Achaurya is a Sanskrit word meaning "avoidance of stealing" or "non-stealing". A Jain must not take anything that does not belong to him without the prior permission of its owner. This includes even a blade of grass from another’s garden. The implication of this vow is extended to prohibition of following:
- Taking another's property without his consent, or by unjust or immoral methods.
- Taking away a thing that may be lying unattended or unclaimed.
- When taking alms, taking more than what is minimum needed.
- Accepting things stolen by others.
- Asking/encouraging or approving others for any of the above mentioned prohibitions.
One should observe this vow very strictly, and should not touch even a worthless thing which does not belong to him. Jain monks and nuns who survive by begging for food from laypersons are advised not to acquire more than a few mouthfuls of food per family.