Antidote To Slavery

March 06, 2015

Every week, we feature excerpts by Gandhi that lend insight into his values and personal practices.

For example, here are his thoughts around dissolving slavery: "If man/woman will only realize that it is unmanly to obey laws [rules] that are unjust, no man's tyranny will enslave him/her... So long as the superstition that men/women should obey unjust laws exists, so long will their slavery exist." (Hind Swaraj p.70) And while he wrote the previous statement back in 1909 encouraging all readers, he also stressed --in an article called "When I Am Arrested" almost twenty years later-- the importance of spiritual discipline right before the beginning of one of the most successful nonviolent direct actions in the history of humanity. So Today, a few days before the 85th anniversary (March 12th) of the Salt March --also known as the Salt Satyagraha-- here's Gandhi's reminder of what it takes to have inner and outer transformation well aligned:

February 27, 1930

"So far as I am concerned, my intention is to start the movement only through the inmates [seventy eight] of the Ashram and those who have submitted to its discipline and assimilated the spirit of its methods. Those, therefore, who will offer battle at the very commencement will be unknown to fame. Hitherto the Ashram has been deliberately kept in reserve in order that by a fairly long course of discipline it might acquire stability. I feel, that if the Satyagraha Ashram is to deserve the great confidence that has been reposed in it and the affection lavished upon it by friends, the time has arrived for it to demonstrate the qualities implied in the word satyagraha. I feel that our self-imposed restraints have become subtle indulgences, and the prestige acquired has provided us with privileges and conveniences of which we may be utterly unworthy. These have been thankfully accepted in the hope that some day we would be able to give a good account of ourselves in terms of satyagraha. And if at the end of nearly 15 years of its existence, the Ashram cannot give such a demonstration, it and I should disappear, and it would be well for the nation, the Ashram and me."

M.K. Gandhi
Young India, February 27th, 1930.

Source: CWMG Vol. 48 page 346-348 

Be The Change

What would be a cause which lights you up inside? This week consider developing the inner tools necessary to stand in solidarity for your cause.