Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi Day

first_imgDear Editor,On October 2, 1869 a great teacher was born in Porbandar, Gujurat, India. The weapons that existed in his lifetime cannot be compared to the sophisticated means of mass destruction available today not just to nations but to ordinary individuals whose only aim is to destroy innocent people anywhere in the world.  Anger, greed and injustice are not new to mankind but resorting to violence to correct historical wrongs is now so frequent that we need to remind all societies about the life of the Mahatma, the greatest universal apostle of peace in modern times.Too many of his birthdays have gone by without any sustained effort to pass on his message to those who may not know of his achievements. Excessive reliance is placed on national and locally (mostly religious) organisations planning an event in which those who already know about him participate. However without great fanfare or expense every single person irrespective of race, religion, nationality or social status, can show appreciation for this great soul by trying to step into his shoes by  initiating or participating in an event to show that his life and message can still provide answers to some of the social issues confronting mankind today.The following non-exhaustive list are a few activities that each person can attempt to sense his greatness without relying only on religious leaders, temples or any formal organisations.Fast for the day; skip a meal or just eat less. Be a vegetarian; Wear less clothing as permitted by the climate; Do not pollute but instead clean up the neighbourhood. See and discuss the movie GANDHI and other shows of his life. Persuade and assist all schools to get speakers to inform the children of his legacy. Donate blood, food, clothes, books or other material possessions to those in need, particularly to strangers.Practice Ahimsa which does not simply mean non-violence, but non-harm.  Words, ill-thoughts, anger, harsh judgements are all forms of harm to us or others. Tell the truth even if it means loss of social or economic status. Do not smoke or consume alcohol or anything that alters the mind.Take the longest walk that your health with allow, either alone or with others, preferably to highlight or redress a social wrong or injustice. Passive resistance or soul force is infinitely superior to body force.Jesus, Socrates, Tolstoy, Buddha and many successful political leaders used this method. Be prepared to admit temporary failure if your end cannot be achieved by peaceful means.Do not try to convert anyone by telling them they can only obtain salvation by following your religion because it is a blatant lie historically supported overtly and covertly by governments. All religions have produced holy, charitable, loving, caring human beings.Be silent for as long as possible while meditating. Control your lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, or fear. Show respect and appreciation not only for family and friends but all forms of life and the environment.Obtain copies of the book that provided him with inspiration and comfort in his most difficult days, the Bhagavad-Gita and donate to others who may very well find and apply Vedic concepts other than truth and non-violence which he practiced irrespective of the consequences.This is India’s gift to the world and appropriately donated to President Obama by Prime Minister Modi on his first trip to USA. Government and private schools should ensure that these books on him are readily available in libraries, classrooms.A dinner in the evening for speeches and fundraising for a charitable cause can crown the day with resolutions to ensure that he lives on. Name a street, a building, or other structure after him or reward deserving students by financing Mahatma Gandhi scholarship.Yours sincerely,Ramnarine Sahadeolast_img

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