Why Does Non-violence Work? Mahatma Gandhi on Non-violence:
“Non-violence is an active force of the highest order. It is the soul-force or the power of
the Godhead within us. Imperfect man cannot grasp the whole of that Essence — he would
not be able to bear its full blaze, but even an infinitesimal fraction of it, when it becomes
active within us, can work wonders.
I am not a visionary; I claim to be a practical idealist. The religion of non-violence
is not meant for the rishis or saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non-
violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute …. The dignity of
man requires obedience to a higher law — to the strength of the spirit. Non-violence does
not require any outside or outward training. It simply requires the will not to kill even
in retaliation and the courage to face death without revenge. This is no sermon on ahimsa
but cold reason and the statement of a universal law. Given the unquenchable faith in
the law, no provocation should prove too great for the exercise of forbearance.
With satya (truth) combined with ahimsa (non-violence), you can bring the world under your feet. Satyagrah in its essence is nothing but the introduction of truth and gentleness in the political, i.e. national life …. By its very nature, non-violence cannot seize power,
nor can that be its goal. However, non-violence can do more; it can effectively control and guide power without capturing the machinery of government. That is its beauty.”