The Power of NonViolence
From Gandhi: Lifelines
Truth (satya) implies love,
and firmness (agraha)
serves as a synonym for force.
I thus began to call the Indian movement satyagraha;
that is to say, the force which is born of truth and love,
It is my wife who taught me non-violence.
Her obstinate resistance, on one handm
and her serene acceptance of the suffering
my stupidity inflicted on her
made me stop believing that nature had given me a right
to dominate her.
From that moment onward,
she became my teacher of satyagraha.
In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil
is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.
Non-violence implies voluntary submission
to the penalty for non-cooperation with evil.
Non-violence and cowardice go ill together....
Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice.
But true non-violence is an impossibility
without the possession of utter fearlessness.
If all the mice in the world
resolved that they would no more fear the cat
but instead all ran into her mouth,
the mice would live.
edited and illustrated by Beatrice Tanaka (New York: Four Walls, Eight
Windows, 1998) $13.00 paperback 48 pages
This little pocket book of Gandhi's sayings
is stunningly illustrated with black and white drawings. Included in
the book are reflections on civil disobedience, love, religion, interdependence,
village democracy and the meaning of satyagraha (see above). -M.R.