Saved By Suffering?

Essay by usmcdaddyUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, February 2005

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Saved By Suffering?

The famous civil rights activist, and nonviolent revolutionary Mahatma Gandhi wrote many pamphlets to help broadcast his views. Among these is The Law of Suffering, which draws out the path he believed India needed to take to gain its freedom from the British Empire. To better understand the importance of the methods, and state of mind that Gandhi advocated brings a better view of humanity as a whole.

Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer from India when he first faced the racism and mistreatment of his people. Being a well-educated man, he sought out understanding from many great teachers and religious texts. His experiences and influences lead him to form a new way of thinking and acting in every day situations that he called Satyagraha. Satyagraha was a force he believed was created by an insistence on truth and peace. This force he believed would be strengthened by nonviolence, love, and forgiveness.

These enlightened views sound great, but how does Satyagraha apply during the times of war and suffering his people were facing?

The pamphlet, The Law of Suffering, was written at a time when many Indian people had adopted his views, and were using nonviolent means to defy the English rule in India. Any revolution pits two groups against each other, both with different ideas to why they are right. Usually these revolutionary battles are the bloodiest of conflicts, and ravage both sides of human lives and resources. Gandhi knew that suffering was the price of freedom, and no group of people could expect to win freedom effortlessly. He said, "It is possible for us-to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors to do better...The way to do better is to avoid - violence from our side and thus quicken the rate of progress and to...