This volume brings together articles that have been published elsewhere before. Chapter one explores Satyagraha as the journeying towards authenticity; the next that Satya is the truth of existence, as it acquires an existential dimension in our struggle to be human. These ideas lead to the understanding that as an interpersonal process, satyagraha is the appeal of humanity visible in some to the humanity latent in all. The satyagrahi sees satya present in all, and hence respects all. The quest for authentic humanity is unthinkable without ahimsa, non-violence. Ahimsa demands self-purification, discipline and a spirit of service.
Chapter three deals with Gandhi’s discomfort with the disparity within our society: to him, discrimination and injustice were a denial of satya. Hence, any programme for social development must aim at sarvodaya, the upliftment of all. The next chapter focuses upon the importance of Kshama, forgiveness, through a practical lens: development requires an atmosphere of peace; religion has become a major source of violence; Gandhi advocates samabhava, treating all religions as equal. There are bound to be some tensions and violence in a pluralistic society; only kshama can heal these wounds.
Gandhi is indeed a postmodern thinker, challenging religions, making clear his doubts about scriptures, questioning the claims we make about God, rejecting the pretentions underlying the primacy given to foundational events and meta-narratives, and advocating freedom. Yet, he is very ancient: the wisdom he offers us is as old as humanity; it is humanity itself. In one sense, it is only mānava-dharma, the religion of humanity, that can save the human family and the whole of creation.
- Title: Postmodern Sage Premodern Wisdom
- Author: Subhash Anand
- Publisher: Media House, Delhi
- Pages: 314
- Price: Rs 450