“I can say with confidence that if the world is to have peace, nonviolence is the means to that end and no other.”
–Gandhi (Harijan, July 20, 1947)
According to his grandson, Arun, Gandhi enjoyed telling the following story about peace:
Once there was a great king and he wanted with all of his heart to know the meaning of peace. He called people from his kingdom from all walks of life, but no one could satisfy him with their explanation. One day, a man from another kingdom came to the king and told him that if he wanted to know what peace was, he would have to ask a very old sage who was no longer able to travel long distances, so the king would need to leave his kingdom and visit the sage in his own home. The king agreed and off he went on his journey. When he met the old sage, the king asked him to please, finally, give him the meaning of peace. The sage put something into the king’s hand. It was a grain of wheat. He took the grain back to his kingdom and put it in a box. He then called upon the man who told him to visit this sage in the first place. “He gave me a grain of wheat. Now I need you to tell me what this has to do with the meaning of peace?” The visiting king replied, “Peace is like this grain of wheat. If you plant wheat, one day you will have a great field of it. If you keep it in a box, for yourself, it benefits no one. If you keep your peace locked up in yourself, it does not fulfill its purpose, it does no good, for you or for others. But when you nurture it, it grows and spreads, nourishing all who come by it.”
Experiment in Nonviolence:
Share a moment of peace with someone today, and let it grow a hundredfold. Or, share this story with a child in your life.
Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.