No one offers Satyagraha because they like injustice or they just want to get involved in something cool, as though they had nothing else to do with their life. We do it because there is a great suffering that we want to heal; because we suffer when we see others suffer; we feel pain when we cause pain to others. It is, as Gandhi said, “an unmistakable mute prayer of an agonized soul.” Agony, he says, and I repeat, in the soul. His description is striking and if you take a second to think about it, you quickly realize that he was not exaggerating. An agony that calls us to act, like a vision or the voice of God. Persistent. Visceral.
There’s a story that Sri Ramakrishna, father of the modern Vedantic movement, told his students when they would ask him how they would know that they are close to samadhi, the divine vision. The story goes that a young man once asked his teacher this question, and the teacher tells him, come with me down to the river and I’ll show you. The is up for it, when the teacher takes his head under water and holds it there for. (Don’t try this at home, thank you.) He finally lets go and his student is gasping for air, breathing deeply, looks at the teacher with bewilderment. “What did you think of while you were under water?” he asked. “I would have given anything for a breath of air! That’s all I could think about.” The teacher responded, “When your desire to see the Beloved is that strong, you know that the day is coming soon.”
Identify three signs that, if we look closely, show us that a nonviolent future is coming.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org