Monday, January 30, 2012

the enchantment

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.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 30 january 1948) lawyer, activist and teacher

today is the anniversary of the death of gandhi - a tireless activist and advocate of non-violence who died at the hands of an assassin. mohandas gandhi, who is known as mahatma, which means great soul, was shot at point blank range on this date in 1948 moments before a prayer meeting was to begin. this was the sixth known attempt on his life since the mid 1930s. two days prior to his murder, gandhi reputedly had a premonition and remarked:
If I am to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. There must be no anger within me. God must be in my heart and on my lips.
gandhi developed a theory of non-violent activism which he called satyagraha - the theory of non-violent civil resistance. since the early 1900s when attorney ganhdi developed this technique to fight for the civil rights of indian residents in south africa, satayagraha has been, and still is, embraced and used by activists throughout the world, in the struggle for freedom, civil rights, and social justice.

the enchantment from sheilia chandra's 1992 album weaving my ancestors voices. this album was my introduction to chandra - her voice is truly enchanting.

photo: indian garden in the cleveland cultural gardens - the indian garden was dedicated in 2005 and the ten foot tall bronze statue of mahatma gandhi was added to the garden in 2007. photo taken 26 december 2011


Steve Reed said...

I just bought Joseph Lelyveld's recent biography of Gandhi, "Great Soul." Can't wait to read it! Richard Attenborough's film "Gandhi" is one of my favorite movies, and when I went to India a highlight of the trip was visiting Gandhi's compound.

Watson said...

thanks mouse. My desire to live without violence in heart or actions is strong, but my practice is somewhat lacking! Lots to meditate about here.

Daisy's Barbara