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

The Heroism of Satyagraha

Our heroes must be spiritual. –Swami Vivekananda What does the method and philosophy of Satyagraha reveal? It exposes the heart of human nature, in all of its contradictions. The law of satyagraha compels us to act with soul force, which necessitates activation of our soul memory, our spirit consciousness. If it follows that we were still born though we do not remember our babyhood, then it is also true that our soul-force stores memories from many lifetimes through which we have traveled. Just because we do not remember our babyhood, for example, does not mean we did not exist. This … Continue reading The Heroism of Satyagraha

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

Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization

IT IS my firm belief that Europe today represents not the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips. Europe is today only nominally Christian. In reality, it is worshipping Mammon. Young India, 8-9-1920 Neither railways nor hospitals are a test of a high and pure civilization. At best they are a necessary evil. Neither adds one inch to the moral stature of a nation. Young India, 26-1-1921 I wholeheartedly detest this mad desire to destroy distance and time, to increase … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization

Martin Luther King Jr., Peace on Earth

Dr. King delivered “Peace on Earth” at Ebenezer Baptist Church, his home congregation, on Christmas Eve, 1967. See here for audio This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night. Our world is sick with war; everywhere we turn we see its ominous possibilities. And yet, my friends, the Christmas hope for peace and good will toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don’t have good will toward … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr., Peace on Earth

On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson

NOTE In the following letter, Dr. King writes to Dr. William Nelson, dean of Howard University, a historically black university in Washington D.C., in order to ask whether he knew of any books or pamphlets on the caste system in India. Here, King comments upon the significance of his trip to India, which he deems “full of meaningful insights,” decisively re-anchoring his commitment to non-violence. He expresses his desire to dialogue on these matters to Nelson. The letter is yet another testimony to the unity of India and African-America in the great freedom struggle of the twentieth century, when the … Continue reading On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson

In Search Of Satyagraha: Richard Gregg, Gandhi, and King’s Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

Dr. King imprisoned for his leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott, 1956 In the following letter to Richard Bartlett Gregg (1885-1974), a white American pacifist and social theorist, presents his thoughts on Gandhi had a significant influence on Martin Luther King Jr., the leader of the American Civil Rights movement responds to an offer of assistance from Gregg, who had written to King inquiring if he could help with arranging the publication of his account of the Montgomery bus boycott, Stride Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story. When asked to choose the five books that shaped his philosophy after his leading … Continue reading In Search Of Satyagraha: Richard Gregg, Gandhi, and King’s Pilgrimage to Nonviolence