PARAMAHANSAJI~~ EPICS SHALL SOMEDAY BE WRITTEN ON THE INDIAN SATYAGRAHIS who withstood hate with love, violence with nonviolence, who allowed themselves to be mercilessly slaughtered rather than retaliate. The result on certain historic occasions was that the armed opponents threw down their guns and fled, shamed, shaken to their depths by the sight of men who valued the life of another above their own.
from ~Paramahansa Yogananda’s Memorial Service for Mahatma Gandhi
MAHATMA GANDHI (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948)
O Gandhi* the masses well named thee Mahatma, “great soul.” By thy presence, many prisons became temples. Silenced, thy voice seemed to grow more powerful and to ring around the world. Thy message of victory through satyagraha (“holding to truth”) touched the conscience of mankind.
Through thy reliance on God, not cannons, thou didst accomplish a feat unparalleled in history: the freeing of a vast nation from foreign rule, without hatred or bloodshed.
As thou didst sink, dying to the ground–three bullets from a madman’s gun in thy frail, fast-worn body–thy hands rose effortlessly in a sweet gesture of forgiveness. Innocent artist thou wert all the days of thy life; and, at the moment of death, thou becamest a supreme artist. All the sacrifices of thy selfless life made possible that final loving gesture.
Just as the Lord employs love, not His miraculous powers, to discipline man, so didst thou disdain the ways of force and place thy faith in the silent power of righteousness.
O Simple Saint of Truth, warriors of the future shall seriously study and finally understand thy teaching: The essential enemies of man are not his brothers–children of Spirit, the One Father; but his own ego foes, born of mortal ignorance.
Nations now distracted by political selfishness, greed, deceptions, and preparations for wars shall someday listen with open hearts to thy prophetic words:
“Nonviolence has come among men and it will live. It is the harbinger of the peace of the world.”
Paramahansa Yogananda, “Whispers from Eternity”
from the Glossary
Gandhi, Mohandas K. (“Mahatma”). India’s political saint, who in 1947 won freedom for India without war. He disciplined millions of Indians in the practices of nonviolent resistance to injustice. At various times in his life, because of his political activities, Gandhi was imprisoned. He was assassinated by a Hindu madman in New Delhi on January 30, 1948.
Gandhi wrote numerous books, including his famous autobiography, The Story of My Experiments With Truth. After his death, among thousands of other tributes, one from the Vatican in Rome read: “Gandhi is mourned as an apostle of Christian virtues.” Albert Einstein said of the Mahatma: “Generations to come, it may be, may scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon the earth.”
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