Download: Ahimsa 3.1 for WordPress
February 9th, 2010 by ravi

If you are an Indianapolis Colts fan, take heart. All is not wrong with the world, for now there is a new version of the Ahimsa theme for WordPress. Alright, okay, a new version of some WordPress theme does not equal a SuperBowl ring, but remember, you don’t get to wear a SuperBowl ring but you do get to decorate your blog as you desire!

If you have performed any customisation of Ahimsa (by creating or editing skins, or creating a custom stylesheet custom.css or custom footer footer-custom.css) then please, PLEASE read the section below on Saving your Ahimsa Customisations before you click on the Download button.

Saving your Ahimsa Customisations

This version has some new features and a few very important fixes. One problem with theme upgrades in general is that when they are performed using the WordPress Dasbhoard, WordPress removes the current theme, thus destroying any customisations you might have made (in its defence, WordPress pops up a message warning you of this upcoming disaster). This is a particularly problematic issue for the Ahimsa theme since I support various user customisations in the theme and save that information to the theme directory, and such customisations can be part of what is lost as a part of the upgrade process.

To avoid this problem for future releases, I have moved the Ahimsa customisation files to a different location. This will save you for future upgrades. But what about this one? For that I have written a little plugin that you should install and run before you upgrade the theme. It all sounds very complicated, I admit, but it’s not! See the steps below:

1. Backup your theme

It may be a good idea to backup your theme files, just to be safe

2. Download and install the Ahimsa Fix plugin

Download the plugin zip file (you may need to right click and save the file) and install it via:
Dashboard → Plugins → Add New → Upload

3. Run the Plugin

Run the plugin via:
Dashboard → Settings → Ahimsa Custom Fixer
(yeah, I could have come up with a better name ;-)). Let it do its thing, until you see a greenish box saying All Done. The plugin assumes that your web server has write access to various parts of your WordPress installation. If that is not true, it will print out an error message. You can now safely Deactivate and Delete the Plugin, and go ahead with the upgrade of the Ahimsa theme.

4. Update your Skins

If you created any skins, please update them via:
Dashboard → Appearance → Ahimsa Options
Select “Update Skins” and click on “Save Changes”.

  • Tested: Safari4, Chrome Beta for Mac, Firefox 3.6, IE7, PHP 4.3 and above, WP 2.8 and above
  • Left, Right and No sidebars
  • Quick Fancybox Gallery shortcode
  • FAQinway: FAQ shortcode
  • Use of “theme store” outside theme directory to avoid losing customisation files on theme upgrade
  • Option to disable action/feed box for pages
  • Fix for Firefox 3.6 title alignment issue
  • Updated fade in/out effects to jQuery (fixes flicker issue)
  • Various other fixes

If you are curious about how to use the shortcodes mentioned above, stay tuned for a post coming up shortly. You can see an example of the Quick Fancybox Gallery in the instruction images (clickable thumbnails) above.

Two fixes (the Firefox 3.6 title issue, and a fix for comments code for older WordPress versions) identified by Ahimsa users. I wish I could give them the attribution but I have forgotten who they are. My sincerest apologies to them. I am searching through the comments to find their names.

UPDATE with CREDITS: Caleb Adam Haye deserves credit for identifying and fixing the comments code for old WordPress versions. Mike identified a bug (and the fix for it) in the skin edit code. TheJuice, Nakke, Geakz and Chris Kaczor identified the Firefox 3.6 title rendering issue (Chris took the additional step of filing a bug at GitHub, and Geakz and BigLeague tested Ahimsa 3.1 before release); John Campbell figured out the cause of the problem (an IE specific CSS specification). My thanks are due to all of them, and those I have forgotten to mention (this latter group also deserves my apologies; please identify yourself in the comments), as well as all of you who have found this theme useful and encouraged me with your comments and feedback.

54 Responses  
  • M Ward writes:

    First of all – LOVE this theme. I’ve used it several times and find it to be both visually pleasing and easy to use. However, I have an issue where my blog is stretching so that I have to scroll left and right to read things – which it didn’t used to do. I’ve changed nothing and I experimented with using 3.0 vs 3.1 and that isn’t making a difference.

    The only thing that changed is I have 3 posts saved as drafts, but not published? Could that be doing it?

    Thanks for your help!

  • lango writes:


    thx for your work!

    i try a new installation of ashima 3.1 (not a update/upgrade). so i become 2 warnings on the ‘Ashima Option’ page, in a right field in the ‘Ahimsa Skins’ section:

    Warning: array_merge() [function.array-merge]: Argument #2 is not an array in […]/wp-content/themes/ahimsa/utils.php on line 10

    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in […]/wp-content/themes/ahimsa/functions.php on line 620

    […] = delete from me

    also under these 2 warnings comes “Unable to read skin file:”

    could you help me?


  • M Ward writes:

    After seeing the comment below, I figure it would be more helpful if I told you if there were any errors like that.

    When I both upgraded it and did a fresh clean reinstall, I received these errors:

    Warning: fopen(/[…]/wp-content/themes/ahimsa-3.1-3/style.css): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /[…]/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3598

    Warning: fread(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in […]/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3601

    Warning: fclose(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /[…]/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3604

    Again, thank you for your work on this! I know it’s not easy and recognize that sometimes errors can occur. You were so quick updating with the Firefox issue – much appreciated!!

  • Chris Kaczor writes:

    Thanks for the update – looks much better in Firefox.

    My only issue is the “Ahimsa Options” section is blank now. Maybe I did something wrong when applying the new version.

    • Chris Kaczor writes:

      Did some digging through the code and found out what was going on.

      The issue is with the check_store_mksymlinks function in the functions.php file. My web host is using Windows Server 2003 and PHP doesn’t support the symlink function on that version of Windows. It is only supported with Windows Server 2008 or higher.

      I commented out the function for now and I can see the theme options. Everything else seems to be working fine.

      • ravi writes:

        Chris, I was just going to respond to your original comment with the suggestion that the symlink might indeed be the culprit. It is fine to comment that symlink creation out. The [only] downside is that you cannot edit your custom files (custom.css, footercustom.css), if any, using the WordPress Dashboard Editor.

  • valkiro writes:

    the first thing I want to compliment the theme, it’s beautiful, I wanted to report a problem with Internet Explorer 8, the central part of the theme too widens going to end up superimposed on the right side column, someone can help me solve my problem?
    I made a screenshot that you can look up
    Chrome with Firefox and there are no problems, everything is ok


    • ravi writes:

      Valkiro, thank you for your comment and apologies for the late response. What happens in IE when you increase the size of the window? I promise to respond ASAP once I hear back. Also, if you have a live page that shows this effect, it will help me figure out what the fix would be. Thank you.

  • Jack writes:

    Yes, I have the same problem. On Firefox and Chrome the skin looks nice, but on IE it looks awful.

    What is the problem with that on IE?


    • ravi writes:

      Jack, IE does not support the CSS3 “border-radius” property, so it’s not possible to render rounded corners in IE without hacks. But otherwise, I try to make the theme behave as well as possible on IE. If it looks particularly bad (apart from the lack of rounded corners) can you give me a screenshot that demonstrates the problem? Thank you.

  • Nakke writes:


    I’m trying to get this theme true validator and it found 3 errors.

    Errors 1-2 is in shortcodes.php line 108 and 175

    chance it to

    Error 3 is in header.php line 64

    Validator says: there is no attribute “onresize”

    Anyone know how to fix this one?

    • ravi writes:

      Nakke, can you tell me what the error message was for 1-2? For “onresize”, yes, that’s a known validation failure. It’s a JavaScript event that is supported by all major browsers (I am fairly sure, from my testing) but is unfortunately not part of the W3C ECMA (or relevant) specification. Unfortunately, I really do need it to make certain aspects of my theme work.

  • Su writes:

    I am having trouble installing your theme in WordPress I dont have the Plugin menu in my dashboard portal. am doing my web hosting through iPage and I used their one step installation of WordPress. What am I doing wrong? Please help?

    • ravi writes:

      Su, if you are installing the theme for the first time, you do not need to install my plugin (which is needed only for upgrade). To install the theme, go to your WordPress (2.7 or newer) Dashboard and then choose Appearance -> Themes. Click on the “Add New” button at the top. Then search for the Ahimsa theme. When it shows up in the results, click on Install.

  • Patrick writes:

    I love this theme, but sadly jquery-min.js used by Ahimsa 3.1 causes troubles with prototype.js what prevents lightbox2 from work properly. Difficult situation – I don’t want to dismiss or downgrade Ahimsa and I want to use lightbox! ^^ I hope the next update either of lightbox or Ahimsa fixes this.

  • Marie writes:

    Hi Ravi,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ahimsa (especially the translation “non-violence”) and I’m using it right out of the box. It look beautiful and the color nicely compliment my specially designed logo, which you’ll see on the home page.

    Since I am using WordPress more as a website system, there are some things I’d like to remove. First, I was able to remove some buttons, but I can’t find where to delete the orange button “CATEGORIES” (I’m not using it) and “COMMENTS OFF” – which I’m also not using. Where would I find them to delete them from my site? I found one comments thing in a php file and deleted it, but I can’t find these other two. Some advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you for your beautiful work.


    • ravi writes:

      Marie, thank you for your comment. Along with “Categories” there is also a “Tags” bubble that is listed in the bottom bar, as well as a comment count. If you have comments turned off and do not plan to use categories or tags, do you want to just turn the whole bottom bar off? Let me know I can give you code changes to accomplish all that.

      Regarding the “Comments Off”, do you mean “Comments are closed”?

      • Marie writes:

        Hi Ravi,

        Yes, all the orange buttons/bubbles are what I wish to remove. Some that I still see on my site are COMMENTS OFF, CATEGORIES, (you can see these on the blog page under each post). On all the other pages, I just see CATEGORIES. Yes, I have comments turned off and do not plan to use categories or tags. I just want to turn the whole bottom bar off.

        So perhaps your idea to turn the whole bottom bar off is the correct idea. When you send me the code changes, could you also please tell me where to them? I can hack CSS a bit and sometimes I can remove stuff in the PHP places, but I’m essentially a neophyte web designer.

        Thank you SO MUCH for your help. Some support for your excellent work will be forth coming – it’s that good.

        All the best,

        • ravi writes:

          Hello again Marie,

          to turn the bottom bar off, go to Dashboard -> Appearance -> Editor and then edit the file “custom.css” (see: Add a section such as the below, at the end:

          display: none !important;

          This will also get rid of the “Comments Off” bubble in the bottom bar.

          I notice that your blog shows the sidebar expanded too wide (on the Safari browser, at least). This is something that has been reported in the past (one case), and I am investigating that. In the meantime, to overcome this, you can force the sidebar to be smaller by adding the following CSS to the above file.

          width: 350px !important; /* use your preferred value here instead of 350 */


          • Marie writes:

            Hi Ravi,

            IT WORKED! Brilliant and thank you. I keep forgetting about the display: none bit of code. Thank you for setting that straight.

            With regard to the sidebar, I haven’t checked it in Safari. I purposely left it static, rather than having it fade out, I guess because my expectations of someone’s browsing experience are a bit low. While I love it the “disappearing side bar” effect, I’m afraid the audience I’m putting this site together for would not understand it. They would get confused and so I’ve set it for static display.

            I’ll see if I can check it on Safari, although I believe that is a MAC browser and I’m still chugging away on Windows XP Professional, SP3.

            Again, thank you for your quick reply to my questions.

            All the best,

            • ravi writes:

              Marie, glad to hear your issues are resolved. W.r.t Safari, yes, its a Mac browser, but its also available for Windows, though I doubt the usage is high. Cheers!

  • Linda T writes:

    I am new to WP and love the look and flexibility of Ahimsa 3.1. Can you tell me, can it be used in a three-column format?

  • Ahren Code» Blog Archive » Download: Ahimsa 3.2 for WordPress writes:

    […] You can now download Version 3.2 of the Ahimsa for WordPress theme from the link below, or from the site shortly (once it is approved). If you are upgrading from a version of Ahimsa older than 3.1 and you have made customisations and created custom skins, you should first upgrade to Ahimsa 3.1.1 after reading about it. […]

  • donuts4dinner writes:

    Hey, Ravi, I noticed that the date/time on comments is a little funny. Seems like it’s missing a space before the time and has an “at” in the wrong place. I tried working on it but can’t seem to get it fixed. Any ideas?

  • mimi writes:

    right sidebar is not functional is says that Error: tracking ID not set. Need help asap.Thank you

  • Bill Hood writes:

    I just updated to WordPress 3.0 and noticed that my Sidebar isn’t working correctly with the Ahimsa 3.2 Theme using the default skin. Please visit the website at and you will see what I am explaining.

    The options under theme settings:

    Hide Sidebar by default in Main/Home page
    Hide Sidebar by default in posts and pages

    do nothing whether they are checked or not, i.e. if I check to hide the sidebar is still appears.

    I tried deleting the theme and uploading it again, without success.

    Any suggestions, Ravi?

    • ravi writes:

      Hello BIll, hmm, this sounds bad. Let me test it out in my setup. More soon…

    • ravi writes:

      Bill, I cannot reproduce the problem in my home setup. When I set Hide by default, the page does open up with the sidebar hidden.

      On your site, I see some FRAMEs related issues, but that shouldn’t cause bad behaviour. What are your current settings? Can you set the Sidebar to hide by default (either for Main/Home or posts/pages, or both) and let me know? You can chat live with me at if you wish (within the next 15 minutes or so).

      • ravi writes:

        Bill, I am guessing you are not online any longer. I am exiting the live chat above, but if you do turn the checkbox on (to hide the sidebar in home/index page), or if it is already checked on, please let me know. I can investigate further once you do that.

        • Bill Hood writes:

          Ravi, my current settings are not changable. I have tried checking and unchecking the Sidebar Hide boxes in the theme’s general settings to no avail. My browser is Firefox Version 3.6.4, which is current.

          Checked – Show Login/Logout option in Top Menu
          Not Checked – Show Authors in Sidebar
          Not Checked – Hide Sidebar by default in Main/Home page
          Not Checked – Hide Sidebar by default in posts and pages
          Not Checked – Show § symbol as prefix for section headers in sidebar
          Not Checked – In index/home page, fade category, tag, comment links unless hovered over (does not work in IE)
          Not Checked – Show author and date information for pages
          Not Checked – Show actions and comment feed link box for pages
          Checked – Turn on experimental and partial support for rounded corners in IE

          I have attempted changes, such as Not Checking the “Turn on experimental and partial support for rounded corners in IE” but did not notice any change. And I have tried placing a Check in either or both of the “Hide Sidebar by default in Main/Home page” and the “Hide Sidebar by default in posts and pages.”

          I’d be happy to let you have admin to go in and have a look. You can email me at if you wish.

  • Bill Hood writes:

    Ravi, more follow up…

    I assumed that it might be a plug-in conflict, so I deactivated all of the plugins and the problem with the frames in the theme was resolved. Sounds good so far, but, when I started activating the plugins one by one, checking as I went to find out which was the guilty plugin, I ran into a snag. After activating all of the plugins, the theme still works.

    Seems strange to me, but then I don’t purport to be that knowledgeable about PHP. HTML yes, PHP no! Is it possible that deactivating and then activating a plugin could cause it to not be in conflict with another plug in or a theme?

    Thanks for your quick followup and I am looking forward to your thoughts on this strange occurrence.

    • ravi writes:

      Bill, it’s unlikely but possible that deactivating and reactivating plugins made the difference. It’s possible because WordPress provides “hooks” to plugins that they can use to perform certain activities (typically temporary clean-up) when the user deactivates a plugin. So, the offending plugin might have carried out some deactivation activity that rectified the situation.

      Are you in good shape now? I still see the sidebar in the main page… is that the desired behaviour? I can help if problems persist. Please email me at code [at] ahren [dot] org.

  • Ahimsa 3.2 by Ravi Sarma - bumpkYn for Business writes:

    […] (If you are upgrading from Ahimsa versions before 3.1 please visit for details on saving your theme skins and customisations). Always backup any theme files you have […]

  • Jennifer Starkman writes:


    If I’m upgrading from WordPress 3.1.1 to 3.2 directly on the WordPress site do I need to worry about losing customizations? There’s a warning note on the WordPress upgrade page, but I don’t know if that’s just standard or whether I’m actually going to lose my customizations (of which there are LOTS). Suggestions?

  • Andreas Cornelisse writes:

    Hi there,

    i love this theme for the website form my school. I tryed lot’s of themes but this is the best one. Love te visual quality and the option to add your own colors.

    I had a question tough. I would like to add a upperbar/ uppercolumn in my site:
    Is it possible to make a column under the header image?

    Is it possible to make this theme fixth width?

    Thanx for this great theme!

    A. Cornelisse

    • ravi writes:

      Hello Andreas,

      thank you for your comments on the theme. To make sure I understand what you want, you want a row (i.e., a wide strip running the length of the header), under the header, before the content and sidebar. Is this correct? If so, this is possible but you will need to change the theme code. I can help with that.

      The theme can be made fixed width by editing (Dashboard -> Appearance -> Editor) the file custom.css and adding something like the below:

      width: 700px !important;

      You should replace 700px with the size you want.

      • Andreas Cornelisse writes:

        Hi Ravi,

        thanx for the quick reaction. I did what u told me to do. I paste the code in the custom.css and saved the file, but i can’t see any changed made.
        Did i do something wrong?

        And o yeah it is right. I want a wide strip under the header in wich the links to pages will appear.



  • Andreas Cornelisse writes:

    Hi Ravi,

    it worked. THe theme is fixt. But can u help me with the bar under my header in wich i can place links to different pages.

    thanx again greetings,


  • karin göransson writes:

    hi my pic widget just dissapeard??

  • yandira cnb writes:

    helo mr,I am a newbier and make blog from mobile,i like this theme” ahimsa’because to colourfull,thank mr , am new make blog in blogetery. i am from BALI indonesia .fun friend with you mr. succes for you thank.

  • esti writes:

    Hello, I am trying to hide the categories button on pages. And I paste this

    display: none !important;

    but comments on posts also disapear!
    I need to hide only categories button on pages without hide comments on posts. Is it possible?

    Thanks for all.

    • ravi writes:

      Hello esti, with earlier versions of Ahimsa this was a bit difficult to achieve. If you upgrade to Ahimsa 4.0 (which should be in in a few days, or you can obtain it from me right now), there are options to do this. If you want to give 4.0 a try before it hits the WordPress theme repository, please contact me via Twitter (@ahrencode) or email (code [at] ahren [dot] arg).

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