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Gandhi On Non Violence

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Paperback Book
New Directions
October, 2007
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$19.50 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

For many people the world over, Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) is the greatest figure of the 20th century which, by all accounts, has been an era of the most unimaginable widespread violence, cruelty, hatred and destruction in all of human history. Gandhi’s adherence to the principles of nonviolence (ahimsa) and nonviolent action (satyagraha) stood out as a beacon of hope for humanity. He embodied and exemplified his philosophy in all aspects of his life: He had great moral courage, patience, long suffering, dedication to Truth, spiritual purity and commitment to achieving social justice and peace. His life and teachings have inspired many, including Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and peace activist.

In 1965, Merton carefully selected key extracts from Gandhi’s seminal Non-Violence in Peace and War and arranged them into five sections: Principles of Non-Violence; The Spiritual Dimensions of Non-Violence; The Political Source of Non-Violence; and The Purity of Non-Violence. Each section is prefaced by a lucid and concise summary.

Now in a new edition, the book begins with Merton’s challenging essay, “Gandhi and the One-Eyed Giant,” describing how Gandhi synthesized the great spiritual teachings of the West (Jesus and the New Testament) and the East (ahimsa and dharma) in his search for the universal truth to which he gave his life. Merton emphasizes the importance of action rather than mere pacifism as a central component of non-violence. This outstanding guide to Gandhi’s thought should be read and pondered by all thinking people.

Nonviolence is the greatest and most active force in the world. One person who can express ahimsa in life exercises a force superior to all the forces of brutality.

Publisher’s Description: 

Through the dynamic power of non-cooperation, Gandhi ended British domination over India. But, as Merton writes in his Introduction to this volume, non-violence for Gandhi was not simply a political tactic . . . the spirit of non-violence sprang from an inner realization of spiritual unity in himself. Originally published in 1965, this selection from Gandhis writings outlines the basic principles of non-violence (Ahimsa) and non-violent action (Satyagraha). Mark Kurlanskys preface to this new edition applies Gandhis philosophy to the context of current global conflicts. 144 pp. December.

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