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The 6th European conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP2012), Moscow, Russia, June 26-29
      Title: Gandhi’s sarbodaya and its socio-psychological aspect
                      Bijay Gyawali
      International University of Health and welfare, Graduate School, Tokyo.Japan

Gandhi’s sarbodaya and its socio-psychological aspect

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world (Wikipedia).
Sarbodaya as discussed and used by Gandhi, which translates to the welfare of all (Boss, 1987) or uplift of all (bonddureant,1965) was the main discourse that he followed. According to him Sarbodaya is possible if three things are observed in life and they are Satya (truth), Ahimsa (nonviolence), and Tapasaya ( meditation or self suffering).

Gandhi was a positive thinker and peace builder as all his principle focus on peace and positive life. During his lifetime, Gandhi mainly focused on political and social issues but his theory contents all aspects of human life. The statements by Erikson, pioneer in the field of psychobiography, in Gandhi’s Truth, is the one of the examples how Gandhi’s philosophy influxes in peace and positive psychology. Gandhi’s Truth is the only work by a psychologist that received the Pulitzer Prize and also the national book award.

In this paper the components of Sarbodaya are briefly described and analyze the socio- psychosocial aspects of sarvodaya components as the positive aspects of life.

2. Components of Sarbodaya
The following paragraphs will describe components of Sarbodaya
2.1.Satya (truth)
Satyagraha, which can be translated to mean “Soul Force,” can be understood on at least two aspects. First, it refers to the process of developing an understanding of any situation and the points of view of all individuals who are involved with it. Its means satya is the study of truth and positivity. In trying to understand the validity of each viewpoint, Gandhi was well aware of his limitations and those of any human being trying to establish absolute truth. Given these limitations, he believed we can never be sure if we, as one side of a conflict, are correct in our position or if our adversaries, on the other side of a conflict, have truth on their side. Therefore, while Gandhi viewed the pursuit of truth as an ongoing aspect of life, which was never fully achievable in a complete sense, Satyagraha was an important orientation to maintain on an individual level.
The second interpretation for the term Satyagraha is as a positive peace building strategy on a larger societal level; here, Satyagraha is a process of civil disobedience or nonviolent resistance.

2.2. Ahimsa (non-violence)
Generally, we attribute Ahimsa-the non-violence as a dictum that prescribes non-snatching of anyone's life. Or in other simple words, it is said that not to take life of any of the living beings is non-violence. But, in reality, this is neither a true meaning of Ahimsa-the non-violence nor it is a complete derivation pertaining to the concept of it. As Ahimsa-non-violence is quite opposite to Himsa-the violence, we can say: ``Total non-violence consists in not hurting some other one's intellect, speech or action by own thought, utterance or deeds and not to deprive some one of his life." Gandhi’s ahimsa means self purification, without self-purification in all walks of life the realization of Ahimsa as an active force remains to be a dream only; and in such a situation, how can there be the guarantee of its success? But, in its active form Ahimsa travels extraordinarily, and then it becomes a miracle. And, that is why; declaring non-violence to be an active force and a life value, Mahatma Gandhi calls upon self-purification, not only in one or two walks of individual life, and not on some occasions only, but in all walks of life and continuously, so that it could be fully realized; Satya-the Truth could prevail all around and the way to unity could be visible. To quote Mahatma Gandhi himself:” Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification; without self-purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream; God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. Self-purification, therefore, must mean purification in all walks of life. And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to purification of one's surroundings."

2.3. Tapasya
In the yogic tradition, Tapasya may be translated as "essential energy", referring to a focused effort leading towards bodily purification and spiritual enlightenment. It is one of the niyamas (observances of self-control) described in the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. Tapasya implies a self-discipline or austerity willingly expended both in restraining physical urges and in actively pursuing a higher purpose in life. Through tapas, a yogi or spiritual seeker can "burn off" or prevent accumulation of negative energies, clearing a path toward spiritual evolution. Sanskrit Tapasya (neuter gender), literally "heat", refers to a personal endeavor of discipline, undertaken to achieve a goal, accompanying suffering and pain. Earliest reference of this word is to be found in the Rig-Veda, where it is used in the sense 'pain, suffering’. It is usually applied in religious and spiritual terms, but can be applied to any field or context.

3. Psychological lesson from Gandhi
Gandhi was an applied social scientist who used some very effective psychological principles to achieve his goals. His theory satyagraha is still one of the major nonviolent weapons to solve social psychological conflicts.

3.1 Satya and socio-psychology relationship
The word truth ordinarily connotes not to tell lies. But for Gandhi it implied much more. Even hiding the truth from someone was deemed as untruth by him. He considered that the narrow implication of the term had belied its magnitude. Defining Truth he writes, “The root of ‘Satya’ [truth] lies in ‘Sat’. Sat means the ‘Being’ and Satya―the feeling of the Being. Everything is perishable except ‘Sat’. Therefore, the true name of God is ‘Sat’, thereby implying ‘Satya [Truth] so, instead of saying ‘God is Truth’, it is better to say ‘Truth is God’. A question may now arise whether the realization of Truth and the realization of self were one and the same for him or the two entities. We get the answer from Maharishi Raman, “What is Satya except Self? Satya is that which is made of Sat. Again Sat is nothing but Self. So Gandhi’s Satya is only the Self.” It is now clear, what Gandhi meant by Truth was in fact the realization of Self. He writes, “ What I meant to achieve what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Moksha [salvation].”The search of truth is the major step in human socio-psychological confliction solution. Gandhi’s theory of satya has some major steps, which he used in his periods but still very effective in this century. Some of the major steps are listed below,
i) Selection of clear cause (social, spiritual, mental and psychological conflicts)
ii) Mobilization of cause
iii) Organization of cause
iv) Training to reorganization of truth

3.2 Ahimsa and socio psychological relationship
Ahimsa or non-violence meaning patience fortitude, endurance and waiting, is a heroic but rare attribute. This quality made Gandhi the greatest Satyagrahi of his time. This quality may even be diminishing because of the decline in religious belief, search for fast track 'technological' remedies to the political, social and personal problems, solutions to which are inherently slow; unwillingness to persist in courses that have not met with success; a mental confusion that associates slow pace with inefficiency and seeks short-term and not lasting goals. These tendencies aggravate the difficulties of applying nonviolent methods for solving present day human problems. The answer lies partly in developing social discipline based on self-discipline. It takes longer to produce a Satyagrahi than a soldier. But mere social discipline too would not raise a modern community to a level where it can persist in nonviolent courses in the face of long frustration and provocation to violence. There are some major steps which is found in Gandhi’s satyagraha which connect ahimsa to socio-psychology. They are,
i) Communication skill
ii) Negotiation skill
iii) Technique of direct action with non violent action
iv) Technique of constructive action

4.Tapasya and socio psychological aspects
Tapasaya is the technique of purification. It has close relationship with socio-psychology. Gandhi wanted India to be worthy of independence, literally `his own nation` a term that can also mean self-control. Self control is only possible by tapasaya . Some important mode of tapasya used by Gandhi during satyagraha are,
i) Silence
ii) Strike ( hartal)
iii) Public prayer
iv) Vows and commitment

5. Conclusion
'Mahatma' (great soul) Gandhi is respected in India as the father of the nation. His doctrine of non-violent protest to achieve political and social progress has still been influential and applicable. Gandhi has much to teach us. His ideas were the response to his time and have been continuing to inspire even today. His life and his philosophy had inspired the great leaders like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi and others who are the source of inspiration for us today.

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