Nvc and the Legacy of Gandhi Nonviolence –Ahimsa and Satyagraha – positive meaning, transcending any inner limitations to opening our hearts

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NVC and the Legacy of Gandhi

1. Nonviolence –Ahimsa and Satyagraha – positive meaning, transcending any inner limitations to opening our hearts.

  • The simplest things have the knack sometimes of appearing to us the hardest. If our hearts were open, we should have no difficulty. Nonviolence is a matter of the heart. It doesn't come to us through any intellectual feat." (Gandhi the Man p. 116)

  • Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering.  It does not mean meek submission of the will of the evil-doer, but it means putting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant.  Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honour, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration.” (Golden Treasury p.33)

  • Not to hurt any living thing is no doubt a part of ahimsa.  But it is its least expression.” (Gandhi the Man. p. 155)

  • Satyagraha means ‘holding to the truth in every situation’.  This is ahimsa, which is more than just the absence of violence; it is intense love.” (Gandhi the Man p. 53)

  • The world rests upon the bedrock of ‘satya’ or truth. ‘Asatya’ meaning untruth also means non-existent, and ‘satya’ or truth also means that which is. If untruth does not so much as exist, its victory is out of the question. And truth being that which is, can never be destroyed. This is the doctrine of Satyagraha in a nutshell”. (The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi online –henceforth CWMG-. Vol.34 Feb 11th, 1926. p.235)

  • We have developed a war mentality: we thought about war, we talked of war and nothing but war. Now we have to sing a different tune.” (Young India. Mar 19th, 1931)

  • It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us.” (Gandhi the Man. p. 108)

  • Woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering.” (Mahatma Vol 5, p.227).

  • Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”(Mahatma Vol 3, p. 33).

  • A woman’s intuition has often proved truer than man’s arrogant assumption of superior knowledge”. (Mahatma Vol 2, p. 51).

  • I have mentally become a woman in order to steal into her heart.” (Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p.291)

  • A satyagrahi has infinite patience, abundant faith in others, ample hope.” (Young India. Mar 19th, 1931)

  • I do admit that the destructive energy is there, but it is evanescent, always futile before the creative, which is permanent. If the destructive one had the upper hand all sacred ties –love between parents and child, brother and sister, master and disciple, ruler and ruled- would be snapped”. (Is there no other way? The Search for a Nonviolent Future. –henceforth SNVF- p.41)

  • The force of love is the same as the force of the soul or truth”. (Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule –henceforth Hind Swaraj- by p.67).

  • Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruits the more you nurture it. The deeper the search in the mine of truth the richer the discovery of the gems buried there, in the shape of openings for an ever greater variety of service.” (Gandhi’s life in his own words. p. 34)

  • I have nothing new to teach to the World. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills.” (Hope or Terror? Gandhi and the other 9/11. p.6 + CWMG, online Vol. 91. p.221)

  • Things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone but have to be purchased with their suffering…If you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also.” (SNVF. p.125)

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