Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trbute to the saint of non-violence

Gandhi and the universality of God

October 2nd 2009 is the 140th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who is one of the greatest personalities of recent times and he can be considered the saint of non-violence who did what he preached and preached only what he did.

Religious conflicts are the most common cause of violence in the world today. Not a day passes without the news of some tragic episode causing deaths of innocent people somewhere in the world. We say that we are all the children of one God and that that all religions lead to that same God but why are we fighting and killing each in His name.

Mahatma Gandhi had a very simple but useful lesson for us all in inter-faith relations. A militant Hindu, who admitted killing a Muslim child in revenge for the murder of his own son by Hindu militants, came to Gandhi, who was almost dying from prolonged fasting. He laid down his weapons and urged Gandhi to break his fast, saying he did want to carry the sin of his death. The Mahatma listened intently and told the man of a way out of his past sins against fellow Muslims.

“You go back, find a Muslim child whose parents were killed by Hindus and bring it up strictly as a Muslim not a Hindu.”

These words of Gandhi are so powerful and remain relevant till today and will remain so for ages to come.Unless we accept and respect each other’s faith we can never have genuine and lasting peace. Although Gandhi was a devout Hindu he also had great respect for all other religions. When asked whether he was a Hindu,he replied said “Yes,I am a Hindu but I am also a Muslim, Christian and a Jew”.

Gandhi believed in the universality of God, “The Allah of Islam is the same as the God of Christians and the Ishwar of Hindus.”

He was quoted as saying “all religions were true but all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. … our inner-most prayer should be for a Hindu to be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian." (Young India: January 19, 1928).

This concept of the equality of religions and the universality of God is something, which is badly needed in today’s world where violence in His name is so rampant. We justify killing others as acts to defend our own God. I wonder who needs whose protection, God needs man’s or man needs His. Don’t we realize that we are despising the same God who may be worshiped by others in different forms?

We are so intent in fighting one another to claim superiority over our adversaries, man against man, race against race, religion against religion and nation against nation. We resort to all the resources at our disposal; powerful arms, violence and war, to achieve victory over our enemies. We justify the use of violence to protect our perceived rights, race and religion but where do all these stand in the eyes of God?

Just after sixty one years after his passing we are finding it difficult to believe how Gandhi, a small, timid and frail looking man, could have brought down the mighty British Empire. This was clearly described by Albert Einstein, 'Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”.

Mahatma Gandhi may have left this world but his memories remain very much with us, alive and relevant. He did not possess power, position or wealth. His simplicity, integrity and a heart for fellow men had touched many of all races and religions and he should and will remain a conscience in the hearts of men for generations to come.

Dr.Chris Anthony

5 comments:

barbararose said...

What a beautiful post. Following in Mahatma's footsteps is the Global Humanitarian Religious Peace Treaty and the new book Realigning Religion: Consciousness and the Survival of the Human Species. Please visit this most important global cause at http://borntoinspire.com

Thank you for your care in our world.

By guy70 said...

This is really great. Thanks for sharing with us.

jlkow, said...

Small man, condemn enemy;
Great man, love enemy.
Small man, exclusive God;
Great man, universal God.

lakshmiregu, said...

Posthumous Happy Birthday to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhiji. Non violence is nothing new to the Hindus who have been following the Sanatana Dharma for a few millennium. Mahatma is not eligible to be called as a saint of Non violence.

If anyone read his Autobiography for a few times, there is something which is not right had been implicitly hidden in his words.

Had it not been for this Mahatma, India and Indians would have achieved a lot and enjoy themselves like Chinese.

As Jawaharlal Nehru, the former PM and the father of Indra Gandhi put it that to maintain Gandhiji in a poor state, the government had to spend thousands of rupees in late forties.

Some people love Gandhiji that does not mean everyone including me should love him

SAMIR said...

great blog, it touched me, thanks

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