Non Violence and Will Power

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Non-violence and Willpower

Why does an individual indulge in violence? This question has great importance for one who practices non-violence. Its answer compels us to probe the unconscious. We discover there what psychologists call a repressed desire that drives one to violence. It can be controlled only by strong willpower, which is the same as a strong vrata or vow. It is for this purpose that the Anuvrata movement is going on. The unconscious harbours ego which accounts for the individual getting enjoyment out of thinking very high of himself and very low of others. Discrimination practiced on the basis of race and colour is but one manifestation of man's ego. Irrational insistence too is rooted in ego. Here in also lies the seed of the communal problem. Here it is relevant to recall one of the vows of Anuvrata:

"I will believe in human unity, will eschew any discrimination based on race, colour etc as well as untouchability."

But if we want to develop non-violence, it is not enough to be conscious merely of the present events. We should be equally conscious of the prime instincts causing the events. Thus it is necessary in the present context to work for disarmament and banning wars. But it is not enough, for it is only like fighting a fire without discovering its causes. We have to do both things-- fight the fire that is raging and, more importantly, find out the factors that have caused it. Likewise, solving the existing problem of violence and discovering the basic cause of violence are equally necessary. People working in the field of non-violence are much less concerned about the latter and this, according to us, is the biggest impediment to the growth of non-violence.

Armament, disarmament, war and banning of war--all these matters fall within the jurisdiction of various governments. The common man has nothing to do with them. And those wielding power are not likely to listen to the talk about non-violence. We have, therefore, to involve the...
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