Chapter 6: Don’t Just Accept: Rejoice!
What is total acceptance?
The very word total acceptance has somewhere in it the shadow of non-acceptance. Total acceptance has been preached because people are living in total rejection; whatever happens to them, they are bound to find something wrong in it.
It is something very important to understand that all our so-called religious qualities are reactions. People are violent - we create a reaction, and a philosophy of teaching nonviolence comes out of it. A man who has been violent may become intellectually convinced that it is not right. He may even strive to become nonviolent, but his nonviolence will also carry the same violent attitude.
And this is not only true about ordinary people; even people like Mahatma Gandhi, who became the apostle of nonviolence, carried a deep-rooted violence all his life. I will give you few examples so that you can understand..
Mahatma Gandhi was against everything that has been developed by technology, science, and man’s intelligence, after the spinning wheel. With the spinning wheel, history stops for him. Now, nobody can see directly why this should be violent. But if man stops with the spinning wheel, almost one tenth of the population of the world will die. Certainly Gandhi is not proposing the death of one tenth of humanity, but that is the implication. And those who remain will be undernourished, hungry, starving, without enough shelter. And all this is covered with a beautiful word - “nonviolence.”
In his own life, Mahatma Gandhi was as violent a man as you can find. His eldest son, Haridas, wanted to be educated and Gandhi was against anything that has come from the West. Now this very attitude is antagonistic; it is not the attitude of a compassionate man. The compassionate man, the man of love, knows only one world. And the measure he took against Haridas was this: he said, “If you want to be educated, you will never see my face again.” Do you see any nonviolence in it?
He closed the doors to Haridas. In India, it is the tradition that when the father dies, the eldest son gives the fire to his funeral pyre. Haridas was not allowed. Gandhi had made it clear: “Either living or dead, I have nothing to do with Haridas.” And what was his crime? - just that he wanted to be educated!
Gandhi had very fanatic ideas, and fanatic ideas don’t go together with nonviolence. Everybody had to clean the toilet.and when I say clean the toilet you should not understand the Western toilet - the Indian toilet is the ugliest, the dirtiest. He forced his wife to share the cleaning of his ashram’s toilets. She could not understand it. She refused. But Gandhi said, “If you refuse, then this is not your house and I am not your husband.” This is suitable to a dictatorial, unloving, violent person, but not to a loving person.