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Old 09-03-2008, 09:02 PM   #1
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Gandhi, Mohandas K.: Satyagraha in South Africa, v.1, 3 Sept 2008

Gandhi coined the word Satyagraha from the Sanskrit words Satya (truth) and agraha (firmness or great enthusiasm and interest).
"Its root meaning is holding onto truth, hence truth-force. I have also called it love-force or soul-force. In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself."
Gandhi formulated this form of active resistence to injustice (he disliked the phrases civil disobedience and passive resistence) as he began his active life in the service of others in South Africa where from 1893 to 1914 he worked to eliminate discrimination against Indians living there. The ideas he developed and actions he took there became the basis for his later work in India which continued until his death in 1948.
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