What is a consideration of peace and love without a look at the views of the leading advocate of non-violence, Mahandas Gandhi?
We offer you a selection of his teachings on the subject.
The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
My life is my message.
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.
I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.
Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.
Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.
I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.
If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth.
Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.
Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.
– I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
– I shall fear only God.
– I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
– I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
– I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.
It is any day better to stand erect with a broken and bandaged head then to crawl on one’s belly, in order to be able to save one’s head.
It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
Justice that love gives is a surrender; justice that law gives is a punishment.
I know, to banish anger altogether from one’s breast is a difficult task. It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort. It can be done only by God’s grace.=
My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him.
Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.
Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.
Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.
Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.
Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.
Non-violence requires a double faith: Faith in God and also faith in man.
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
(“100 Mahatma Gandhi Peace Quotes,” at http://members.tripod.com/lutheran_peace/gandhi-peace-quotes.html.)
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always!
Nonviolence, which is a quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.
We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it. The Attainment of freedom, whether for a person, a nation or a world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence for each.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands than to anything on which it is poured.
Woman is more fitted than man to make exploration and take bolder action in nonviolence … There is no occasion for women to consider themselves subordinate or inferior to men … Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity … If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior … If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with women.
The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non- violence alone can lead one to pure democracy … The states that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truly democratic, they must become courageously non-violent.
Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment and the other by arts of love. Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment …
Violence breeds violence … Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action … They say the means are after all just means. I would say means are after all everything. As the means, so the end … If we take care of the means we are bound to reach the end sooner or later.
Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, try the following experiment: Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have ever seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be for any use to him or to her … Then you will find your doubts and your self melting away.
Truth and nonviolence demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be … Truth is the first to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you … An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it … Truth without humility would be an arrogant caricature … The quest of truth involves self-suffering, sometimes even unto death.
A non-violent army acts unlike armed men, as well in times of peace as in times of disturbances. Theirs will be the duty of bringing warring communities together, carrying peace propaganda, engaging in activities that would bring and keep them in touch with every single person in their parish or division. Such an army should be ready to cope with any emergency, and in order to still the frenzy of mobs should risk their lives in numbers sufficient for that purpose. … Satragraha (truth-force) brigades can be organized in every village and every block of buildings in the cities. In non-violent bodies the charger or soul force must mean everything and the physique must take second place. It is difficult to find such persons. That is why the non-violent force must be small if it is to be efficient.
[If the nonviolent society is attacked from without,] there are two ways open to non-violence. To yield possession, but non-cooperate with the aggressor … prefer death to submission. The second way would be non-violent resistance by the people who have been trained in the non-violent way … The unexpected spectacle of endless rows upon rows of men and women simply dying rather than surrendering to the will of an aggressor must ultimately melt him and his soldiery …
A nation or group which has made non-violence its final policy cannot be subjected to slavery even by the atom bomb … Before general disarmament commences some nation will have to disarm herself and take large risks. The level of non-violence in that nation, if that even happily comes to pass, will naturally have risen so high as to command universal respect.”
(“From Peace Quotes – Mahandas Gandhi,” at http://archives.forusa.org/blogs/for/peace-quotes-mahatma-gandhi/10229)