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Scholarly Article

Dipankar Mondal

The Concept of Ahimsa in Gandhian Thought

Gandhi, ahimsa, non-violence, truthfulness, Indian philosophy

Conventional meaning of the term “Ahimsa” is the avoidance of violence or abstaining from killing or injuring living beings. The concept of ahimsa is one of the important tenets of Ancient India’s religious thought. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Gandhiji, was influenced by that religious thought. The concept of non-violence in Ancient India’s religious thought was regarded as the way of spiritual development and liberation of human beings and social reformation. But due credit should go to Gandhi, who is the first to apply it in the political field on a large scale. According to Gandhi, non-violence is an inseparable ingredient of truthfulness. The positive aspect of non-violence is love. Moreover, self-sacrifice and suffering are indispensable parts of love that comprehend such novel feelings as benevolence, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, generosity, kindness etc. Non-violence is not a shield against cowardice but it is the virtue of the brave. According to Gandhi, non-violence is the natural law of human beings. If society is followed and constituted in accordance with this law, it will be turned into a peaceful society.
About the Author
Dipankar Mondal is an Assistant Professor in the Deparrtment of Philosophy at City College, Kolkata.
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