Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi Was Mohandas Term Paper

  • Length: 9 pages
  • Subject: History - Asian
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #37471565

Excerpt from Term Paper :

If the person reacts with hatred or anger, he gets no immediate relief and instead develops a negative attitude and feeling, which will lead to his own downfall. The generation of hatred and hateful thoughts produces undesirable forms of existence in future lives and also creates a distorted image of the person who harbors that hatred. Others can sense it and even experience steam of hostility coming out of him. Even animals can feel it and avoid that person. Hatred also takes over the best part of the brain, which judges right from wrong and evaluates long-term consequences against short-term ones. No one and nothing can protect a person from anger or hatred. Education, the law, weapons or money cannot protect him from it and its consequences. Only tolerance and patience can. Gandhi was well aware of the disadvantages of feeling hatred for his tormentors that was why he avoided it within him and in his campaigns and dealings. Ahimsa was at the base of his Jainism influence and it emphasized the relevance of nonviolence, believing that the densest karmic defilement of the soul happens when a person hurts another. His major beliefs in truth, nonviolence and satyaghara evolved from Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. He was convinced that man must not be disturbed and diverted from the pursuit of the truth.

Stephen Murphy pointed out in his book, Why Gandhi is Relevant in Modern India, that what Gandhi advocated was not passive resistance but active love. He was influenced by Shrimad Rajchandra, a Jain householder-ascetic as well as his spiritual mentor, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, and the Sermon in the Mount of the New Testament. He was especially affected by John Ruskin's Unto This Last, translated it into Gujarati and called it Sarvodaya or the well-being of all. It changed him instantaneously, impressing upon him that the good of an individual is contained in the good of all.

Gandhi read Henry David Thoreau as a student in London and learned civil disobedience from the author-poet. They, however, deviated at one point. Thoreau believed in individual action and protests, while Gandhi would use civil disobedience only as a last resort and show respect for the law. But like Thoreau, Gandhi believed that people had the right to disobey laws they considered unjust and were willing to go to jail for violating these laws.

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet and practical philosopher, who was best-known for his autobiographical account in the woods under the title, Walden, published in 1854. His essay, Civil Disobedience, published in 1849, exerted influence on Gandhi's passive resistance campaigns, on martin Luther King, Jr. And the politics of the British Labor Party. His famous essay was an account of an overnight visit in 1846 in jail for refusing to pay his taxes in protest against the Mexican War and the extension of slavery. Thoreau also lectured and wrote about the evils of slavery and helped escaping slaves. He exemplified one with the courage to live and stand against the trend of his own time. He had a deep passion for natural surroundings. In his work, Resistance to Civil Government, Thoreau recommended disobeying unjust laws, saying that men should be men first and subject afterwards and that it was not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law so much as for the right (Thoreau 1849). He also warned that working for money alone would never bring happiness and advocated that individuals must resist conformity in the search for truth and bewailed his contemporaries' fascination for news and gossips.

Money and happiness were the subjects of the book on the private conversations between the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler with the title the Art of Happiness (2003). Cutler asked the Tibetan leader about practices, which can help others become happier, stronger and less afraid. In discussing job dissatisfaction in many people, the Dalai Lama said that small changes in one's attitude alone would reinvigorate a job that has lost its savor. He must view the situation from a larger perspective, such as realizing how fortunate one is for having the job, which others cannot or did not have. One should also let go of the resentment and anger in his or her job in order to achieve optimal mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Insufficient wages, boredom and a lack of challenge at work can also bring on unhappiness. The Dalai Lama responded that money was a poor source of self-esteem and one should not constantly focus on it. One or the worker should also counteract boredom and a lack of challenge by cultivating enthusiasm and looking out for challenges to sharpen one's mind.

IV. Applications. - Gandhi's concept or advocacy of nonviolent resistance to authority has proved effective in certain governments, especially in dictatorial governments in Southeast Asia. In 1986 in the Philippines, people in the streets gathered around the military headquarters to protect the rebelling soldiers from the attack of the established government. This was a celebrated event called EDSA People Power 1 known and watched the world over. It led to the eventual surrender of the dictator President Ferdinand Marcos and the installation of Corazon Aquino into the presidency. Henry David Thoreau's civil disobedience method was used in the successful and nearly bloodless popular revolution.

The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler's message against hatred should have been addressed to the 9/11 terrorists of the Twin Towers, whose sense of justice must have wounded so badly that they resorted to suicidal attacks like those in New York City and Washington. The same message should be sent to the heads of governments of the U.S. And its allies in the United Nations when they decided to retaliate against the injury despite the lack of UN sanction. The exchange of hostility was opposed to Gandhi's advocacy.

Workplace dissatisfaction can be substantially contained if workers would view their job as a calling and therefore would not tire or bore them easily. It would then give them a greater sense of purpose and maintain interest and enthusiasm, even if there was no raise or promotion given. This advice would be suitable to the millions or billions of laborers in the world who face discontent in their workplaces.

Conclusion - From Brahmanic and Buddhist ascetics, Gandhi learned and assumed the vow of not destroying life, a sense of identification with all beings, chastity and lack of possessions through self-control, qualities needed for moral and political purification. Gandhi used ahimsa as a moral and political weapon. His act of renunciation not only meant that he should live a simple and pure life but also inclined him to shoulder suffering and practice self-rule. His Hindu doctrine of satya was his basis for moral and political action, ahimsa for selfless love and the karmayoga addresses the equality of all men and women and the elevation of the people of the harijans, the people of God.

Although he was a political leader, his life was fundamentally derived from the practice of religion. He combined a life of moral action and spiritual fulfillment. It was his strongest and deepest yearning to see God face-to-face so that in its pursuit, he strained his mortal life to live stringently on the truth and away from all distractions and violations of that truth.

Bibliography

Gandhi, Mahatma K. Gandhi: an Autobiography. Navajivan Publishing House: Beacon Press, 1993

Lama, the Dalai and Cutler, Howard C. The Art…

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