Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Mahavira, 5th Century BC

Soldier Of Non-Violence

Mahavira, 5th Century BC Photo By Alamy

Mohandas Gandhi, the Mahatma, was fond of the parable of the blind men and the elephant. One, grabbing the elephant’s tail, said that an ele­phant was like a rope. Another, holding its trunk, said it was like a snake. A third, touching one of its legs, protested that it was really like a tree. Those touching its ears or sides made still other claims. All were “right from their respective points of view”, Gandhi wrote in the mid-1920s, “and wrong from the point of view of one another, and right and wrong from the point of view of the man who knew the elephant”.

For Gandhi, the parable illustrated “the doctrine of the many-sidedness of reality”. “I used to resent the ignorance of my opponents. Today I can love them because I am gifted with the eye to see myself as others see me and vice versa.... My anekantavada is the result of the twin doctrine of satya and ahimsa,” he said.

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