Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Invisible Force: Daily Metta

“A violent man’s activity is most visible, while it lasts. But it is always transitory… Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin are able to show the immediate effectiveness of violence… But the efforts of Buddha’s non-violent action persist and are likely to grow with age. And the more it is practiced, the more effective and inexhaustible it… read more

Independence: Daily Metta

“Your difficulty is not numerical inferiority but the feeling of helplessness that has seized you and the habit of depending on others.”  ~ Gandhi, Mahatma 7.255 Gandhi was accused of using the term swaraj for India’s “freedom” because of its very deep spiritual significance. His response was, so to speak, “guilty as charged.” He had… read more

Humility: Daily Metta

“The humility of a satyagrahi knows no bounds. He does not let slip a single opportunity for settlement, and he does not mind if any one therefore looks upon him as timid.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 265 What Gandhi is actually getting at here is the tendency to take it personally, or… read more

Regeneration of Humanity: Daily Metta

“In battling against untouchability, and in dedicating myself to that battle, I have no less an ambition than to see a full regeneration of humanity.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, p. 126 Untouchability is, or was, perhaps the most extreme example of racism and dehumanization still existing in a modern society. Gandhi knew that India could claim… read more

Action: Daily Metta

“Nonviolent action, without the cooperation of the heart and the head, cannot produce the desired result.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma 5.132 The second time (of many) that I saw Sir Richard Attenborough’s epic Gandhi it was with a peace-movement friend who turned to me after a moment or two of stunned silence when it was over… read more

Devotion: Daily Metta

“Without devotion, action and knowledge are cold and dry and may even become shackles.”  ~ Gandhi, Message of the Gita, p. 261933 The Bhagavad Gita, the “spiritual reference book” for Gandhi, and millions of others, presents and is even built on the three classic paths to self-realization: bhakti yoga, the way of devotion; karma yoga,… read more

Undue Haste: Daily Metta

“The principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody.” ~ Gandhi, Truth is God, p. 36 OK, but “undue haste?” As readers of Daily Metta we’re well aware that lying and hatred tear the fabric on ahimsa, but “undue haste” often looks,… read more

Distrust: Daily Metta

“Distrust is a sign of weakness and Satyagraha implies the banishment of all weakness and therefore of distrust, which is clearly out of place when the adversary is not to be destroyed but to be won over.”  ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 302 What a rich sentence! For now, let’s just savor the… read more

That Which is: Daily Metta

“The world rests upon a bedrock of satya or truth. Asatya or untruth also means non-existent, and satya or truth also means that which is. If untruth does not so much as exist, its victory is out of the question.  And truth being that which is can never be destroyed. This is the doctrine of… read more