many people together. His entire life was based on the vows of ahimsa and satya (truthfulness). Even without obtaining one hundred percent perfection in them, he earned a great name throughout the world as an apostle of peace. Even a bit of ahimsa is enough to elevate us to a higher state.