The Gandhian Philosophy in the Modern World: With Special Reference to Meditation and Meditative Way of Life –Dr. Ravindra Kumar & Dr. Kiran L Dangwal
The Gandhian philosophy is, in fact, that Ahimsa-based distinctive viewpoint, which longs for the welfare of one and all having cooperation and compromise –the two foremost features of eternal, natural and supreme value of non-violence itself, as the nuclei. This philosophy calls for resolving conflicts –essential and inevitable in life, through the only effective and practical way of Ahimsa –through its features or activities, and expects one and all to apply them in their refined form and also making them conducive as per the demand of time and space. Further, the Gandhian approach is particularly abided by morality –teaching and practice within a moral code, categorically of the good or the right, and ethics –right behaviour. Hence, it is filled with high form of spiritualism and dedicated to inevitable law of change –to reveal the truth that constant and dramatic effect in life is inevitable and nothing is beyond its scope. Therefore, modification and retirement as per the demand of time and space are necessary to create a conducive and result-oriented atmosphere. It is committed simultaneously to the constrictiveness, which is progressive, productive and welfaristic. More particularly, spiritualism that is deep-rooted in Gandhian philosophy, in fact, accepts the principle of Indivisible Whole –oneness and unity of all. It calls for self-realization –knowledge of the true self beyond delusion and identification, both, stands for truth and union with the Supreme, thus, accords a matchless dimension to the meditative way, which is in fact an abridgement of constructive thinking and purity of heart. That is why; the relevance and adaptability of Gandhian philosophy, its aspect related to spiritualism in particular, cannot be undervalued. In the age of advanced technology as this, and in the times to come, the importance of Gandhian approach will not only continue, but it will multiply many folds as Martin Luther King Junior has, having the Mahatma himself in the centre, rightly pointed out that it is imbued with certain of those universal principles that are “inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation.”
Hence, categorically, the Gandhian philosophy, entirely based on Ahimsa and universal unity, is one of the most practical philosophies of life. All walks of life –spiritual, social, political, intellectual, economic and cultural, are within the scope of this unity including science –a systematic endeavour to build and organize knowledge in the form of testable explanation and prediction of that is universal, and technology – practical knowhow that reveals development and is simultaneously symbolic of dynamism and progressiveness. Moreover, it is connected to the high tradition of spiritualism and is capable of getting science and technology all-welfaristic as per the basic spirit at their root.
The Gandhian philosophy calls, first of all, for understanding the reality of conflicts and disputes that are necessary and inevitable at almost all levels and in all walks of life. In fact, due to competition and jealousy –the two negative thought-based temporary tendencies of man, selfishness, passion and appetites develop in him. To satisfy his desires man wishes to become master of others, which gives birth to the state of conflicts and disputes at different levels, in social, political and economic spheres in particular. As they are inevitable –related to the two fleeting propensities, thus are the parts of life, the Gandhian way further expects their resolution by cooperation, which is the only capable and wholesome method in this regard. Moreover, cooperation moves in an atmosphere surcharged with Ahimsa, thus, emerges as the foundation of existence and development. That is why; right from the day of emergence of man on the earth, or any of the planets of the universe where human beings may, with the grace of God exist, despite various obstacles and difficulties, efforts for creating the state of cooperation and its continuous development have been made. This process will necessarily continue in all times to come.
In a long chain pertaining to efforts, made in this regard from time-to-time, in all the ages, some remained astonishing, exemplary and ideal and their significance is not diminished even today. But, among them the Gandhian way even emerges as the foremost as is evident from the short analysis we have had till now. Mahatma Gandhi adopted the method of non-cooperation perhaps for the first time in political sphere in the entire human history with the cooperation of his awakened compatriots, who were also filled with constructive approach, to ensure freedom and justice. Under its ambit Ahimsa and activities related to it were applied in their refined form. They were befitted to the prevailing situation of space and the demand of time, and as the whole world knows, actions carried out on their basis established records and created histories. Moreover, they accorded a unique dimension to the way of Ahimsa in theory and practice, both.
Those who are familiar with series of events pertaining to the Gandhian era of the national liberation movement of India in particular, know how Ahimsa-based actions carried out successfully on the Gandhian line by the front ranking leaders and Mahatma Gandhi himself at local, national-international levels proved to be the milestones in political sphere. In them people besides maintaining to a large extent the spirit of morality and ethics, which are, to repeat, the two foremost supplementary values of non-violence, especially during the course of actions, remained committed to constructiveness. The universal unity, which in the form of Indivisible Whole, emerges as the nucleus of the entire Gandhian philosophy becomes apparent in those actions. They accorded strength to all walks of life including spiritual sphere, and undoubtedly those actions became exemplary for generations to come. For, the utmost need of the hour is to review the Gandhian way, particularly having the actions carried out on its basis in the centre in current perspectives before their application in prevailing situation of space. Especially, the unique and all-welfaristic concept related to cooperation, which is the best among all available ways for the purpose, longs for this to succeed.
Moreover, the way the Gandhian philosophy divulges its commitment to purity of actions, honesty and sincerity, and simultaneously calls for connecting practices like that of prayers and meditations with routines in all circumstances and that too having the constructive approach as the nuclei and with a firm commitment to SARVA DHARMA SADBHAVA, it becomes adaptable and significant. Its relevance in all walks of life, including spiritual sphere, becomes obvious and result-oriented.