Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Efficacy of Non-Violence

The World's discourse is currently woefully short of discourse on the efficacy of non-violence.

When Gandhi was asked what he thought about western civilization,

his response was:

"I think it would be a good idea."

Here are more of the words of Gandhi.


Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds.

Democracy and violence can ill go together. Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side.

What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality, for it increases hatred.

Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.

You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.

Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

It may be long before the law of love will be recognized in international affairs. The machinerys of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another.

To forgive is not to forget. The merit lies in loving in spite of the vivid knowledge that the one that must be loved is not a friend.

What kind of victory is it when someone is left defeated? You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Whether humanity will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need not disturb me. The law will work just as the law of gravitation works, whether we accept it or not. The person who discovered the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our modern scientists.

Violent means will give violent freedom. However much I may sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes.

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

Hate the sin and not the sinner is a precept which though easy enough to understand is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.

Nonviolence and cowardice are contradictory terms. Nonviolence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. Nonviolence springs from love, cowardice from hate. Nonviolence always suffers, cowardice would always inflict suffering. Perfect nonviolence is the highest bravery. Nonviolent conduct is never demoralizing, cowardice always is.

Destruction is not the law of humans.

Man lives freely only by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him. Every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause, committed or inflicted on another is a crime against humanity.

Man's nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.

Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.

It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us. This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in goodheart whatever they might have to say.

It is the law of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled us,we should have become extinct long ago. And yet, the tragedy of it, is that the so-called civilized men and nations conduct themselves as if the basis of society was violence.

On January 30th, 1948, after a fast and on his way to prayers, Mahatma Gandhi was murdered.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that non violence is practical anymore

6:41 PM  
Blogger OZ said...

I can't imagine how anything but non-violence is practical at this point. otherwise, the nation states will only be in a race to out violence one another

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such beautiful things, really they are. But from the belly of the beast, they seem so far...far...away. They are truth...still.

6:33 PM  

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