October 2, 2010

Reflections: Gandhi's mission of nonviolence a lesson in leading by example


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Mahatma Ghandi is surrounded by followers in India during his civil disobedience campaign in March 1930. Gandhi used nonviolent methods to overcome the oppression of Britain and win freedom for the Indian people.

Associated Press File

When the British started taxing salt in India, he led thousands of people, walking 150 miles to the ocean to make their own salt. Hundreds of people were beaten and put in jail. Gandhi led millions of Indians to fast the whole day and not work as a protest.

Gandhi was creative. His creativity shows in nonviolent moments, the salt march and starting a newspaper. He said when you stand up to justify rights and protest non-violently, you are the one in control, not the aggressor. He once experimented in treating illness with water and earth instead of medicines.

Many leaders seem to be religious. Throughout his life, Gandhi worked hard for self-realization, or knowledge of self. Gandhi learned the importance of prayer from his devoted mother. Once Gandhi said, "We are all children of God. I am Hindu, Christian, Jew and Muslim."

Thus, leading by example, he was able to inspire millions of Indians to follow the nonviolent movement.

Gandhi said, "There go people. I must follow them as I am their leader." No wonder he was known as "Mahatma" or Great Soul.


Ashok Nalamalapu of Sadhana, a spiritual center serving people from all walks of life, can be reached at: ashok@SadhanaMe.com


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