Gandhi's Principles of Satyagraha 1. Love your enemy (As long as your love for truth and morality is stronger) Love would be a great way of naturally implementing the techniques of satyagraha 2. Always be truthful The truth should be one of your strongest weapons. So if people find out you have not been truthful, your satyagraha is lost. 3. Never use violence Unnecessary harm to the opponent are completely inappropriate. We have the moral high ground, if we commit violence. They Win!4. Try to win your enemy over to your sideAct virtuously at All times , so as to make your opponent sympathetic to your efforts. 5. Don't be angry; suffer the anger of your opponent

Anger leads to the desire to hurt your opponent, which is against the goals of winning hearts. Showing the strength of your commitment builds sympathy from the spectators, and weakens your opponent's heart.

6. Wean your opponents from error with patience and sympathy You should act with loving kindness at all time. 7. Establish the truth, not by infliction of suffering on your opponent, but by your own suffering. Making your opponent suffer causes destruction, not awareness of the truth. Your own suffering signals your commitment to what you think is right, and it makes people think about what is right. 8. It appears to work slowly. In reality, there is no force in the world that is so direct or so swift in working.


Zenzoe 8 years 3 weeks ago

The following is taken from my message board post, which I posted at the same time others posted on the same subject, so it didn't get much notice. I thought you might know enough to respond:

I am not advocating violence, but it might serve the conversation to point out that nobody has the absolute answer on the use of violence, or even on what constitutes violence. We also need to recognize that not all violence is wrong: Self-defense can be a rational choice, for example, a woman being raped or beaten is justified in defending herself violently.

Gandhi himself stated that the destruction of property is not necessarily violence. He also wrote, "Where the choice is between only violence and cowardice, I would advise violence." Also, "To take the name of non-violence when there is a sword in your heart is not only hypocritical and dishonest but cowardly." Also this: "Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defense or for the defense of the defenseless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission." Also more: "...he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by nonviolently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden...He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live forever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully."

The question becomes whether "violence" in the context of the OWS movement might just be a matter of self-defense. Given the juggernaut that the 1% represents, a juggernaut on a path toward the destruction of the planet itself, what is the correct response? Derrick Jensen answers these questions with an analogy: Is Derrick Jensen's attitude about the non-violent approach wrong? We are being, in essence, raped and beaten—perhaps the only rational response must include a self-defensive, fighting response? Just wondering...

Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321 5 years 11 weeks ago

From the Gandhi Archives: [we just missed the 100-year anniversary of this]


During the last campaign, the very highest limit was reached. I have had simply no time to write of the experience. I had meant to share it with the readers of Indian Opinion. They will remember that the last struggle was, as it were, the third chapter in the story of satyagraha.

When the first chapter came to a close, we, at any rate I, had thought that it was definitely the last. When the time came for the second chapter to open, many friends said to me: “Now who will fight? The community cannot be expected to put forth so much strength every time.” I laughed when I heard this. My faith in truth was unshakable and I replied, “The people, having tasted once the joy of struggle, will fight now with even greater zeal.” And that was precisely what happened.

On the first occasion, a hundred or two hundred Indians went to gaol. The second time, not only did hundreds court imprisonment, but the whole of Natal woke up and leaders came from there to join the struggle. The fight dragged on, but the morale never went down and we advanced. When it came to launching the last fight, I heard only talk of defeat. “Every time the Government deceives you,” they said, “and you allow yourself to be imposed upon and the people’s interests suffer. This will never do.”

I had to listen to bitter words like these. I knew only too well that neither I nor anyone else had any remedy against the Government’s foul play.

If, after we have accepted a promissory note, the signatory refuses to honour it or confesses his inability to do so, how are we to blame?

To me it was clear that, if the Government broke its promise, though we would have to put in greater efforts, it would have to yield all the more. The longer the time taken to repay a debt, the heavier the burden becomes.

This unalterable law applies to both material and moral obligations.

My reply at that time was, “Satyagraha is a kind of struggle in which there can be no defeat and no cause for regret. A man can only become stronger through the struggle. He suffers no exhaustion and at every stage he gains fresh strength.

If truth be on our side, the Indian community will work harder this time and earn an even more glorious name.” When I made this reply, I never dreamt that 20,000 poor Indians would arise and make their own and their country’s name immortal. General Botha observed in the course of a speech that the whites had not been able to start and conduct the kind of strike that the Indians had done this time.

This fight was joined by women and by many young boys of sixteen, so that the campaign became much more of a moral struggle. South African Indians became the talk of the world. In India, rich and poor, young and old, men and women, kings and labourers, Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Christians, citizens of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Lahore—all were roused, became familiar with our history and came to our assistance.

The Government was taken aback. The Viceroy, gauging the mood of the people, took their side. All this is public knowledge. I am stating these facts here in order to show the importance of this struggle...

*********bold is my emphasis********it goes on in lengthy detail. Read the rest at his archives.

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