Mera Asia Mahan 11: A Prescription for Gandhigiri (Gandhism)

Mahatma Gandhi taught four basic principles of satya (truthfulness), ahimsa (non-violence), sarvodaya (welfare for all) and Satyagraha.Gandhigiri (Gandhism) or the Gandhian principles always united the common man.The word Dharma means to hold together. All the above four principles can hold people together and hence form the backbone of dharma.The Yoga-shastras propagate truthfulness as one of the main components for living a disciplined life or to start yoga.Satya means oneness in your thoughts, speech and actions.Gandhi’s Three Monkeys also embody truthfulness represented by ‘bura mat dekho’ (see no evil) ‘bura mat suno’ (hear no evil) and ‘bura mat bolo’ (speak no evil).

Gandhi believed that “there is no religion higher than truth”. He preached the concept of “experimenting with truth”, a phrase that also formed the subtitle to his autobiography.He taught how to learn through trial and error, often admitting to mistakes and changing one’s behavior accordingly.  Non-observance of truthfulness is the root cause of any corruption in the society.Ahimsa is the next principle and teaches us the path of non-violence. It must be practiced not only in actions, but also in thoughts and speech. It also forms the basis of Jainism and Hinduism as a religion.Sarvodaya or welfare for all is the third Gandhian teaching. Vedic philosophy also emphasizes on the welfare for all “Bahujan hitay-bahujan sukhay” (‘the good of the masses, the benefit of the masses. Gandhi found in it a composite concept of social welfare and economic justice. Any action, which is aimed and seems to be aimed at the welfare of the people, will be accepted by everyone in the society.Satyagraha is protest based on Satya (path of truthfulness) and non-violence and includes peaceful demonstrations, prolonged fasts, etc.  It is a form of civil resistance based on non-violence.Satyagraha is formed by two Sanskrit words Satya (truth) and Agraha (holding firmly to or firmness). Gandhi said, “Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever; and it ever insists upon truth”.Gandhi said if you are firm in the truth in the long run you are going to win. It is based on the law of persistence.

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