Jakarta : Indonesia | May 06, 2011 at 11:46 PM PDT
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Bung Karno

This article was written by Mr. Anand Krishna in Bahasa Indonesia. Then, Mrs. Sylvia from Belgium translated it into English. Source:

Published in Kedaulatan Rakyat Newspaper, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Saturday April 30, 2011

By : Anand Krishna

Gandhi often said that his life was his message. And if we study his life we would find 3 main messages of his core teaching:

Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Ahimsa. Satyagraha consists of two words, ‘Satya means ‘the truth’ and ‘Agraha” means ‘request’. However, Agraha is not an ordinary request. It is 'a request by and for the truth, virtue, and justice’. It is 'a request without compromise’ because the truth does not need to compromise.

In the language of Bung Karno the Architect of the modern Indonesian Republic– it is “strong determination”. Strong determination as well as Satyagraha – emerges from a strong and unshakable conviction in something.

The slogan of Bung Karno ‘Once Independent - Independent Forever” is the manifestation of a Strong Determination – Resoluteness.

Gandhi’s Satyagraha is no other than and no different from the ‘Strong Determination’ of Sukarno. The languages are different, the expressions are different, the idioms are different but the essence is the same. The meaning is the same.

In the language of our forefathers, it is ‘Ichhaa Shakti’ Will Power: a Strong Will. Without ‘willpower’ we cannot do something extraordinary.

Bung Karno said that we can build small meaningless bridges – but we cannot build skyscrapers without determination, without willpower.

Satyagraha and strong determination derived from Swadeshi (Product) from one’s own country. It is the general meaning of swadeshi. More than that, swadeshi also means self-reliance.

In the language of Bung Karno it is self-sufficiency, or to be independent. What does it actually mean? It means to recognize one’s own potential – and to empower yourself (Self-empowerment). In the language of our ancestors it is called ‘Gyana Shakti” The Power of Knowledge, Intelligence, and Wisdom.

To know one’s self means to know one’s potential and also to empower yourself and to add to what one is lacking. So, it is not about knowing yourself passively “Oh, we are only common people anyway”. No.

To know yourself means to realize your own potential fully. Gandhi was an ordinary human being – Sukarno was also an ordinary human being. We can also reach what they have reached. Why not?

For that reason the means that Gandhi suggested and used was Ahimsa, which means Non-violence.

What has become the basis of this principle? Bung Karno explained to his son, Guntur, who was an adolescent, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’. The basis that I am You and You are Me.

Is there something that distinguishes one human being from another? We are all human beings who live on the same planet Earth, under the same sky as well. ‘One Earth, One Sky, One Humankind’

Not only the violence we committed against our fellow human beings, but also the violence we committed against all sentient beings has impacts on ourselves.

We hunt the innocent birds. They are dead – the caterpillars that become their food grow and multiply freely. And later they become a plague which attacks our fields and our bodies.

Ahimsa means Loving, Caring, and Sharing – love each other, care for each other and share with each other.
It is ‘Gotong Royong” (cooperation) in the terms of Bung Karno. Without the cooperation principles – one for all, all for one – we become petty human beings, narrow-minded, and selfish.

In the language of our ancestors, it is Kriya Shakti or The Power of Action. It means, it is not only a concept or philosophy but it is something applicable. It’s something that has to be practiced.

The three mantras, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, and Ahimsa, Strong Determination, Independence, and Cooperation are the amulets which can save our nation.

And not only can it save our nation but also other nations in the world. These three mantras are the World Savior. It is the Messiah; it is the Mahatma that is awaited by the world.

Therefore, we have to apply those mantras in our own life. Yes, to apply! These mantras are not to be uttered, repeated like a parrot. These mantras must be lived, done, practiced.

Be assured that you also can become Gandhi or Bung Karno if you have a strong determination, believe in your ability, and work together to help each other. Not only New Indonesia is in sight but also the New World. Be the connector, contributor to that new world. Be the citizen of that new world. Yes, you can! q - o. (2842-2011).

*) Anand Krishna, observer of social issues, humanist, and author of more than 140 books.

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Mahatma Gandhi
nugrohoangkasa is based in Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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