Key notes on Gandhi's Concept of Satyagraha

Satyagraha implies deference to truth. It means to insist upon truth in the non-violent way. Further, it is a resistance through non-violence. In the words of Gandhiji “Satyagraha is referred to in English as passive resistance’. Passive resistance is a method of securing rights by personal' suffering. It is the reverse of resistance by arms....."

Basic tenets of Satyagraha:

Satyagraha rests on truth and non-violence. Another principle of Satyagraha is self-suffering. An individual should train himself to suffer without animosity and fear, to control himself like Lord Buddha. In Sabaramati Ashram Gandhiji taught the principles of truth, non-violence, fearlessness, celibacy, non-stealing, non-possession, anti-untouchability, love, etc. which should be strictly followed by a Satyagrahi.

Sources of Satyagraha:

Gandhiji followed the teachings of many eminent personalities in framing his concept of Satyagralia. The idea of Lord Krishna preached in the Gita had tremendous influence upon him. Besides the Gita, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the writings of Thoreau, Tolstoy and Ruskin influenced him a lot to frame the idea of Satyagraha.

Satyagraha, an appeal to morality and reason:

Satyagraha, as stated earlier, trains one to be disciplined. One becomes disciplined when he endures all the sufferings. To Gandhiji, if one resorts to violence towards the opponent, the problem is not solved.

On the other hand, if man endures the pain and wins the heart of a man by persuasion, by appealing to his morality and reason, then the opponent bows his head before him. Then and the only truth triumphs.

Satyagraha, a positive concept:

Out and out Satyagraha is a positive concept. It avoids all the negative aspects of life. It renounces the qualities which overshadow the life of man. Truth and non-violence are inseparable and inalienable.

Basic assumption of Satyagraha:

To Garidhi "Man as animal is violent. The moment he awakes to the spirit within, he cannot remain violent," Man and his deeds are two distinct entities and so, one should hate the sins not the sinner. All conflicts in human relationship arise out of greed and lust of individual but at a same time forces of peace and reconciliation spring up from the human heart.

God resides everywhere and He sustains every human life' and so, any violence in thought, word or deed is a violation of the moral law. One should be dutiful in discharging one's duty. If he does so, then truth will not be too far to seek. The soul can remain unconquered even though the body is imprisoned. Love involves sufferings in the highest sense. "The task of love is Tapasya and Tapa ya is self- suffering."