Non violence is a philosophy that has been used as a strategy to bring change. It follows a line
which rejects the path of violence. This method of using an alternate to aggression and armed
struggle against oppression has been preached and practiced from time immemorial.
In recent times, non violence has been used as a means for getting India independence from
British rule. This movement was preached and led by Mahatma Gandhi, who immortalized
himself to the whole world with the way he went about it. Another fine example is recent history
is that of Martin Luther King, who adopted  Gandhis non-violent ways , in the struggle to help
win civil rights for African Americans.

Jesus and Non Violence
History shows many examples of non-violence struggles, but if we look into our ancients texts
 we will be able to understand that even Jesus Christ was an advocate of non violence.
Until the very end Jesus never renounced his privilege of being the anointed one. Nevertheless,
he destroyed the wall that separated non-Jews from the God of Israel. He became the new and
living way by which all people had access to the kingdom of God. By acting in this way he
removed every pretext for the use of violence. He advocated that gods grace was offered to all
and with it the hand of fellowship and the offer of reconciliation. (Walter Wink. Ch.1.p119)

Nonviolence in Theory  Practice
Nonviolence has always been understood as the absence of violence, but the leading proponents
of nonviolence have always defined in positive terms. Thus Mahatma Gandhi spoke of
nonviolence as Satyagraha , meaning literally holding onto truth. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of
it as a commitment to resisting injustice without regarding ones success as a triumph over those
who stand for injustice. (Robert. H  Barry .L. G.  Nonviolence in Theory and Practice)
Nonviolence can be understood from many viewpoints and has many aspects to it. To some
it may seem as if it is the study of any psychological, social, or political technique  to bring
about social change, which  does  not involve the use of  the military force, yet again to others
it is the study of the spiritual pursuit of a nonviolence as interpreted by particular religions.

There is a belief among many, that nonviolence is actually nothing more than a form of
cowardice. Nothing can be further from the truth.  In the case of Jesus Christ it took tremendous
mental strength and will power to stand up for what he believed. Similarly, in the case Mahatma
Gandhi, though violence was used brutally against his followers who were both women and men,
by their belief in what they were doing  they could bear  physical beating and brutalities inflicted
upon them by the British without ever losing sight of what they were expected to follow - the
path of nonviolence.

Man has within him an inbuilt mechanism of self preservation and this manifests itself when he
is attacked  and being bodily harmed.  This instinct takes over and counters the attacker by
fighting back.  The ability to resist this natural instinct and to stay on the path of nonviolence is
a sure show of courage and strength.

In the case of both Gandhi and Jesus Christ, they were dealing against oppressive rule. They
could have chosen an easier way, but that they chose the courageous path of nonviolence .


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