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Satyagraha in a Secular World - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "Satyagraha in a Secular World"
To build on the idea of a secular society accepting Satyagraha as a way of life, or belief, one must first understand its origin and the Hindu religion that it is derived from. Hinduism is a way of life that may have many gods, beliefs or different sets of ethics…
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Download file "Satyagraha in a Secular World" to see previous pages... In comparing this set of beliefs with Christianity, we find that they do not have much in common. Christianity has one God and no meditation practices or physical exercises to support our mind or brain functionality. Christianity's only bold set of ethics would be the Ten Commandments. Christians believe in the Soul outlives the body in Heaven (or perhaps in Hell),
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but have no belief in rebirth of the soul into a new body as Hindus do.
As well as the origin of Satyagraha we must also understand its meaning. Directly translated, Satyagraha means "Insistence on truth, and the force derivable from such insistence."(Dilks, Hansen, and Parfitt) Gandhi created Satyagraha to develop a nonviolent resistance to help India (or any country or person) peacefully enforce their will upon their opponent, which at the time was Britain and their colonial rule over India. Gandhi insisted on self-suffering for Satyagraha to work. He calls this "Truth-Force", which basically means that to enforce something upon someone it is more effective to do so through self-suffering, rather than through the suffering of the opponent. Satyagraha believes that there is some truth in everything, even our enemies, and it takes all of the individual portions of truth to make up the total truth. When we burden our enemies with suffering, pain, or sacrafice, their truth becomes inaccessible to us and we have no way to obtain the bigger truths. Gandhi claims that the opponent must also be deterred from taking the wrong action by showing him patience and sympathy. As I understand it, the easiest, and most primitive, way to interpret the principle of Satyagraha is as follows: Gandhi is showing the same principle of one brother nagging (poking, pinching, name calling) at another. If one brother is constantly nagging another and the brother being nagged continually gets upset, the brother doing the nagging will always continue on to entertain himself with his other brother upsetting himself. When the brother being nagged shows no reaction, and does not get upset or disrupt the cause, he is accepting self suffering and the nagging stops very quickly.
Because India is mainly of Hindu belief, and was previously occupied and ruled by Britain, India became the perfect place for the principle of Satyagraha to evolve. Gandhi was the spiritual leader of an oppressed people living in an occupied land. The loss of their territory, heritage, and national identity created a need for a strong principle that could unite the country. Gandhi and his principles would not have as much of an impact in the Americas or in Europe as it did in India because there was no great desperation for independence. The Americans and Europeans had been afforded the basic rights of expression and thought, and had the right to self-determination. The U.S. was no longer under British rule, although in the 1770's it did have to win independence for the 13 colonies. Europe was under the threat to be ruled by Germany, but was at war, and had not completely come under the rule of them. I do not believe Satyagraha could win a war. However, it is a useful political tool that can unite a population behind a compassionate cause. It was an effective movement to ...Download file "Satyagraha in a Secular World" to see next pagesRead More
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