First Satyagraha Tour of South Africa
Led by Arun Gandhi, Embarks This Week

News Announcement Originally Posted at Gandhi Legacy Tour  

(PRLEAP.COM) Dana Point, CA May 25, 2014: The inaugural Satyagraha Tour of South Africa enjoys organic synchronicity of critical historical dates of both Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.  Highlights include following the path of Gandhi’s travels, initially arriving in Durban, and ultimately departing from Cape Town for his return to India to begin the next phase of his legacy:

 Gandhi first arrived in South Africa as a fledgling lawyer in May 1893.

Our arrival to Gandhi’s first ashram, the Phoenix Settlement, occurs on the 97th anniversary of Gandhi’s family move there.

We will board the sleeper train on the 121st anniversary of Gandhi’s removal from that train, which changed the course of history.

We visit Robben Island, the prison that held Mandela for 18 years, on the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s life sentence for sabotage against the Apartheid government of South Africa.

We depart Cape Town on the eve of Gandhi’s 100th anniversary of his very own departure from Cape Town back to India.

Also scheduled are special meetings with historic figures that played a significant role in the fight for freedom during Apartheid, like Ahmed Kathrada and Ela Gandhi, Gandhi’s granddaughter who spent years under house arrest for her South African activism.

In an era of increasing awareness of world issues and global humanitarian needs, there has been a recent surge in philanthropic travel, using travel as a means to give back. “There’s something in all of us that hungers after the good and true, and when we glimpse it in people, we applaud them for it. Through them we let the world’s pain into our hearts, and we find compassion. When things go wrong or have been terribly wrong for some time, their inspiration reminds us of the tenderness for life that we can all feel.”Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As a part of the first Satyagraha Legacy Tour of South Africa, there are several projects we visit that are aligned to Gandhi’s principals and are geared toward giving back, including: [Read more…]

Engaging the Conversation!

Salaam alaikum!  Good Morning friends!

Is Gandhi Thriving More in India or America?

Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid host of Radio Islam engages Dr. Arun Gandhi in a conversation this week:  Malik welcomes Arun noting that he is a true friend of humanity.  In this intimate interview Malik and Arun cover a wide range of topics from India and South African politics, MK Gandhi’s politics, and who is responsible for bringing about Gandhian social, economic and political change today in India.  

Malik asks Arun about the Gandhi Legacy Tours, why they were started, and the upcoming inaugural Satyagraha Tour of South Africa he will be personally leading this May.  Arun stated that the new educational tour through South Africa, will lead us to better understand the philosophy of nonviolence and its application within the violent 21st century: “If this world is to be saved from self-destruction, nonviolence is inevitable.”  Arun not only personally leads the travel groups every year but also participates in dialogues and discussions throughout the tour.  He noted, As President Nelson Mandela famously said: India sent a man to South Africa and we sent back a Mahatma.”

The conversation segues into Nelson Mandela’s legacy, democracy, and they acknowledge how Americans gets stereotyped by foreigners.  Arun talks about his father Manilal Gandhi’s struggle in South Africa and how the US, India and South Africa can learn from each other.  Arun shares a beautiful leela about his grandmother Kasturba and The Forgotten Woman” a book he and his late wife Sunanda co-authored about her untold story. 

Malik continues raising questions like Is Gandhi Thriving More in India or America? What is non-violence? How can non violence be used in social economic issues?  To find out more listen in…

Don’t miss the Gandhi South Africa Tour with Arun Gandhi, sign-up deadline approaching!

Related Post:  Arun Gandhi Joins Council for Parliament of World Religions

Gandhi and King: Becoming the Dream

Gandhi and King become the Dream

Gandhi and King: Becoming the Dream

from “In My Waking Dream” by Amy Hindman

Lyric Sheet Below

[Read more…]

What of Gandhi, Christ and Christianity?

In the 35 years of his career as a diplomat Pascal Alan Nazareth had numerous opportunities to witness and watch from close quarters varied people, governments and cultures, societies of all hues, religion, race and ethnicity.  This exposure helped him realize that the only way to promote peace and harmony in today’s highly polarized world, is by reviving and promoting Gandhian ideals of truth and non-violence.

Pascal Alan Nazareth

Pascal Alan Nazareth

Having realized that Gandhi is much more relevant these days Alan Nazareth founded the Sarvodaya International Trust in 1995, trying his best to promote and propagate Gandhian ideals and the need to follow Gandhi in letter and spirit in a form and manner to suit the contemporary age.  Florine Roche, DaijiWorld

Gandhi, Christ and Christianity

By Pascal Alan Nazareth

Gandhi’s fundamental contribution in the field of religion was to give primacy to Truth and rationality rather than conformity to traditional practices. In fact he made Truth the basis of all morality by declaring: “I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality”.

[Read more…]

Sense or Nonsense?

Sense or Nonsense?

By Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi spinning cloth at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, India — at Ahmedabad.I have a little patch of garden in the front of my condo. In 2007, after the death of my wife and my busy travel schedules made it difficult to tend the garden and nurture it regularly. So, I let it grow wild (or, naturally, some might say!)

After much criticism from friends I decided to weed the patch and buy some flowering plants to make the entrance to my home more attractive. It was while I was wearing the gardening gloves that the thought came to me: Who am I to decide what should live and what should not?

After all I am a firm believer that everything that is born on this earth has a purpose. Sometimes we know what our purpose in the enlarged scheme of life is and sometimes we don’t. But ignorance does not make us dispensable. Is it right for me to pull out a plant because I think it is ugly? Yet, when you look at weeds dispassionately you will find beauty in them too, just as there is beauty in people we consider ugly.

While in this reflective mood in my little bitty garden I asked myself: Isn’t what I have come out to do to vegetation what Hitler tried to do with human beings? If it was, and there is no doubt in my mind that it was, wrong for Hitler to weed out what he considered his garden is it right for me to weed out mine?

People may not see the correlation between the two –- after all how can we compare vegetation with human beings. Yet, both are living organisms only one has a voice and the other has none. However, the mindset of sitting in judgement over who should live and who should die is the same.

So I let my garden grow on its own and admire everything that grows from dandelions to exotic flowers. They all have beauty and serve a need, whatever that may be. People still look askance at me and my garden and I say to them: I am not going to be a Hitler and decide what is good and what is bad, what should live and what should die. Whoever it is that makes things grow knows why and what is its purpose. I don’t. Not yet.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Favorite Raga

“Enjoy one of my grandfather’s favorite Raga’s ” – Arun Gandhi

Ustad Bismillah Khan “raghu pati raghav raja ram..shenai”

Mahatma Gandhi’s Favorite Raga

“Lessons Learned from my Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World” Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi Pacific University Oregon in Forest Grove.   

 

Arun Gandhi – “Lessons Learned from my Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World” from Berglund Center on Vimeo.

 

Arun Gandhi inspires crowded gym at Pacific University with stories, lessons, and hugs 

By Deborah Bloom, The Oregonian 

 

Join Us On The Gandhi Legacy Tour!

www.gandhitour.info

“The Gandhi Legacy Tour, led by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, and great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, for the past several years is unusual in that it does not focus on places of tourist interest but places of human interest. It is designed to educate …

” … in the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and how individuals can apply it to bring about socio-economic change. The tour visits rural India and urban slums to see and compare projects helping to make the change we wish to see in the world. Gandhi believed in creating a “Sarvodaya” society — a society where everyone would enjoy a reasonably good standard of living with attendant rights and privileges.

“This can be created by compassionate citizens constructively helping the less fortunate gain the ability to make it good. His final Talisman to the citizens of the world was: Whenever you are in doubt or when the Self becomes too much apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to the person. Will the person gain anything by it? Will it restore control over her/his life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj “Independence of self” for the hungry and the spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your Self melt away!

“Join the tour and … 

Become the Change You Wish to See in The World![Read more…]

Remembering Gandhi’s Second Son: Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Gandhi 1952

Manilal Gandhi 1952

 

Today was the birthday of Manilal Gandhi, Arun Gandhi’s late father and the second son of M.K. Gandhi.  Here is a brief look at Manilal’s own life and legacy drawn from a few select sources:

Listen to a 1954 interview w/ Manilal Gandhi 

Manilal Mohandas Gandhi (28 October 1892 – 4 April 1956) was the second of four sons of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi. Manilal was born in Rajkot, India. In 1897 Manilal traveled to South Africa for the first time, where he spent time working at the Phoenix Ashram near Durban. After a brief visit to India, in 1917 Manilal returned to South Africa to assist in printing the Indian Opinion a Gujarati-English weekly publication, at Phoenix, Durban. By 1918, Manilal was doing most of the work for the press and took over in 1920 as editor. Like his father, Manilal was also sent to jail several times by the British colonial government after protesting against unjust laws. He remained editor until 1956, the year of his death.

[Read more…]

Gandhi Day: Gandhi’s Poignant Legacy

Gandhi Birthday Flowers

Children offer flowers to Mahatma Gandhi statue on His birth anniversary in Shimla India

 

On the 143rd birth anniversary of my grandfather I am reminded of a poignant statement he made to a journalist who asked: What do you think will happen with your philosophy after you die? With sadness in his voice he said: “The people will follow me in life, worship me in death but not make my cause their cause.” How right he was!

We have either rejected the philosophy of nonviolence as impractical or we have reduced it to a weapon of convenience and misused it. The philosophy is about personal transformation changing greed, anger, frustration and other negative attitudes into love, respect, compassion, understanding and acceptance. We have the capacity to act either way but we chose to suppress the positive and display the negative in order to project ourselves as powerful. What we forget is that the greatest power in the world is LOVE. It is also the basis of all civilization. We are materially wealthy, but morally bankrupt. Can we Become the Change We Wish To See In The World?

Arun M. Gandhi
www.gandhiforchildren.org – Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
www.gandhitour.info – Gandhi Legacy Tour
www.arungandhi.net – Arun M. Gandhi

 

Happy Birthday, Bapu!

 Original Post Source by Arun Gandhi:  Gandhi Day Message

 Bapu and Kasturba

Artist Gary Manson from Gatlinburg, Tennessee

 

Gandhi Day Message

Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 

One hundred and forty-five years ago Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in an innocuous town in Western India and no one imagined he would become an Apostle of peace, love and humanity.  He was killed 66 years ago leaving the world a legacy of goodness, compassion and the way to achieve true civilization. 

Instead the world decided to go in the opposite direction, the direction of materialism and militarism, both antithetical to the concept of civilization.  The result is in 1914 the world was embroiled in the first World War which devastated scores of millions of lives.  Now, coincidentally, in 2014 we are tottering on the brink of World War III? 

Materialism and militarism, the twin evils, have led humanity to a life of crime, violence and wars causing the deaths of more than 300 million people in one century.  Yet, we refuse to learn anything from the dehumanizing and devastating way of life and behave as though we are trapped in a downward spiral and can do nothing about it

After a lecture on Nonviolence In The 21st Century a 17 year old high school student asked me: What do you think your grandfather would have done if he was alive today?  It is a difficult question to speculate on  but I do know grandfather had an immense store of compassion and confidence in the goodness of human beings.  If he was alive today he would have started all over again working to change humanity.  He firmly believed that a society will change only when people change.  Which is why he repeatedly reminded us: WE MUST BECOME THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD! 

The philosophy of nonviolence that he left as a legacy is not, I repeat NOT, simply a peaceful way of resolving conflicts.  If understood in depth, it is a means of personal transformation.  So, to paraphrase President John F. Kennedy:  Ask not what the world can do for you, ask what you can do for your world!   

 

 

Gandhi Center for Learning, Kohlapur, India

www.gandhiforchildren.org

“If you want to be inspired, see how these beautiful children of India are rising above poverty toward lives of health, joy and contributions to society. Arun Gandhi and his foundation are supporting the building of a school for some amazing kids in Kolhapur, India. If it were not for the efforts of teachers and organizers steeped in Gandhian principles they could easily have falllen victim to endemic hunger, child slavery and child labor. Our thanks to Arun Gandhi, Anuradha Bhosale, Scott Kafora and many others for continuing the compassionate healing work of Mohandas Gandhi.” – Kell Kearns and Cynthia Lukas, Globalized Soul

Mother Teresa Honoring Bapu

Mother Terasa honoring Bapu

Gandhi’s Grandson Shares Lessons for Nonviolent Life

Arun Gandhi Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

How would your parents or caregivers had responded if you had, on multiple occasions, disruptively, and for no good reason, burst into a room where they were either working, or conducting important meetings?

For many, the resounding answer would be punishment, or at least a stern talking to. Arun Gandhi recalled during an assembly Tuesday morning at Hatboro-Horsham High School, that his grandfather, Mohandas Gandhi, did neither.

Instead, the late leader of India, whose penchant for righting social and political injustices through peaceful and non-violent actions, paused from his “high-level political discussions” – which in the mid-1940s were aiming to tackle weighty issues including the independence of his country and the emancipation of women – and simply placed his hand over his grandson’s mouth. With the then 12-year-old Arun Gandhi quieted, the elder Gandhi continued talking.   [Read more…]

Nonviolence in Palestine

Nonviolence in Palestine
By Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi - Yasser ArafatNo one would dare go to a battlefield without proper training, equipment and plan of action. Yet, when it comes to nonviolent action it is widely presumed that anyone can simply walk into a struggle without any training, equipment or plan of action. It is also assumed that so long as one does not wield a gun, or resort to physical fighting that one is nonviolent. Nothing is further from the truth.

Most people around the world, including many in Palestine, feel that Gandhi succeeded in India because the British were kind and compassionate, implying that against Hitler or Israel he would have been killed even before he started his campaign. This could, perhaps, be true but only in situations of crisis management. Unfortunately, in the culture of violence we only take note of a situation when it becomes a crisis and urgent action becomes necessary. The power of nonviolence as practiced by Gandhi lies in its capacity to function both proactively and reactively. Gandhi would have done against Hitler what he did against the British – first build a relationship based on respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation – making it difficult for the opponent to take ruthless action.

Because nonviolence is practiced without proper understanding administrations all around the world, determined to preserve the culture of violence, have decided to take ruthless action to quash a movement. When Gandhi said: “No one can oppress us more than we oppress ourselves” he was talking about the fear that inhibits us from taking bold and sensible
action. [Read more…]

Palestine and Nonviolence by Arun Gandhi

                                                  Palestine and Nonviolence

                                                            By Arun Gandhigandhi-21-e1306570250124-300x300

Since it is important that we look at nonviolence from all the different perspectives this paper may appear to be dealing with issues that are not directly relevant to the question of Palestinian peace. For this I apologize at the outset with a humble request to give me a little latitude so that I can tie up all the seemingly different issues in a cogent manner. When my grandfather Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (better known as Mahatma Gandhi) proposed nonviolence as the method for India’s struggle for independence from British dominance, it was not only for moral reasons. It was also for practical reasons. In 1857 India witnessed a violent revolution that swept over much of northern India but was quickly crushed by the superior weapons and training of the British army. The status of Indians had not changed since then and Gandhi realized that Indians still had virtually no military training and absolutely no means to acquire new and sophisticated weapons to match the power of the British. Thus, a violent revolution was considered suicidal. Besides, violence not only demands the sacrifice of human life but, in the long run, violence destroys human values and human dignity. Even where violence may appear to have resolved a conflict the solution usually is either temporary or exacts a very heavy cost. Often violence creates more problems than it solves. [Read more…]

Terrorism and Nonviolence

Terrorism and Nonviolence 

By Arun Gandhi

MK Gandhi SpinningUnderstandably, after the tragedy in New York and Washington DC on September 11 many have written or called the office to find out what would be an appropriate nonviolent response to such an unbelievably inhuman act of violence.

First, we must understand that nonviolence is not a strategy that we can use in times of peace and discard in a moment of crisis. Nonviolence is about personal attitudes, about becoming the change we wish to see in the world.
Because, a nation’s collective attitude is based on the attitude of the individual. Nonviolence is about building positive relationships with all human beings – relationships that are based on love, compassion, respect, understanding and appreciation.

Nonviolence is also about not judging people as we perceive them to be – that is, a murderer is not born a murderer; a terrorist is not born a terrorist. People become murderers, robbers and terrorists because of circumstances and experiences in life. Killing or confining murders, robbers, terrorists, or the like is not going to rid this world of them. For every one we kill or confine we create another hundred to take their place. What we need to do is dispassionately analyze both the circumstances that create such monsters and how we can help eliminate those circumstances. Focusing our efforts on the monsters, rather than what creates the monsters, will not solve the problems of violence. Justice should mean reformation and not revenge.

[Read more…]