Some time ago an attempt was made, at my instance, to form shanti dais but nothing came of it. This lesson, however, was learnt that the membership, in its very nature, of such organizations could not be large. Ordinarily, the efficient running of a large volunteer corps based on force implies the possibility of the use of force in the event of breach of discipline. In such bodies little or no stress is laid on a man's character. Physique is the chief factor. The contrary must obtain in non-violent bodies in which character or soul force must mean everything and physique must take second place. It is difficult to find many such persons. That is why non-violent corps must be small, if they are to be efficient. Such brigades may be scattered all over; there may be one each for a village or a mohalla. The members must know one another well. Each corps will select its own head. All the members will have the same status, but where everyone is doing the same work there must be one person under whose discipline all must come, or else the work will suffer. Where there are two or more brigades the leaders must consult among themselves and decide on a common line of action. In that way alone lies success.
If non-violent volunteer corps are formed on the above lines, they
can easily stop trouble. These corps will not require all the
physical training given in akhadas, but a certain part of it
will be necessary.
One thing, however, should be common to members of all such
organizations and that is implicit faith in God. He is the only
companion and doer. Without faith in Him these peace brigades will
be lifeless. By whatever name one calls God, one must realize that
one can only work through His strength. Such a man will never take
another's life. He will allow himself, if need be, to be killed and
thereby live through his victory over death.
The mind of the man in whose life the realization of this law has
become a living reality will not be bewildered in a crisis. He will
instinctively know the right way to act.
In spite, however, of what I have said above I would like to give
some rules culled from my own experience:
A volunteer may not carry any weapons.
The members of a corps must be easily recognizable.
Every volunteer must carry bandages, scissors, needle and thread, surgical
knife etc. for rendering first aid.
He should know how to carry and remove the wounded.
He should know how to put out fires, how to enter a fire area without
getting burnt, how to climb heights for rescue work and descend
safely with or without his charge.
He should be well acquainted with all the residents of his locality.
This is a service in itself.
He should recite Ramanama ceaselessly in his heart and persuade others
who believe to do likewise.
There are many who, whether from mental laziness or from having
fallen into a bad habit believe that God is and will help us
unasked. Why then is it necessary to recite His name? It is true
that if God is, He is irrespective of our belief. But realization of
God is infinitely more than mere belief. That can come only by
constant practice. This is true of all science. How much mere true
of the science of all sciences?
Man often repeats the name of God parrot-wise and expects fruit from
so doing. The true seeker must have that living faith which will not
only dispel the untruth of parrot- wise repetition from within him
but also from the hearts of others.
New Delhi, 26-4-'46