THE BLOG
10/02/2009 03:42 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

5 Simple Ways To Celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's Birthday On October 2nd

1) Listen to Yesudas's beautiful rendition of the song "Ahimsa."

2) Visit (online at least) the Gandhi gallery of the Sacred World Foundation.

3) Watch the 2006 Bollywood hit Lage Raho Munnabhai.

4) Make a list of truly Gandhian things one could do instead if one could afford the $25,000 Mont Blanc Gandhi pen!

5) Read the book Gandhi:A Very Short Introduction by Bhikhu Parekh for a rewarding appreciation of Gandhi's unique and unsurpassed spiritual, political and social thought.
And share the following summary of Gandhi's critique of violence from this book. It is simply staggering.

In Gandhi's view modern civilization rested on and was sustained by massive violence. It involved violence against oneself for, in a society of ambitious, competitive, and mutually fearful persons, no one could flourish or even survive without developing a regimented and aggressive psyche. It also involved violence against other persons at both the personal and collective levels. Since individuals felt threatened by others and desperately sought to keep them at a manageable distance, they relied on the use of verbal, emotional, moral and even physical violence, ultimately backed up by the concentrated violence of the state. Relations between organized groups, classes, and states were even more tense and aggressive and scarred by open or cold wars. Modern civilization also involved an egregious amount of violence against nature. The latter's resources were ruthlessly exploited and its rhythm and balance disturbed, and the animals were freely killed or tortured for food, sport, fancy clothes, and medical experiments. In Gandhi's view violence 'oozed from every pore' of modern society, and had so much become a way of life that human beings today were in danger of losing the capacity to notice its pervasive presence, let alone find ways of dealing with it.