Monday, 3 November 2014

Discussions on Ahimsa

Just paraphraseing another discussion that went on on another thread, and off the thread.
Naveen wrote, questioning a quote of Gandhi's (" Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them."), 'Pardon me, but this is unadulterated non-sense and false interpretation of Ahimsa which is not based on Dharma, but ...on Leo Tolstoy's preaching of Orthodox Christianity to Gandhi. I recommend you to read this brain formatting letter that Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi and share your opinion on the same. Not everything that comes from the mouth of great souls is gold.'
Another friend Kannan Thandapani responded to to my request for his opinion, "He is reacting only to a part of the comment. I am familiar with this letter but it is brain-formatting only in a positive manner. Ahimsa, in its purest form, is not palatable to most. Only when it is presented as a workable strategy, people are willing to accept it. I think that was Gandhi's biggest regret as well - that people adopted ahimsa as a strategy and not The Truth."
When I asked him, "Gandhi stood by Ahimsa, and by the Dharma of the Bhagavad Geetha. Does that Dharma (as propounded by Krishna) demand that one 'fight' for right, and not surrender ? But Gandhi swore by both - the Geetha and Ahimsa."
Kannan replied, "Gandhi saw in Tolstoy and Gita, or for that matter, even Ruskin, what he wanted to see. He departed from 'passive resistance' in making surrender a form of fight. The surrender was active and not passive.Kural suggests active surrender...Tolstoy cites from Kural as well : இன்னா செய்தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர்நாண நன்னயம் செய்து விடல். Gandhi's interpretation of Unto the Last also went beyond where Ruskin ventured. Btw, I find the implication that it is nonsense because it is based 'on Leo Tolstoy's preaching of Orthodox Christianity to Gandhi' very offensive. So what is wrong if it is based on orthodox Christianity? Gandhi himself said Sermon on the Mount went 'straight to my heart'. "
I agree. Dharma is a broad framework, as is Hindusim. And within that, we need to find our positions and bearings.

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