Brief notes on Gandhian concept of non-violence (Ahimsa)

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Throughout his career, Gandhiji championed the cause of Ahimsa or non-violence. By that he could easily disarm even a powerful enemy. His experience in South Africa had made him bold to use non-violence as a great weapon throughout his life.

Non-violence is the basic nature of man:

Gandhi had studied very well the basic nature of man, according to him “Man as animal is violent, but in spirit he is non-violent.” The moment he awakes to the spirit within, he cannot remain violent”. Thus, violence is artificial to him whereas non-violence always triumphs aver violence.

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Non-violence, the godly quality within a man:

Gandhi had regarded God as truth and love. Love imamates from the heart of a man where God dwells. So, Gandhi envisaged God and love as one. To him, “When you want to find truth as God, the only inevitable means is love, that is, non-violence. And since believe that ultimately means and ends are convertible terms, I should not hesitate to say that God is love”. Thus non­violence is a godly quality which everyone should follow.

Non-violence as self-suffering:

Gandhi put stress on self-suffering which is the other name of non­violence. It is papaya which a Satyagrahi should practise. He told people to renounce everything and endure every pain. He cited the instance of sage Dadhichi and said that self-sacrifice is the basic principle of our culture.

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Non-violence as the weapon of the strong:

To Gandhi, non-violence is the weapon of the strong. One, who endures sufferings, is bold and he can only practice non-violence. Non-violence teaches people to be fearless. Violence is the resort of the weak. The followers of non-violence never become weak and succumb to the whims and caprices of others. According to him ‘Non-violence does not mean weak submission to the will of the evil-doer. It means putting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant.”

Non-violence prompting one to compromise:

Non-violence teaches to compromise with the opponent. One should not be obstinate; rather he should come forward to compromise with the opponent. Besides imposing one’s idea upon others, he should be easy to accept other man’s viewpoint. This attitude makes a Satyagrahi to achieve his goal.

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Non-violence fostering spiritual power:

A Satycgrahi derives his spiritual power from non­violence. That power illumines the dark corner of the mind of an individual and prompts him to fight against injustice, oppression and tyranny. In that fight, a Satyagrahi never turns back or becomes weak, rather success kisses his feet. Thus, non-violence enhances the spiritual power in man and prepares his path to achieve goal.

High place of non-violence in ethics and religion:

Ahimsa has been attached high position in ethics and religion. Gandhiji cited the examples of Buddha, Mahavir and Christ before the people and convinced them that emphasis has been put upon Ahimsa in every religion. So, its highness is unquestionable.

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Thus, Gandhiji inspired the mass and mobilised them through the principle of non-violence. This became a powerful arrow in his quiver which he used against the British authority in India and became successful.

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