Mahatma Gandhi, Letter To American Friends, August 3, 1942

Dear friends, As I am supposed to be the spirit behind the much discussed and equally well abused resolution of the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress on independence, it has become necessary for me to explain my position. For I am not unknown to you. I have in America perhaps the largest number of friends in the West – not even excepting Great Britain. British friends knowing me personally are more discerning than the American. In America I suffer from the well-known malady called hero worship. The good Dr. Holmes, until recently of the Unity Church of New … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi, Letter To American Friends, August 3, 1942

“Our Greatest National Sin” by Sw. Vivekananda

In this essay, Swamiji enjoins Indians to unite in loving brotherhood in protection of their sisters, wives, and daughters. He emphasizes that the uplift of India is impossible so long as the nation’s leaders ignore the inherent worth of women and the poor. The causes of their ongoing oppression lie in foreign conquests, the dishonoring of womanhood (shakti), the abuse of caste, and above all, materialism. The “don’t touchism” of puritannical untouchability is the bane of India’s progress, Swamiji argued; “The chief cause of India’s ruin has been the monopolising of the whole education and intelligence of the land, by … Continue reading “Our Greatest National Sin” by Sw. Vivekananda

ഭൂമിദാനം / भूदान / Bhoomidan

Bhoomidanam (“land gift”) was a movement led by Acharya Vinoba Bhave, an Indian sage and Gandhian disciple who walked hundreds of miles through India for 13 years with the mission of convincing landlords to renounce some of their holdings, for the social uplift of the poor and downtrodden and in order to promote village self-sufficiency. Chief amongst his many accomplishments was the founding of the Brahma Vidya Mandir, an ashram where women practiced agriculture, prayer, and nonviolence in order to achieve self-sufficiency. Like Gandhiji, he sought peace, freedom, and self-determination for the Indian people from the tyranny of the British … Continue reading ഭൂമിദാനം / भूदान / Bhoomidan

The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep Or compass the woe of the watch I keep? Or the pride that thrills thro’ my heart’s despair And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer? And the far sad glorious vision I see Of the torn red banners of victory? when the terror and the tumult of hate shall cease And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, And your love shall offer memorial thanks To the comrades who fought on the dauntless ranks, And you honour the deeds of the dauntless ones, Remember the blood of my … Continue reading The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter to Darrell Randall Re: the Importance of Visiting the Soviet Union and India

Dr. King explains to Randall, of the National Council of Churches, the motivations underlying his plan (subsequently abandoned) to visit the Soviet Union. Dr. Darrell Randall National Council of Churches 297 Fourth Avenue New York, New York Dear Dr. Randall: Thanks for your very kind letter of recent date concerning my interest in going to Russia incident to my visit to India. First, I must apologize for being somewhat tardy in my reply. Unfortunately, your letter was misplaced during my secretary’s daily trips between the office and my residence where I am convalescing. Althought we have not been able to … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr., Letter to Darrell Randall Re: the Importance of Visiting the Soviet Union and India

Ahimsa as a Science Of Love and Social Action

Impure means result in an impure end. Hence, prince and the peasant will not be equaled by cutting off the prince’s head, nor can the process of cutting off equalize the employer and the employed. One cannot reach truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. —Gandhiji The artist of this untitled piece, K.H. Ara, was a satyagrahi who was imprisoned for his participation in the famous Salt Satyagraha. The production of salt, a dietary staple, was heavily taxed by the British colonial administration. Satyagrahis marched for nearly a month on foot to the sea. More than 80, 000 … Continue reading Ahimsa as a Science Of Love and Social Action

Love Songs for the Prince Of Peace

I. Prelude: the Search Your smile is warming and knowing; It traps me like magnolias writhing against a garden gate. You lure me, in your promise of love lingering, the greatness of love. For you, the marshland sings with frogs, Turning a sharp green at the last wane of dusk, all quietly beckoning the truth of the lucid night; when death’s boatmen roam and deal in their deathly trades, remember, beauty is a dark woman’s eyes glowing against the moon of the waning night. II. Encomium: May I never stray far from your lotus feet, my Lord! Dare I share … Continue reading Love Songs for the Prince Of Peace

Satyagraha: Gandhian Principles of Non-Violent Non-Cooperation By William Stuart Nelson

Reprinted from THE JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT Autumn-Winter Issue, 1957-1958 CHANGE in the social order today is proceeding often violently and is frequently being resisted just as violently. Our own country is caught in a strange conjunction of Christian and democratic principles, fanatical resistence even to the belated application of these principles, and grave uncertainty as to how best the victims, the victimizers, and the innocent can escape both moral embarrassment and physical pain. Somehow, happily, men appear less reluctant than formerly to hear testimony to faith in non-violence, a testimony borne so urgently in the past by Jesus of … Continue reading Satyagraha: Gandhian Principles of Non-Violent Non-Cooperation By William Stuart Nelson