Man and his deed are two distinct things. ‘Hate the sin and not the sinner’ is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world…
These words are of a man who made a deep impact on the psyche of not only India’s masses but also to the world at large. He was not only a man of words but he followed what he preached in fact he first experimented with his thoughts on himself and then only recommended others the medicine that could prove beneficial. Reason was tantamount in all his actions and with reason and a strong belief in Truth, he led India and its people towards a journey not only of freedom from foreign rule but a journey of freedom from the shackles of ignorance to the pursuit of truth and philosophy of non-violence.
This ahimsa is the basis of the search for truth. I am realizing everyday that the search is vain unless it is founded on ahimsa as the basis. It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself.
The autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’, is filled with many such observations about Gandhiji’s continuous effort towards the practice of truth and non-violence as a result of a life sketched out of experiences and experiments, about which he confessed,
After all, however my striving after Ahimsa may have been, they have still been imperfect and inadequate…In fact what I have caught is only the faintest glimmer of that mighty effulgence. But this much I can say with assurance, as a result of all my experiments, that a perfect vision of Truth can only follow a complete realization of Ahimsa.
This book tells the story of Mahatma in his own words from his birth to the beginning of his active participation in Indian freedom struggle. He gave the masses of India a potent weapon in the form of non-violence through which they could participate in the Indian freedom struggle making it a popular mass movement. His ideas focused not only on the uprising of people and their awakening towards the cause of freedom but taking an active interest in self-purification. For him, this was the way Ahimsa could truly be practiced.
Without self-purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream. Self purification therefore must mean purification in all the walks of life…Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility.