Moving Towards South Asian Confederation

Sri Aurobindo's Ideograph


Apropos Non-Violence

I believe Gandhi does not know what actually happens to the manís nature when he takes to non-violence. He thinks that men get purified by it. But when men suffer, or subject themselves to voluntary suffering, what happens is that their vital being gets strengthened. These movements affect the vital being only and not any other part. Now, when you cannot oppose the force that oppresses, you say that you will suffer. That suffering is vital and it gives strength. When the man who has thus suffered gets power he becomes a worse oppressor. That is what I have written in the Essays on the Gita that when a nation gets freedom by the suffering of its leaders and other men, it oppresses other nations in its turn. It is almost always the case with those who suppress their vital being. It allows the pressure on itself, gets strong and then finds vent in some other direction. The same thing happened to the Puritans in England. Cromwell and his men came to power and became the worst oppressors. In Christianity the principle of non-violence is there but it is meant to be practiced for religious and spiritual development. It may be partial but it can certainly develop certain types of spiritual temperaments. What one can do is to transform the spirit of violence....Purification can come by the transformation of the impulse of violence....

Sri Aurobindo, Recorded by A.B.Purani in Evening Talks, July 23rd, 1923

Date of Update: 26-May-16