Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Diversity of Tactics: Daily Metta

“I would use the most deadly weapons, if I believed that they would destroy it [the British Raj]. I refrain only because the use of such weapons would only perpetuate the system though it may destroy its present administrators.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, 17-3-1927, p. 85 It would be hard to think of a more… read more

Pure Heart: Daily Metta

“As a Satyagrahi I hold to the faith that all activity pursued with a pure heart is bound to bear fruit, whether or not such fruit is visible to us.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 168 As followers of the Metta Center will immediately recognize, Gandhi is pointing here to the principle we… read more

Universal Spiritual Humanism: Vedanta Society

“Universal Spiritual Humanism: A Necessary Paradigm for Our Times” Michael Nagler will be the keynote speaker at this special Memorial Day program at Vedanta Retreat in Olema, CA (West Marin County). Vedanta is the oldest of the major living religions of the world. It affirms that all religions lead to the same Truth—“Truth is one;… read more

Compromise: Daily Metta

“Human life is a series of compromises, and it is not always easy to achieve in practice what one has found to be true in theory.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 39 The ability to compromise was one of Gandhi’s remarkable, if not baffling, characteristics.  While it often alarmed his friends, in most… read more

Sacrifice Trap: Daily Metta

“Western civilization may or may not be good, but Westerners wish to stick to it… They have shed rivers of blood for its sake… It is therefore too late for them now to chalk out a new path for themselves.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 84. If it seemed “too late” in this… read more

Person-Oriented Society: Daily Metta

“I am clear that whilst this machine age aims at converting men into machines, I am aiming at reinstating man-turned-machine to his original estate.” ~ Gandhi, CWMG, 62:145 As Martin Luther King said, “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ civilization to a ‘person-oriented’ civilization.” Not only is dehumanization the main cause and… read more

Tolerance & Study: Daily Metta

“Mutual tolerance is a necessity for all time and for all races.” ~ Gandhi,  Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 401 There could hardly be a more needed message for our day. But Gandhi will go beyond mere “tolerance” and argue that every child must be given a “reverential study” of all the world’s major faiths.… read more

A Higher Court: Daily Metta

“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.” ~ Gandhi, Quotes of Gandhi, UBS Publishers, New Delhi, (1995) p. 34 When it works to redress a wrong—one of the best-known applications of nonviolence—it awakens the conscience of the wrongdoer or the “reference… read more

Untouchability: Daily Metta

The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa. ~ Gandhi, Mahatma 4:239 Gandhi, like Jesus and Buddha before him, felt that animal sacrifice and the human pattern it encoded, scapegoating, was the most violent and dangerous social institution. Do we not call the destruction of the Jews in Europe the “Holocaust”… read more

Superiority/Inferiority: Daily Metta

“The varna system implies the obliteration of all distinctions of high and low.” ~ Gandhi, Ashram Observances in Action (1955), p. 50 Varna, literally “color,” means essentially “caste.” It often comes as a surprise that Gandhi did not favor eliminating the caste system, but rather purging it of its connotations of superiority/inferiority. This because he… read more