Gandhi read the spiritual classic the Bhagavad Gita every day. He said it was to him as a “mother’s milk,” nourishing and nurturing him in times of joy and great challenges. The Gita is the story of a warrior, Arjuna, and his mentor, Krishna. Krishna, for what it’s worth, is only taking the form as a dear friend of Arjuna, for in reality, he is a God. (A very astute comment on the nature of friendship itself…) Arjuna finds himself in the midst of a war and loses courage. He turns to his friend Krishna for advice, in the process of this conversation, Krishna reveals to Arjuna the secret of life and grants to him the supreme vision of life as a whole–not with the intellect, but an overwhelming vision that draws upon every sense and strength of the human being. It’s a marvelous story, full of wisdom and power.
Gandhi was convinced that the Gita was not about an actual violent war; rather, it was the tale of the inner struggle we all must face as we search for true freedom–not just freedom from others, but freedom from ourselves. He describes the theory of action laid forward in the Gita when he states that freedom can only be attained through detached action.
The Gita Theory of Action can be summed up in three succinct points: use the right means, in a just cause, and let go of the results. This is the nonviolent way to freedom.
Think of a situation in your life where you are struggling. What would happen if you applied the Gita Theory of Action to this situation? Try it.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org