Gandhi on ahimsa:

  • No man has ever been able to describe God fully. The same is true of ahimsa.
  • Ahimsa- it is the only true force in life.
  • When the practice of ahimsa becomes universal, God will reign on earth as He does in heaven.
  • In ahimsa, the bravery consists in dying, not in killing.
  • Man as animal is violent but as spirit is non-violent. The moment he awakes to the spirit within he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses towards ahimsa or rushes to his doom.
  • Where there is ahimsa there is Truth and Truth is God. How He manifests Himself I cannot say. All I know is that He is all-pervading and where He is all is well.
  • Ahimsa is an attribute of the brave. Cowardice and ahimsa do not go together any more than water and fire.
  • In ahimsa it is not the votary who acts in his own strength. Strength comes from God. Never have I attributed any independant strength to myself.
  • It is likely that what we believe to be an act of ahimsa (non-violence) is an act of himsa (violence) in the eyes of God.
  • If ahimsa does not appeal to your heart, you should discard it.
  • The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy.
  • I have known many meat eaters to be far more non-violent than vegetarians.
  • The more I practice it the clearer I see how far I am from the full expression of ahimsa in my life.
  • Ahimsa is always infallible. When therefore, it appears to have failed, the failure is due to the inaptitude of the votary.

source text: Gandhi on Non-Violence, ed. Thomas Merton, 1964.