As we consider applying the principle of "nonviolence" to our own lives, we can learn from the ancient traditions of over three thousand years ago (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism). The Sanskrit concept ahimsa means "without inflicting pain/injury." This principle extends itself to all living energies, and can be applied in action as well as in thought and feeling.
Gandhi was a master of this and extended it to his non-violent resistance movement. We can learn from him how thoughts that are lacking compassion, words that are rough and laced with disparagement and/or hate, are violent, are harming ourselves and others. As we attune ourselves to our thoughts and feelings, let us bring forth more love and compassion and more robustly enact this beautiful virtue.
I never met my paternal grandfather as he died before I was born, but I found a poem he wrote in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. As indicated in the poem, my grandfather did not appear to be a pacifist, but rightfully understood Gandhi to be the "Light of India," possessing a "noble mind and purity."
The Light of India by John Cyril Brewart
"To the sons of India's soil. In memory of your great leader, Mahatma Gandhi"
No tongue could tell, nor pen could write
a tale so sad and true,
Of mortal man who lived on earth, whose
life was given for you.
Adversity and darkened days had
never changed his mind,
To solve the problems of your lives, freedom
for you to find.
Through every fleeting moment of his sacred
He tried to save his motherland
from tumult and from strife
Of fame he wanted nothing, and riches,
still less, too,
But all he did aspire to, was happiness
Through many a lonely hour and many
a lonely day,
He prayed that peace and concord be
showered down on you.
His noble mind and purity could never
His ardent love for countrymen could
never be denied.
The glorious "Light" of your country was
destined no longer to burn,
At the treacherous hand of a Traitor who
awaited his death in return,
The innocent blood of your "LEADER" would
dared to have thought of revenge.
But ye, Loyal Sons of Great India, your
duty it is to avenge.
May the courageous hearts of your country
not yield to the sword of the foe.
March on to your Glorious Victory, march on
and onward you go,