Ahimsa is to not initiate violent act with selfish intent.

Like all other good qualities, ahimsa is the by-product of a life lived with spiritual purpose.

Materialistic purpose to life, exemplified by self-interest, self-gratification and self-aggrandizement, is what inevitably leads to himsa.

When ahimsa or other such qualities like Austerity or Tolerance etc., are attempted to be ‘adopted’ and ‘implemented’ into the life of a materialistically oriented person, they become mere tools for further self-aggrandizement and for public consumption.

Forcibly adopting ahimsa is actually himsa on oneself.

When a person subjects himself to be beaten up by another, in the belief that such act will cause the other to feel guilty and withdraw, this person does three wrong things.

One, he tolerates the intolerable. He tolerates adharma.

Second, he does  himsa  to himself, though he may mistakenly believe that he is upholding the spirit of ahimsa.
A person who allows violent act to be done to himself, is also a participant in himsa.

Third, he is doing so in anticipation of eventual fruit, which is to cause guilt on the other. This is against the spirit of nishkama karma, action without seeking fruits thereof.

All three points are against the message of the bhagavad gita, mahabharata, ramayana and the ‘traditional indian culture’ which exhorts people to uphold dharma, to live peaceful life in consonance with Nature and to actualise karma without seeking fruits thereof.

Gandhi’s exhortion to accept indignities without demur is on the lines of  “show the other cheek” phrase attributed to christ.
That he was comprehensively influenced by church and bible is evident upon reading his collected works(CWMG).

His public claims of following the bhagavad gita and Sri Rama are incongruent with his actual actions and exhortions.

Gandhi, on retrospection, turns out to be a product of those times, a result of missionary influenced education system that de-valued indian culture and values, which caused many such ‘educated’ people to be influenced by christian ideas and western propaganda. Such people, deracinated, were unable to appreciate indian culture, unable to understand spirituality, which is the main theme of indian culture.
Gandhi’s ‘brahmacharya’, ‘austerity’ and his version of ‘ahimsa’ were the result of misguided attempts at borrowing from indian culture, something which westerners were actively doing at that time, and even now. Like all such attempts, gandhi’s too failed to reflect the real worth of indian values and culture because they were taken out of their most important context of spirituality.

This is the reason Max Mueller’s and such others’ attempts to understand Vedas were failure. Just as a carnivores animal cannot digest grass, a person holding materialistic motives, which is what all western approaches are all about,  cannot understand indian culture. Whatever they feed off it, remains undigested and is discarded, often with condemnation.

West-educated Gandhi and Nehru, among many others of their time were unable to understand their own culture, as are many others even now,  because they abandoned its central theme of spirituality, which is not just to read the bhagavad gita and other texts or imitating spiritual greats, but orienting one’s life purpose towards realisation of higher truths about oneself and creation. It was this that was central to indian culture. When taken away from this context, themes such as ‘brahmacharya’, ‘ahimsa’, austerity etc., become dogmatic pursuits towards self-aggrandizement and for public show.

Some people, under the influence of christian propaganda about christ ‘dying for sins of mankind’, attempt to achieve a halo around them by projecting an image of ‘suffering’ and austerity. They mistakenly believe that by following christ’s action, as propagated by the church, of forgiving all sins of others while suffering themself,  they will also be exalted. Self-aggrandizement is the motive behind this.

Some others, equally so influenced, yet unable to gather enough gumption to hurt themselves in search of such ‘glory’, consider the people who appear to be doing so with awe, almost christ like, for their acts of ‘suffering’ and ‘forgiveness’.

Since british education was imposed upon india for two hundred years, it was natural that many people in early 20th century considered the ‘acts’ of Gandhi with awe and respect. Britishers, who naturally preferred peaceful agitators to violent ones, gladly propagated such ‘gandhian values’.

Nehru, a similar product of his times, took after the british who tutored him, and appropriated the symbol of gandhi, and like the british, used it for political benefit. His succesors have merely followed his lead.

The result is for all to see.

When China does border intrusion, India finds virtue in ‘ahimsa’.

When Pakistan sends armed merceneries to kill indian civilians, India seeks virtue in ‘restraint’ and ‘talks’.

When Nepal, Bangladesh act against Indian national interest, India is silent spectator.

When America funds Pakistan who funds jihadis, India does not demur.
When Saudis fund madrassas, India is not concerned.
When Indian culture is being eroded by capitalist consumerism and communist activism, India calls it progress.
When missionaries, the maoists in their payroll and jihadis kill indians unprovoked, India is unmoved. It being ‘gandhian value’ for indians to suffer.
When indians express outrage at such acts and retaliate, it is vehemently condemned. That being not ‘gandhian value’.
It appears, in India ‘gandhian values’ are meant for indians alone, not for followers of western constructs such as christianity, islam, consumerism, communism, secularism, even maoism.

Gandhi is rightfully called ‘father of the nation’. That is actually an indictment considering the state of the nation and that of its citizens, many of who display inability to understand dharma let alone the need to uphold it, under the influence of western materialism.
This being the same land that nurtured the civilisation that realised the concept of dharma.
This is the tragedy of gandhi. And much of India today.

 

 

—-This post was inspired by comments on Sastwingees blog

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