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Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Oman celebrates International Day of Non-Violence

MUSCAT : The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

Embassy of India Muscat, in collaboration with Raja Yoga Centre for Self Development is celebrating the  2years finale of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and UN International Day of Non-Violence.   Various dignitaries from Oman and overseas will join this year’s virtual celebration on Monday 5th, October.   The event will be live on the Embassy website, Youtube and Facebook.     H.E. Munu Mahawar, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman will speak about the importance of the event.  Sister Jayanti, Director, Europe & Middle East- Brahma Kumaris, Author & NGO representative to UN, Geneva(London)  will deliver the key note address.   Sister Jayanti’s sees the erosion of spiritual values at the heart of the underlying cause of the crises that the world is facing today. She has worked diligently to promote positive, human, spiritual values to all sectors of society and to empower people in a practical way. Her tireless service has benefitted millions and millions in all parts of the globe and has brought smiles to the faces of countless people.

Her travels and selfless service to the society and world at large have taken her all over the world.

For over 40 years, she has been an emissary for peace.  She has a vision and experience that is truly global and deeply spiritual. She has a unique ability to impart the deepest spiritual truths with utmost clarity. Her prominent lecture themes have included health, education, racial harmony, women’s needs, religions of the world, sustainability, peace, and international relations. 

From India, B.K. Asha, Director, Om Shanti Retreat Centre of the  Brahma Kumaris, Delhi will deliver felicitation address.   Various dignitaries and youth from Oman will be joining the celebration. 

In celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Embassy of India Muscat organized various competitions amongst the youth.

Could there be anyone on earth who doesn’t want peace and joy? We all want peace and joy, at least for our own selves, don’t we? It is this exact same wish for peace and joy of all of us that connects all our hearts and minds, making us one global family. Peace is the basis for happiness in life. What use is wealth of, if we are not even able to have a night’s peaceful sleep! What is health, if my mind is in constant chaos! However, merely wishing for peace will not make it happen. Peace is created with thoughts and feelings of peace. By accumulating drops of peace bit by bit in our hearts and minds, we can create a huge reservoir of peace, over time, inside of us. This peace then becomes easily accessible in a second in times of need of self and others.

Peacelessness is now omnipresent. There’s lack of peace in every aspect of life: in body, mind, wealth and relationships. We may not be able to control the outcome of any situation, but we can choose the quality of energy we input into situations. It is hard to witness situations that cause suffering, make us feel helpless and afraid. As a caring human being, I can always give good, positive and pure energy. With good, positive and pure energy, we can provide antidote to difficult situations. When we stay calm and undisturbed by the stress and chaos that’s nowadays all around us, we can create a sense of calm which is also helpful to others. This calm can rekindle the peace in others. We can become samples of peace and inspire others to connect to their inner peace. We often forget that peace, calm, happiness, and joy are all contagious.

Some may think that peace is impossible; our minds can never become peaceful because they are too busy and are easily distracted. Some think that change can occur only through force or violence. This limited vision of ourselves and the world takes us further away from the very change we seek. Sustainable change cannot be created through force. Change is most sustainable when we collectively become of one mind and of one heart. We can choose to turn away from sorrow and suffering and focus on peace. We can join those who are creating sustainable peace inside themselves. This creates a critical mass and becomes a way of peaceful being and living, which the world seems to have forgotten now. 

A world of peace is in fact a reflection of peace within us. We have enough experiences of sorrow and peacelessness, that building peace within us may seem daunting. However, when the experience of peace grows inside us, peacelessness begins to fade away and our world becomes more and more peaceful. No effort goes unrewarded. By filling ourselves with pure and positive energy regularly and consistently, we can become free from past resentments. Slowly the experience of peace replaces the negative residue left in us.

We can cultivate the habit of peace by dedicating ourselves to create a better world for us. A simple practice of stopping and resetting the mind to peace increases peace in ourselves and the world. When we practice bringing peace into our lives, it grows inside us. In a peaceful state of mind, we are harmonious and accepting. Even in the middle of all responsibilities and duties, we can bring peace into our practical daily lives.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi is widely recognized, as one of the greatest political and spiritual leaders of 20th Century.  He inspired the world with his faith in truth, and justice for all mankind.  He transformed the minds of millions of people to fight against injustice, with peaceful means and non-violence.   He always said that “my wife is my message to the people”.  His entire life itself is a clear message to the mankind.

Gandhi highlighted the following five life changing lessons to the world: 

Change Yourself First.    He said  “Be the change you want to see the world”.  The concept of changing yourself to reflect what you want to see around you is simple in theory, but requires hard work, patience and determination to attain.    Gandhi taught this important principle in his words, but epitomized them in his actions.    Even when facing imprisonment, hunger and possible death, Gandhi remained steadfast, loving and peaceful.

Strength through Peace.    Gandhi said “there are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no cause that I am prepared to kill for”.  Gandhi was a revolutionary, a hero, and the leader of a great nation “India”.  He led his people to independence and self-rule through his extraordinary strength.      And, he did it without hurting anyone.   Such concept today seems unattainable.  Gandhi’s achievements show otherwise.   He showed that self-sacrifice and courage – not death and destruction – can produce change.    We have the capability to change the world through peaceful activism, demonstrating love, and living unselfishly.  Let us do so.

Violence is Unnecessary.    “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind”.   The only thing that Gandhi hated in his life was violence.  There are more quotes and teachings about violence from Gandhi than any other topic.  Somewhere in the world, there is a conflict going on.  Innocent lives are being lost, along with the lives of those fighting.  Gandhi taught that our cultural, religious and political differences are NO EXCUSE to hurt, or KILL ANYONE.  He once said “there are many cause that I am prepared to die for, but no cause that I am prepared to kill for”.

Pursue the Truth.   Gandhi said “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth”.  Needless to say, Gandhi was a big proponent of truthfulness.  He warned people against blindly accepting information without careful examination.  Propaganda does not make something true.  Repeating of information does not make something true.  The attainment of truth happens through careful examination, a critical eye, and an open mind.

Watch your Thoughts. “A man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes”.   Gandhi was a man of incredible self-discipline and strength of Will.  The only way he was able to achieve what he did, despite sometimes horrendous treatment, was through conscious, productive, positive thinking.

His teachings to bring about World Peace
Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world with his faith in truth and justice for all Mankind.  He was a great soul who loved even who fought against his ideals to bring about peace with non-violence.

Power is of two kinds.  One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love.  Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.  The force of power never wins against the power of love.  At this hour of greatest unrest and turmoil in the world, the greatest force to be reckoned with lies within our hearts – a force of love and tolerance for all.  He transformed the minds of millions, to fight against injustice with peaceful means and non-violence.

Mahatma Gandhi has proven that we can achieve the noble causes of liberty, justice and democracy for mankind without killing anyone, without making a child an orphan, and without making anyone homeless with the damage caused by war.

We live for our valves and passion but at the core of our existence lies our innate desire to live a peaceful life.  The greatest noble cause is to display our desire to bring about peace in this world by our own sacrifice and not that of those who oppose our views.

An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.     History can attest to the fact that most human conflicts have been as a result of a stubborn approach by some of the leaders.   No matter where we live, what religion we practice or what culture we cultivate, at the heart of everything, we are all humans.  We all have the same ambitions and aspirations to raise our family and to live life to its fullest.  Our cultural, religious and political differences should not provide the backbone to invoke conflicts that can only bring sorrow and destruction to the world.

We must become the change we want to see in the world.   A great leader always leads with an exemplary life that echoes his ideals.  Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed his thriving law practice and adopted a simple life to live among the millions who lived in poverty during his freedom struggle.  One cannot bring world peace to all unless a leader demonstrates peaceful acts of kindness daily.   Mahatma Gandhi believed that we are all children of God.  We should not discriminate amongst ourselves based on faith, caste or any other differences.

World Leaders influenced by Gandhi

Gandhi influenced a lot of people of his ideals.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was deeply enlightened by his teachings such as the “love-your-enemies philosophy”, which inspired him to fight for African-Americans’ rights without the use of weapons and violence.    Dr. King said “I became deeply  fascinated by Gandhi’s campaigns of non-violent resistance.

Nelson Mandela, known as the father of South Africa, was also deeply influenced by Gandhi’s teachings.  Mandela had called Gandhi one of his greatest influencers in his life.  Former US President Obama in September 2009 said that his biggest inspiration came from Gandhi.  His  reply was in response to the question “who was the person, dead or live, that you would choose to dine with”?   In an address to the Parliament of India in 2010, Obama said “I am mind full that I might not be standing before you today as President of the United States, had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared with America and the world.

As Gandhi always said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever”.

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