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Manuale di pratica nonviolenta ispirata a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Reprint of Ahimsa voices Vol 10 No. 1 & 2 2003  A Quarterly Journal for the Promotion of Universal Values 



  Premessa del ciclocaporedattore

Questa pagina del ciclogiornale è dedicata a Gandhi e alla nonviolenza. Qualcuno potrà obbiettare: ma cosa c'entra un sito web dedicato alla bicicletta con Gandhi?

Grazie per la domanda!

La ruota delle nostre bici è per noi emblema di libertà e di pratiche nonviolente:

chi pedala non inquina e non nuoce alla natura e ai suoi simili,

chi pedala ha rinunciato alla prepotenza e alla ostentazione veicolare.

La ruota è associata alla libertà dell'India ed è raffigurata sulla sua bandiera.

Il Mahatma Gandhi vedeva nel tondo arcolaio il mezzo per affrancarsi pacificamente dall'asservimento politico ideologico ed economico agli inglesi.

Ciascun indiano munito di un semplice ed economico arcolaio poteva tessere da se il cotone e ricavarne vestiti senza acquistarli dalle compagnie inglesi.

Se a Gandhi è bastata la sola ruota dell'arcolaio per dare la libertà a più di un miliardo di persone quali saranno le potenzialità della lotta nonviolenta che la bicicletta potrà esprimere con due ruote saldamente solidali ?

Naturalmente la bicicletta è solo uno strumento toccherà all'intelligenza e al cuore dei cicloamici esprimere in pieno le potenzialità di questa temibile arma di lotta nonviolenta.

Intanto non fa male leggersi questa ristampa di un giornale edito a Berkley da un gruppo di professori indiani. 



P. Kumar Mehta

Winds need no passport to cross borders.All winds arising from the mountains of Afghanistan, from the streets of Gaza and Tel Aviv, and from the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq have caused fear and anxiety in the hearts of Americans. We have to breathe the air our civilization has been polluting with unprecedented acts of violence. Consequently, vanquishing our enemies with brute force does not restore peace of mind to us. Unless we act to remove the killing fields around the world, the stench emanating from bloodshed will continue to destroy our mental and spiritual health.

In troubled times, people turn to their wisdom traditions for guidance. In human history, many apostles of peace and compassion have appeared in all cultures. Buddha and Christ lived more than two thousand years ago under social and political conditions that were much different from today. In recent times, there lived a man about whom Albert Einstein said, “Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a man as this, in flesh and blood, ever walked upon this earth.” The man, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, lived less than three scores years ago.

Popularly known as the architect of the independence movement of India from the British colonial rule, Gandhi developed several tools of peace to free his country from an oppressive regime with non-violent methods. Gandhi’s life and thoughts are highly relevant today, not only because he dealt with a contemporary culture but also because, at this point in time, people everywhere seem fed up with violence in society. Also, Gandhi is one of those rare teachers who practiced what he preached. This is what Radhakrishnan, one of the past Presidents of the Republic of India, said about Gandhi:

“A great teacher appears once in a while. Several centuries may pass by without the advent of such a one. That by which he is known is his life. He first lives and then tells others how they may live likewise… Gandhi was the first in human history to extend the principle of non-violence from the individual to the social and political plane. He entered politics for the purpose of experimenting with non-violence and establishing its validity.”

Gandhi’s approach to non-violent conflict resolution is rooted in the theory that a spiritual force derived from a combination of the forces inherent in unselfish love and firm adherence to truth is mightier than brute force. To appreciate the basis of this theory, which he was able to test by the use of spiritual force against the acts of injustice and violence of the British Raj in South Africa (1893-1914) and later in India (1915-1947), we must begin with Gandhi’s concept of God.

Gandhi believed in the Advaita (non-dual) concept of God according to which God is not a person but a living force that permeates the entire universe. It means that everything, animate and inanimate, is interconnected through a single web which we may call God. Being equipped with a superior intelligence, the human brain is capable of perceiving this interconnectivity. A constant remem-brance of this interconnectivity enables an individual to live in a state of awareness that is best captured by the phrase, “One in all and all in One.” (cont. on p. 2)

The non-dualistic concept of God leads to an attitude of reverence and love for all creation. If God is present in our fellow human beings, how can we think of hurting them? The principle of non-injury, expressed by the Sanskrit word Ahimsa is one of the cardinal laws of several Eastern faiths. The practice of universal and unselfish love in everyday life is a direct outcome of the Ahimsa principle and it offers a non-violent approach to methods that may be used for the solution of all problems, even national and international.

Another attribute of God that was close to Gandhi’s heart is: Truth is God. He came to this conclusion after reasoning that Truth, like God, is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. In his Journal, Young India, March 21, 1932 issue, Gandhi wrote, “I have known God only as Truth. There was a time when I had doubt about the existence of God, but I have never doubted the existence of Truth. This Truth is not something material but is pure intelligence. This is almost a matter of experience. I say almost, because I have not seen Truth face to face. I have only had glimpses of it. But my faith is indomitable.”

Gandhi’s passion for Truth as God had a profound effect in his search for means to seek peaceful endings to potentially violent situations. He was an uncompromising opponent of deceitful and violent shortcuts to success, even to serve the noblest of causes.

There are other implications of identifying Truth as God. For example, Truth becomes the Supreme Law that governs the universe; all other laws become subsidiary. According to Gandhi if any man-made law conflicted with the Supreme Law, it should be ignored in deference to the Supreme Law. He convincingly argued that the same Supreme Law must rule both the spiritual and the secular domains, the individual and society, the part and the whole. He said, “If separate laws governed the part and the whole, the part would cease to belong to the whole. Therefore, all that one sees in the world is subject to one Supreme Law. As man is a part that is conscious, man has the ability and the duty to understand the symbiotic relationship between the part and the whole. And man should understand that any departure from this relationship will be untenable and ruinous.”

It is evident that the spiritualization of social, economic and political life in accordance with the Gandhian ideology will make it more ethical. His unswerving belief that Truth is God enabled Gandhi to develop the ideology and techniques of Satyagraha (see p. 6), which is a Sanskrit word meaning firm adherence to truth. To Gandhi, Satyagraha offered both the goal of God realization and the means to achieve the goal. It is a non-violent, spiritual weapon to fight the forces of evil, injustice, and untruth.

Like any other weapons, the use of Satyagraha as a spiritual tool for conflict resolution requires considerable training and confidence. Training includes regular meditation to understand and control mind because thoughts of violence, hatred, selfishness and greed originate in mind. Without personal mental purity or heart purity, a Satyagrahi (a person who is ready to offer Satyagraha) would not possess the soul power that is necessary to transform the mind of the opponent. In this context, let us remember what Lord Christ said in the Bible: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Gandhi’s pursuit of Truth as God, gave him the fearlessness, courage, and compassion that were the keys to his soul power. He taught by personal example that voluntary suffering, such as fasting for several weeks or accepting punishment without malice from a wielder of brute force, are excellent tools for Satyagraha to induce introspection and transformation in the mind of an adversary.

Before the advent of the last World War, Gandhi remarked, “The use of the force of Satyagraha, if it becomes universal, would revolutionize social ideas and do away with despotism and the ever growing militarism under which the nations of the West are groaning and are being almost crushed to death – the militarism which promises to overwhelm even the nations of the East.” History shows that his depiction of ever growing militarism is true.

Today’s world is run by economic and political systems that are characterized by selfishness, greed, untruth, and violence. The darkness around the human spirit has brought our civilization to a point in time when billions are groping in the dark to find their lost cultural and moral values. Obviously, Gandhi’s life and teachings, rooted in the soul-force of unselfish love and adherence to truth, form a beacon of light that can help us in our search for needed tools of peace to achieve non-violent social transformation. In a short article it is difficult to present the Gandhian approach in a comprehensive way. Therefore, this issue of Ahimsa Voices contains excerpts from selected publications that cover Gandhi’s life and teachings more thoroughly. 

Excerpts from Krishna Kriplani’s book


(Compiled by Krishna Kriplani,

Navajivan Publ. House, Ahmedabad, India)

  AHIMSA (non-violence)

If we turn our eyes to the time of which history has any record down to our own time, we shall find that man has been steadily progressing towards ahimsa. Our remote ancestors were cannibals. Then came a time when they were fed up with cannibalism and began to live on hunting. Next came a stage when man was ashamed of leading the life of a wandering hunter. He therefore took to agriculture and depended principally on mother earth for his food. Thus from being a nomad he settled down to civilized, stable life, founded villages and towns, and from member of a family he became member of a community and a nation. All these are signs of progressive ahimsa and diminishing himsa (violence). Had it been otherwise, the human species should have been extinct by now, even as many of the lower species have disappeared.

Prophets have also taught the lesson of ahimsa more or less. Not one of them has professed to teach violence. And how should it be otherwise? Violence does not need to be taught. Man as animal is violent, but as Spirit is non-violent. The moment he awakes to the Spirit within, he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses toward ahimsa or rushes to his doom. That is why the prophets have taught the lesson of truth, harmony, brotherhood, justice, etc. – all attributes of ahimsa.

  Brutalization of Human Nature

I am more concerned in preventing the brutalization of human nature than in the prevention of the sufferings of my own people. I know that people who voluntarily undergo a course of suffering raise themselves and the whole of humanity; but I also know that people who become brutalized in their desperate efforts to get victory over their opponents or to exploit weaker nations or weaker men, not only drag down themselves but mankind also. And it cannot be a matter of pleasure to me or anyone else to see human nature dragged to the mire. If we are all sons of the same God and partake of the same divine essence, we must partake of the sin of every person whether he belongs to us or to another race.

  Converting the Opponent

Up to the year 1906, I simply relied on appeal to reason. I was a very industrious reformer. I was a good draftsman, as I always had a close grip on facts, which in its turn was the necessary result of my meticulous regard for truth. But I found that reason failed to produce an impression when the critical moment arrived in South Africa. My people were excited; even a worm will and does sometimes turn – and there was talk of wreaking vengeance. I had then to choose between allying myself with violence or finding out some other method of meeting the crisis and stopping the rot, and it came to me that we should refuse to obey legislation that was degrading and let them put us in jail if they liked. Thus came into being the moral equivalent of war. I was then a loyalist, because I implicitly believed that the sum total of the activities of the British Empire was good for India and for humanity. Arriving in England soon after the outbreak of the war, I plunged into it and later when I was forced to go to India as a result of the pleurisy that I had developed, I led a recruiting campaign at the risk of my life and to the horror of some of my friends.

The disillusionment came in 1919 after the passage of the Rowlet Act (depriving Indians of some fundamental liberties) and the refusal of the government to give simple elementary redress of proved wrongs that we had asked for. And so, in 1920, I became a rebel. Since then the conviction has been growing upon me, that things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone but have to be purchased with their suffering. Suffering is the law of human beings; war is the law of the jungle. But suffering is infinitely more powerful than the law of the jungle for converting the opponent and opening his ears, which are otherwise shut, to the voice of reason. Nobody has probably drawn up more petitions or espoused more forlorn causes than I, and I have come to the fundamental conclusion that if you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also. The appeal of reason is more to the head but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering. It opens up the inner understanding man. Suffering is the badge of the human race, not the sword.


I have ventured to place before India the ancient law of self-sacrifice. For Satyagraha and its offshoots, non-cooperation and civil resistance are nothing but new names for the law of suffering. The sages, who discovered the law of non-violence in the midst of violence, were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves greater warriors than Wellington. Having themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through non-violence.

Non-violence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means putting one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honour, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration.

  Non-violent Resistance

Non-violent resistance is a method of securing rights by personal suffering; it is the reverse of resistance by arms. When I refuse to do a thing that is repugnant to my conscience, I use soul-force. For instance, the government of the day has passed a law which is applicable to me and I do not like it. If by using violence I force the government to repeal the law, I am employing what may be termed body-force. If I do not obey the law and accept the penalty for its breach, I use soul-force. It involves sacrifice of self, which is infinitely superior to sacrifice of others. Moreover, if this kind of force is used in a cause that is unjust, only the person using it suffers.

  Truth and Non-violence

There is nothing in this earth that I would not give up for the sake of the country excepting, of course, two things and two only: namely truth and non-violence. I would not sacrifice these two for all the world. For to me, Truth is God and there is no way to find Truth except the way of non-violence. I do not seek to serve India at the sacrifice of truth or God. For I know that a man who forsake truth can forsake his country, and his nearest and dearest ones. Some friends have told me that truth and non-violence have no place in politics and worldly affairs. I do not agree. I have no use for them as a means for my salvation. Their application in every day life has been my goal all along.


Civilization, in the ideal sense of the term, consists not in multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary restriction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service.


We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of immeasurable strength. Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.

  Service and Spirituality

I lay claim to nothing exclusively divine in me. I do not claim to be a prophet. I am but a humble seeker after truth and bent upon finding it. I count no sacrifice too great for the sake of seeing God face to face. The whole of my activity whether it may be called social, political, humanitarian or ethical is directed to that end. And as I know that God is found more often in the lowliest of His creatures than in the high and mighty, I am struggling to reach the status of these. I cannot do so without service, hence my passion for the service of the suppressed classes. And as I cannot render this service without entering politics, I find myself in it. Thus I am no master, I am but a struggling, erring, humble servant of India and of humanity.


Per una ciotola d'acqua offri un buon pasto

Ad un gentile benvenuto inchinati con ardore.

Per una semplice monetina restituisci oro.

Se la vita vuoi salva, non salvaguardarti.

Così osserva le parole e le azioni del saggio.

Ogni minimo favore ricompensa dieci volte.

Ma i veri nobili sanno che tutti gli uomini sono uguali, 

e lietamente ricambiano col bene il male ricevuto."

(da "The history of my experiments with truth" di M. K. Gandhi)


Ahimsa Link

For AHIMSA events and earlier issues of Ahimsa Voices please check our website <www.ahimsaberkeley.org>



Baba Amte

–cited by Rajni Bakshi in her book Bapu Kuti – Journeys in Rediscovery of Gandhi (Penguin Books).

Gandhi arrived in the kitchen just as Murlidhar completed the task and handed over the vessel to cut vegetables to the cook. His glance fell on a few stray leaves of the vegetable left lying on the stone floor. Picking up each leaf Gandhiji washed them in a pot of potassium permanganate lying close by, and then tossed them into the cooking pot. To Murlidhar the morsels had not seemed so important. Then Gandhiji turned to him and explained, “We are living on public funds,” he told the young volunteer, “We cannot afford to waste even a single tiny fragment.” Murlidhar never forgot that moment. Years later it helped him to manage vast amounts of donated funds when he became famous as Baba Amte of Anandwan.
Eknath Easwaran

–cited by Michael Nagler in his introduction to Easwaran’s book, Gandhi the Man (see p. 7)

The story of Easwaran’s meeting with Gandhi has left a deep impression on me. I can almost see the dusty plain of central India under the forbidding heat of the midafternoons when Easwaran walked the few miles from the train stations at Wardha to the tiny collection of mud huts Gandhi had christened Sevagram, “village of service,” from which he was patiently resurrecting a nation of four hundred million people. Easwaran spent the afternoon hours quietly observing, careful not to impose on anyone’s time. Even then he must have been a somewhat different kind of pilgrim from those who characteristically gathered around Gandhi wherever he went. He had not come to observe Gandhi’s political style or to satisfy his intellectual curiosity. Nor had he come, like the VIPs from Delhi, to get a decision on some weighty question of policy, or, like the innumerable common people who had equal access to Gandhi, to ask for personal advice. As a young man, Easwaran had watched other young men and women leave their studies to join Gandhi’s work and had seen them transformed into heroes and heroines, under the Mahatma’s influence. “I wanted to know,” Easwaran recalls simply, “the secret of his power.”

In the prayer meeting that evening at Sevagram, Easwaran got his answer. Together with the rest of the ashram, he returned from the brisk after-dinner walk with Gandhi in the relative cool of the evening and settled down around the neem tree where Gandhi sat. Mahadev Desai, Gandhi’s secretary, began to read out the verses from India’s most treasured scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: “He lives in wisdom who sees himself in all and all in him, whose love for the Lord of Love has consumed every selfish desire and sense-craving tormenting the heart…” As Easwaran watched, the small brown body seated in front of him grew motionless, absorbed in meditation on those verses. “I was no longer hearing the Gita,” Easwaran recalls, “I was seeing it, seeing the transformation it describes.”


General Smuts (former Governor General of South Africa)

–cited by Ravindra Varma (see p. 6)

It was my fate to be the antagonist of a man for whom even then I had the highest respect. His activities at that time were very trying to me. For him everything went according to plan. For me, the defender of law and order, there was the usual trying situation, the odium of carrying out a law which had not strong public support, and finally the discomfiture when the law had to be repealed. For him it was a successful coup. Nor was the personal touch wanting. In jail he had prepared for me a pair of sandals, which he presented to me when he was set free. I have worn these sandals for many a summer since then, even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man

For AHIMSA events and earlier issues of Ahimsa Voices please check our website <www.ahimsaberkeley.org>


Excerpts from Ravindra Varma’s book

(Originally compiled from Gandhi’s writings by his secretary, Payrelal Nayyar, and cited by Ravindra Varma,

Navajivan Publ. House, Ahmedabad, India)

  Theory of Satyagraha

In the application of Satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of Truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent. For what appears to be Truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on one’s self.

But on the political field the struggle on behalf of the people mostly consists in opposing error in the shape of unjust laws. When you have failed to bring the error home to the law-giver by way of petitions and the like, the only remedy open to you, if you do not wish to submit to error, is to compel him by physical force to yield to you or by suffering in your own person by inviting the penalty for the breach of the law.

Since Satyagraha is one of the most powerful methods of direct action, a Satyagrahi exhausts all other means before he resorts to Satyagraha. He will therefore constantly and continually approach the constituted authority, he will appeal to public opinion, educate public opinion, state his case calmly and coolly before everybody who wants to listen to him, and only after he has exhausted all these avenues will he resort to Satyagraha. But when he has found the impelling call of the inner voice within him and launches out upon Satyagraha, he has burnt his boats and there is no receding.

It is never the intention of a Satyagrahi to embarrass the wrong-doer. The appeal is never to his fear; it is and must always be to his heart. The Satyagrahi’s object is to convert, not to coerce, the wrong-doer. A Satyagrahi will always try to overcome evil by good, anger by love, untruth by truth, violence by non-violence. There is no other way of purging the world of evil.

  Non-Violent Weapons of Satyagraha

Non-cooperation predominantly implies withdrawing of cooperation from the State that in the non-cooperator’s view has become corrupt, and it excludes Civil Disobedience of the fierce (extreme) type. By its very nature, non-cooperation is even open to children with understanding and can be safely practiced by the masses. Non-cooperation too, like Civil Disobedience, is a branch of Satyagraha which includes all non-violent resistance for the vindication of Truth. Non-cooperation in itself is more harmless than Civil Disobedience but in its effect it is far more dangerous for the Government than Civil Disobedience. Non-cooperation is intended so far to paralyze the Government as to compel justice from it. If it is carried to the extreme point, it can bring the Government to a standstill. Non-cooperation is not a passive state; it is an intensely active state.

Civil Disobedience is a civil breach of immoral statutory enactments. The expression was, so far as I am aware, coined by Thoreau. Civil Disobedience is not a state of lawlessness and license, but presupposes a law-abiding spirit combined with self-restraint. Satyagraha consists at times in Civil Disobedience and other times in Civil Obedience. Nor is it necessary for voluntary obedience that the laws to be observed must be good. There are many unjust laws which a good citizen obeys so long as they do not hurt self-respect or the moral being.

A Government that is evil has no room for good men and women except in its prisons. As no government in the world can possibly put a whole nation in prison it must yield it its demand or abdicate in favour of a government suited to that nature. Disobedience to the law of the State becomes a pre-emptory duty when it comes in conflict with the law of God. A Satyagrahi is nothing if not instinctively law-abiding, and it is the law-abiding nature which exacts from him/her implicit obedience to the highest law; it is, the voice of conscience which overrides all other laws… Civil Disobedience is the purest form of constitutional agitation.

Non-violent, non-cooperation and civil disobedience can be effective only if operational conditions are controlled to prevent the outbreak of violence, and loss of leadership of a struggle. The two antagonistic forces (violence and non-violence) can not work to supplement each other (since Satyagraha’s attempt is not merely to paralyze and create anarchy – but to transform and substitute). 


Eknath Easwaran

– Excerpt from Easwaran book, Gandhi the Man, published by permission of Nilgiri Press <www.nilgiri.org>

Gandhi was the most bewildering opponent any nation ever faced. Every move he made was spontaneous; evey year that passed found him more youthful, more radical, more experimental. British administrators were baffled and exasperated by this little man who withdrew when they would have attacked, attacked when they would have withdrawn, and seemed to be getting stronger day by day. No one knew what he was going to do next, for his actions were prompted not by stale calculations of what seemed politically expedient, but by a deep intuition which often came to him only in the eleventh hour.

Never was this more evident than in the Salt Satyagraha of 1930, which brought Gandhi and the Indian struggle to the attention of the world. Up until that time, for the sake of compromise, India had been seeking only dominion status within the British Empire. But ten years of bitter repression had passed since the era of non-cooperation began, and Great Britain had only tightened its hold on the Indian people. On the first of January, 1930, at the stroke of midnight, the Indian Congress party raised the flag of a new nation to usher in the struggle for complete independence.

Everyone looked to Gandhi to see what would happen next. A new satyagraha campaign seemed imminent, but no one, including Gandhi, had any idea of what it would be or when it would be launched. Weeks passed. The threat of violence mounted higher, but Gandhi remained silent. The government waited anxiously, afraid to arrest him, afraid to leave him free.

Finally, after weeks of deliberation, the answer came to Gandhi in a dream. It was breathtakingly simple. The government had imposed a law forbidding Indians to make their own salt, making them dependent on a British monopoly for what is, in a tropical country, a necessity of life. To Gandhi it was the perfect symbol of colonial exploitation. He proposed to march with seventy-eight of his most trusted ashram followers to the little coastal town of Dandi, some two hundred forty miles away, where salt from the sea lay free for the taking on the sand. When he gave the signal, everyone in India was to act as if the salt laws had never been enacted at all.

When the scheduled morning arrived an immense crowd gathered outside Gandhi’s ashram to catch what might be a final glimpse of this little figure who was about to turn all India upside down. It was an epic march, with the attention of news audiences everywhere riveted on evey stage of the way. Gandhi was sixty-one, but he had never been in better shape. He marched with the light, brisk step of an athlete, covering about twelve miles a day, stopping at evey village on the way to preach the gospel of ahimsa and the duty of nonviolent non-cooperation. Everywhere he passed people streamed out to meet him, lining the roads between towns and strewing his path with flowers. By the time he reached Dandi, twenty-four days later, his nonviolent army of seventh-eight had swelled to several thousand.

Throughout the night of their arrival Gandhi and his followers prayed for the strength to resist the violence which might easily sweep away so large a crowd. Then, at the moment of dawn, they went quietly down to the water, and Gandhi, with thousands of eyes watching every gesture, stooped down and picked up a pinch of salt from the sand.

The response was immediate. All along India’s coastline huge crowds of men, women, and children swept down to the sea to gather salt in direct disobedience of the British laws. Their contraband salt was auctioned off at premium prices to those in the cities who could break the law only by buying. The whole country knew it had thrown off its chains, and despite the brutality of the police reprisals, the atmosphere was one of nationwide rejoicing. Months later, while negotiating at teatime with Lord Irwin, Gandhi took a little paper bag out of the folds of his cloak and, before the viceroy’s astonished eyes, dropped a little of its contents into his cup. “I will put a little of this salt into my tea,” he explained mischievously, “to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party.” Lord Irwin had the grace to join in his laughter.



We have to make truth and nonviolence not matters for mere individual practice but for practice by groups and communities and nations. That at any rate is my dream. I shall live and die in trying to realize it…

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent…

I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Ahimsa (nonviolence) are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could do. In doing so, I have sometimes erred and learnt by my errors. Life and its problems have thus become to me so many experiments in the practice of truth and nonviolence…

I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith…

AHIMSA- General Information
AHIMSA is the Sanskrit word for nonviolence.  We are a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the advancement of a harmonious and nonviolent world by exploring how religion, science, and social action impact our awareness.  Our goal is to seek pathways of understanding, and to encourage every individual to seek and find his or her own truth and wisdom.  The acronym AHIMSA stands for, “Agency for Human Interconnectedness through Manifestation of Spiritual Awareness.”


Jay Adams, Henry Baer, Joe Bobrow, Shireen Burns,

Leonard Joy, Tom Mahon, Kumar Mehta,

Paulette Millichap, Heng Sure,

 Nik Warren, Karen Walowit

Advisory Board

Geoffrey Chew, Marian Diamond,

Michael Nagler, Swami Prabuddhananda, Huston Smith


Editor · Kumar Mehta

Associate Editor · Paulette Millichap

Typesetting · Camille Partee

For general information and subscription:

Telephone: (510) 527-2935 or 524-9415

Fax: (415) 331-0989

Mailing Address: AHIMSA

P.O. Box 8196 · Berkeley, CA  94707-8196


website: www.ahimsaberkeley.org