Friday, November 5, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi's doctrine of truth & non-violence as flashed on the f.b. on November 6,2010.

Bishwa Nath Singh:

Let us examine as how far Gandhi’s doctrine of truth & non-violence are having relevance today when he died over sixty two years ago!Mahatma Gandhi was neither a prophet, nor a philosopher nor a priest. He was not a giant among pygmies, towering above common humanity. Nor was he a semi-God descended upon earth to live ...with children of men. Gandhi was above all a normal, unlabelled, uncommitted human being. He was a normal man. That is why he is looked upon as the most extraordinary specimen of our species. Gandhi was universal. He belonged nowhere in particular, because he belonged everywhere. Such a man cannot be measured, weighed or estimated. He was the measure of all things having a towering personality. Gandhi's friend and co-worker in South Africa, Henry S. L. Polak, once wrote that "Gandhi's was an elusive personality. You could not place him. As you tried to point your finger at him and say, 'this is he', 'here he is', he would have gone a long way further in his search of truth".

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Bishwa Nath Singh:

Gandhi Ji was a essentially a seeker of truth. He was a multi-dimensional genius and it did not lend itself to an easy analysis. Gandhi was 'normal' in the truest sense of that term. Gandhi was not a philosopher, nor a politician. He was n...ot religious in the traditional sense as he was a humble seeker after truth. He could not have founded a school or propounded a philosophy. Some one has likened philosophy to the 'search by a blind man, in a dark room, on a dark night, of a black cat, which is not there.' Philosophy or doctrine is not the truth. That is why Gandhi insisted that Truth was God instead of continuing to maintain that God was Truth. For, there is the God of Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Parsees, the Jews-one God pitted against another. This gives rise to creeds, doctrines and denominations. Truth is not denominational. Truth unites. It does not divide. That which unites is godly. That which divides is diabolic. There can be no compulsion, no coercion, in the search of Truth. The seeker after Truth is eager to appreciate another's point of view. The freedom to think is the freedom to think differently. You can cut a man's head, but not his thought. Thus, nonviolence is only the other aspect of the sterling coin of truth. Gandhi came by it in his search for Truth. He was a very noble in his thoughts. One who inherits the earth', not in the sense in which the world conquerors, the Alexanders and the Caesors of history, sought to inherit it; hut in the sense: in which the great benefactors of human race have actually inherited it. It is in this sense that Gandhi put forth the moral proposition that the lamb should leap into the jaws of the lion' to win him over. This principle of nonviolence of the dauntless and valiant Gandhi introduced in his technique of resistance to evil and untruth. His 'Satyagraha' is active and positive resistance inspired by boundless love and compassion. It is cooperation in its most sublime form. It opposes the sin, not the sinner; the evil, not the evil-doer. The physician kills the disease and heals the diseased man. He does not put an end to the man in order to eradicate the malady. The physician has no enemy. In the dictionary of Gandhi the word 'enemy' is not to be found. For such there is no 'enemy', there is only an 'erring brother'. Gandhi identified himself with the evil-doer, the sinner. Much like Jesus, who atoned for the sins of all men, Gandhi tried to suffer and expiate for the wrong done by his brother. It was his to suffer and sacrifice in his attempt to resist evil; not to inflict suffering or sacrifice on others. This is the essence of Satyagraha. A man seeks justice for others, but pardon for himself. Gandhi, on the other hand, wanted forgiveness for others and justice for himself like Jesus prays for forgiveness for those who crucified him. Gandhi’s Satyagraha is a characteristic manifestation of this spirit of identification. It expressed itself in the form of non-violence of the valiant and dauntless. Satyagraha is not non-resistance. It is positive and active resistance to evil. It is inspired by love. It is cooperation in its most sublime form. Gandhi defined 'Swadeshi' as neighborliness, the solicitude and concern for our immediate neighbor. Since our enemy is also our neighbor, Gandhi wanted us to extend our love to our enemy. This is not Spirituality or Orthodox religiosity. This is international diplomacy with a human face. Gandhi elevated 'Swadeshi' from a mere political weapon to a social value. Gandhi was essentially a man of god; but with a difference. He was primarily a seeker after truth; he first affirmed that God is Truth. He said, Truth and Nonviolence are two sides of the same coin. Truth is neither yours nor mine. It is neither western nor eastern. It knows no frontiers. That is why Gandhi could draw inspiration from the 'Sermon on the Mount' as well as from the Bhagwat Gita In his exposition of the 11th verse of the 4th chapter of the Gita, he says "I should plead for justice and atonement in case of my own transgressions; but in the case of others, I should pray for mercy and forgiveness." This is the true spirit of humility. Gandhi looked upon the faults and short-comings of others as his own. This was identification in a very different sense. By his good deeds, Gandhi became a Mahatma and father of our nation who is still adored by over billions of people living far & wide.Let us pay our humble obeisance to his lotus feet and live unto his ideals in our life!
November 6,2010

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