Introduction In 1975, I learned about Gandhi from Ram Bagai, President of Films of India and his daughter Rani. Educated at Stanford, he then left California to go to India after Gandhi's passing and bought up all of the Gandhi film reels he could find. Formal "News" was disseminated in India then with newsreels.
His collection was provided the some of the basis for Sir Richard Attenborough's film on Gandhi (1982).
These pillars of his philosophy are 4 Sanskrit words.
Satyagraha: clinging to truth
Brahmacharya: abstinence or freedom from worldly desires
Ahimsa: incapacity to do harm became non violence. All of these had been around since Sanskrit times, and Ahimsa was at the center of the Jain Religion.
[Jainism was born in India about the same period as Buddhism. It was established by Mahavira (c. 599 - 527 BC) in about 500 B. C. He was born near Patna in what is now Bihar state. Mahavira like Buddha belonged to the warrior caste.]
However, Gandhi added another element, Hartal, meaning to strike, as in go on strike. This welded the other 3 into a powerful political realpolitik at the heart of his campaign to politely and forcefully ask the British to "Quit India."
I was inspired. Combining the inherent optimism at the heart of Buckminister Fuller's teachings with Gandhi's teachings, the threats of nuclear war seemed less foreboding. at the peak of the Arms Race.
I visited the United Nations Association Library in Los Angeles, and read the United Nations Monthly Chronicle, October 1974, in which the current UN Secretary General wrote that Russia and the USA could simply start to re-channel their "defense budgets" into endeavors beneficial to people, and that the results and dividends would be so beneficent and clear that both would want to re-channel more monies.
A powerful idea, so I left California for Washington DC intending to bring Gandhi's teachings into decision making that would affecting all of humanity.
My first priority was to visit the office of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, since it was his deal with William Zeckendorf that paid for the land the UN is built on, and because he was Vice President. As President of the Senate, the Vice President had a Senate Office in the Dirksen Building.
His Senate staff was cordial and welcoming after I called for an appointment. His front office Secretary, Victoria, was welcoming, his Foreign Relations assistant, Alexander Gabriels III, concurred what I was suggesting, that the United Nations Secretary General needed to have a presence in the Senate, to advance that point of view of the re-channeling of so-called "defense budgets."
We talked for 2 hours. It was December and the snow was falling as I looked out the window from Nelson Rockefeller's Senate office, at the Russell Building across the street and then to the south west towards the Capitol. That was a great moment: I had explained a cause and a course of action that would do great good in the world and might lead to a cessation of that particular arms race.
Visiting with the doves would have been easier, like George Stanley McGovern and his wife Eleanor. Once, I rode a Senate elevator with Hubert Horatio Humphrey III, and never exchanged a word.
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