'AHIMSA' is derived from the Sanskrit verb root 'SAN', which means 'to kill'.
The form 'HIMS' means 'desirous to kill'.
The prefix 'A'- is a negation.
So 'A-HIMSA' means literally 'lacking any desire to kill'.
Literally translated, 'AHIMSA' means to be without harm; to be utterly harmless, not only to oneself and others, but to all living beings.
The concept of 'AHIMSA' extends to all living beings, and therefore, protection of environment, natural habitats and vegetarianism are its natural derivatives.
"For a bowl of water give a goody meal;
For a kindly greeting bow thou down with zeal;
For a simple penny pay thou back with gold;
If thy life be rescued, life do not withhold.
Thus the words and actions of the wise regard;
Every little service tenfold they reward.
But the truly noble know all men as one,
And return with gladness good for evil done."
This poem, by Shamal Bhatt, about returning tenfold goodness to whatever is done to us has really attracted Gandhi's childhood mind.
Gandhi learned from this poem that, the real beauty consists in doing good against evil.
It gripped his mind and heart. Its precept-return good for evil- became his guiding principle.
Violence has become a cult in the world since the early twentieth century.
More than 20 million people have been killed in around 150 wars since 1945.
Even the domestic violence have increased tremendously.
We are living under the shadow of violence and no life is safe on this earth.
The developed countries in the name of national security spend around twenty times as much on military expenditure as they provided for economic aid.
The progress in areas like health, education and housing are getting slowed down.
This article focuses on the relevance of Gandhian approach for resolving social and political conflicts with a particular objective to promote world peace and security.
This article sets out to analyze Gandhi's communication both in his personal relations and in his collective actions. The outcome of a contribution made during a conference in Delhi in 2011, it is, to our knowledge, the only example among the countless works on Gandhi to deal exclusively with communication. In Gandhi's communicational approach, we find a great sense of empathy. More broadly speaking, the interactional approach of co-constructing meaning seems to lie at the heart of his methodology, enabling him, on the one hand, to succeed in convincing his interlocutors and, on the other, to impart a highly symbolic dimension to his collective actions.
There is no doubt that nowadays one of the most important issue is how to conduct state-building process effectively? International community, as well as local governments and non-governmental organizations conduct many different actions in different fields to strengthen or rebuild the state-institutions. In many cases, including Afghanistan, with no success. The reason for this, among others, is lack of ethical theory of state-building. The moral thought of Mahatma Gandhi can be crucial for creating the broader theory.
Initially Gandhiji used to say that “God is truth” – but later he modified it as “Truth is God.”
He named his autobiography as “My Experiments with Truth”.
In the autumn of his life someone asked him –
“Have you realized the truth?”
His answer was, “No, not fully. I have just had some glimpses of it. The glow of truth becomes brighter every passing day, but ‘The Truth’ has not fully emerged”.
That is why Gandhiji used to say,
“May many like me perish, but let truth triumph. The scale of truth should not be marginalized to accommodate pygmies.”
In September 1947, Gandhiji paid a visit to the Jamia Milia.
While getting out from the car, his two fingers got crushed in the door and began to bleed.
Immediately some first aid equipment and medicine were brought.
But Gandhiji smilingly told them that he wanted only a glass of water and a piece of cloth.
He dipped his injured fingers in the water and bandaged them with the piece of cloth.
Sailen Chatterjee wrote an article about this incident.
Gandhiji asked him not to send it for publication.
He said that hundreds of people on reading the story would write letters and send telegrams to enquire how he was.
That would mean unnecessary expense on their part and increase his work.
"If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this I should not wait for the Jews to join me in civil resistance, but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example."
If you want to give a message to the West, it must be the message of love and the message of truth....
In this age of democracy, in this age of awakening of the poorest of the poor, you can redeliver this message with the greatest emphasis.
You will complete the conquest of the West not through vengeance, but with real understanding.
I am sanguine if all of you put your hearts together-not merely heads-to understand the secret of the message these wise men of the East have left to us, and if we really become worthy of that great message, the conquest of the West will be completed.
The weapon of violence, even if it is the atom bomb, becomes useless when it is matched against true non-violence.
Gandhiji knew that he might be killed any day.
Indeed, it would seem that the violence had not only sapped his will to live but created a positive desire to die a violent death in the hope that his death might achieve what his life had not.
The following day a well-educated, highly articulate, modernist, and militant Hindu, who ideologically stood for almost all that Gandhi rejected, killed him after first bowing to him in reverence.
Gandhi died instantly, allegedly murmuring hey Ram.
His assassination on 30 January 1948 had a cathartic effect.
It discredited Hindu extremists, chastened moderate Hindus, reassured the minorities, and pulled the mourning nation back from the brink of a disaster.