SATYAGRAH IS DEAD…….. MY FATHER

There is your truth and there is my truth, there is your right and there is my right, there is your wrong and there is my wrong, so on and so fourth. Idealistic world has only one truth, only one right and only one wrong, practical world has many. Society is full of dichotomies. Dichotomies represent two opposing forces resting in a perfect equilibrium. The absence of dichotomies creates a world which is static at the least, if not regressive. Slight polarization of equilibrium in world of imperfections now and then will exist, and, will help the weakening forces rejuvenate.

It’s important, for one of opposing forces to loose sheen and rejuvenate, that is when it resuscitates and is born with new vigor, and thus establishing the equilibrium. With all imperfections accepted, the society has tendency to polarize. Evil gets represented by a handful and so does the good, also the people willing to let evil prevail and good prevail are divided into equal numbers. A change is initiated in society when polarization in either direction takes place with decisive majority or decisive force.

History is puckered with discovery of philosophies, which changed the face of society when ever such philosophies gained momentum. They shifted equilibrium from evil to good and left lasting impact on society. It happened with Ramayana, Mahabharata, Christ, Paigambar, Nanak appearing on face of earth. In recent times humans discovered the power of Satyagrah. Satyagrah brought into fore innumerable powers of Ahimsa.

For Satyagrah to exist and flourish it’s important that equally strong if not more formidable, and opposing forces co-exist, they exist too, in majority.

Wars are being fought to establish peace, weapons of mass destruction are being created to secure peace, and we have more affinity towards money to be at peace, as apparently, money brings security and thus mental peace. No war till date has ensured peace. We had two world wars, India fought Pakistan and china, US has reduces many nations to ruins and still the mirage of peace has eluded us.

Search for peace with threat and weapons fails to achieve something which Satyagrah has power to achieve in shorter time and in more definitive manner. Still peace efforts with principles of Ahimsa and Satyagrah have not yielded any tangible result in modern human history, freedom movement and fight against apartheid being exceptions.

The reasons for failure of peace efforts lie in the way we interpret principles of Satyagrah. Peace process practiced anywhere in world has one presumption; if peace process fails we have weapons to establish peace. Having something like weapons to fallback upon has killed Satyagrah. Second, too much of adherence to peace is considered as weakness and passive resistance if not submission. Satyagrah indeed is more assertive resistance.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev took weapons to fight for freedom. The efforts they put were no less than efforts of Gandhi. The sacrifices they made were lager than sacrifices of Gandhi. Once Jailed and awarded death the trio did not eat or drink for 69 days, protesting while in den of enemy, creating grains of doubt in mind of enemy. It inflicted so much of fear in enemy that he had to hang them in hurry. When violence failed, satygrah took center stage. Fast for 69 days needs more strength than is needed to fire a gun. It needs more mental than physical strength.

Ramayan happened before Mahabhart. Most important events in both epics were wars.

While Lord Ram wanted way to Lanka and Sea did not respond Ram threatened annihilation of Sea. It’s this when Sea appeared with folded hands and suggested Null and Neel can create a bridge. Two lessons learnt. One, solution was some where else still Ram took to weapons, perhaps it was easier way. Two, Annihilation of sea could have had devastating effect on earth causing massive destruction. Ram, in due course Killed most learned Brahmin, destroyed most prosperous state of its times, just because he used weapons. Its not Ram did something wrong. We the humans interpreted the message wrong. He could substantiate, solutions without weapons are available (confrontation with Sea) and then he proved that use of weapons has devastating effect, by killing Ravan and reducing lanka to ashes. What we interpreted and practiced has devastating effects on entire human race.
Mankind did not learn the right lesson from Ramayan, thus Mahabharat happened. On larger scale and with more devastating effect. The greatest archer of times, karan was killed, most learned teacher, Dronacharya was killed, Most principled man of times, Bhishm was killed, bravest warrior of times Abhimanu was killed, all of them were killed with trickery. War was fought for principles, but without principles. Even Lord Krishna got offended by Shishupal and He killed him, exploiting his diplomatic immunity. Its incomprehensible, God can ever be offended. Message again was simple, distinguish between mind and body, don’t intermingle them. Means should justify ends. If means are right consequences are inconsequential. But again our interpretation assumed that to establish good trickery too is good, that is the reason why we look at Mahabhart war with great excitement.

Gandhi defined Ahimsa as non-violence in thought and action. Thus, the objective of Satyagrah is to convert, not coerce, the wrong doer. Weapons and violence are used with objective to eliminate evil. Evil can not be eliminated, it will co-exist with good, it can be converted to good.

Gandhi laid eleven principles for practice of Satyagrah. Non- violence, Non-possession, fearlessness and truth had larger impact than any other principles.

Gandhi urged us to shun weapons because use of weapons leads to compromise on two principles of Satyagrah, one, Non-violence, and two, fearlessness. Fear of failing to achieve peace through peaceful means leads one to weapons. Fear forced both, Ram and Krishna to take to weapons.

Non-possession makes you more accepting to anything which comes to you. Non-possession gives you opportunity to gain everything. It’s contrary to popular belief that non possession leads you to a state where you have nothing to lose. It helps accepting the evil without hatred and then converting it to good.

While one makes Satyagrah his weapon he is going to suffer. Best possible way to tide over sufferings will be to separate mind from body, so as bodily sufferings don’t make our resolve weak. It’s important for Satyagrahi not to retaliate, verbally or physically. Physical submission needs to be done but defiance should always continue. Satyagrah is not about insulting, it’s about converting.

In today’s world we have failed to practice even single principle. Satyagrah is already dead, lessons haven’t been learnt and a war more devastating than Mahabharat waits. Rise and start Satyagrah within your self to avoid another Mahabharat. Evil can never be destroyed, for it’s important for equilibrium, lets convert it to good.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. tanuja pathak
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 16:09:27

    Sharat I strongly believe that I am that drop in the ocean which makes ‘it’ the ocean, so for me satyagrah is not dead till I give up- at home- with my family ,my maid; in college with my students, my colleagues; in society with my neighbors. The point is when I look ‘without’ there are too many people , ‘ bhid hai kayamat ki’ ! so, I look within . And I see either 100% ahimsa or 25% himsa. you are good at maths so you would understand better.
    one correction Shishupal was not killed during the war, he was killed much before the dyut sabha. It wasn’t an act of impatience on part of Krishna, he was given 100 chances to mend his ways. when his chances ran out he was killed.

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