The Non-Violence in the Life of M K Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the most famous leaders with a
movement in non-violence. He opposed British imperial rule in India
during the 20th century. In reference to non-violence, Gandhi had two
key teachings of ahimsa and satyagraha.
Gandhi used the principle of ahimsa (doing no harm) that was common to
Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, and used it as the springboard to
large-scale action. He used this concept to fight off not only the
colonial rule but also racial discrimination and social divisions such
as the untouchables in society.
Ahimsa translates as ‘non-violence’ or ‘non-injury’ and this concept
is contained in the Vedas so it is quite an ancient theory. The four
holy books contain a teaching that reads, “Do not kill any living
being”. Gandhi explained that true love could be used to combat
violence using non-violence. He also referred to it as being the
aspect of God or truth. He said in the Harijan, 12 November 1935,
“Non-violence is an active force of the highest order. It is soul
force or the power of Godhead within us”.
Gandhi believed that all people have a capacity within themselves of
non-violence or love so he declared that the best way of overcoming
the evildoers in the world was to not retaliate and make them change
their hearts. He also believed that passive resistance through
motivation of all life could overcome hatred and cruelty.
He said in the Harijan, 5 September1936, “Non-violence is a power
which can be wielded equally by all – children, young men and women or
grown-up people, provided they have a living faith in the God of Love
and have therefore equal love for all mankind. When non-violence is
accepted as the law of life, it must pervade the whole being and not
be applied to isolated acts”.
Gandhi believed that there are six ‘prerequisites’ that believers in
non-violence should follow. The first is that non-violence is the law
used by rational beings while brute force is the law of the jungle.
The second is that believers in non-violence should also believe in
God. The third is that non-violence should be used as a mechanism of
defending a person’s self respect but not for the protection of
personal property or wealth. The fourth is that non-violence is
self-sacrifice and so possession of other people’s property and
countries is immoral. The fifth is that non-violence is available for
all to use so caste, creed and age are irrelevant but faith in the God
of Love is required. Therefore non-violence should be accepted as he
law of life. The sixth is that this law of non-violence and love
should be applied to the local community as well as all of humanity.
He said, “Non-violence is more powerful than all the armaments in the
world. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of...