TREMONT — The grandson of famed Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi will visit Mount Desert Island later this month to offer teachings and a two-day retreat focusing on the spiritual basis of his grandfather’s political actions.
Rajmohan Gandhi, Ph.D., will be exploring “satyagraha,” his grandfather’s term for the Indian resistance that he led in the early 1900s.
The elder Gandhi said that his active, nonviolent resistance movement was fueled by force born of truth and love.
Dr. Gandhi is the author of “Gandhi: The Man, His People and the Empire,” which is considered by some to be the definitive biography of his grandfather. He is a former member of the Indian Parliament and led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in the 1990s. He currently teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Gandhi is being hosted by the Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation. The group has hosted several “interspiritual” retreats this summer, with such guests as Tibetan Buddhist Lama John Makransky, Roman Catholic Friar Alberto Ambrosio, Episcopalian Priest Cynthia Bourgeault and Rabbi Rami Shapiro. The retreats with leaders from the world’s leading religious traditions are focused on a common meeting ground: the core practice of unconditional love and compassion.
Mahatma Gandhi’s practice of satyagraha was the basis for his non-violent resistance movement, which led to Indian independence from British colonial rule. The practice has since been followed by such leaders as Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and Desmond Tutu, among others.
In addition to the famous satyagraha, or love-force, practice, Dr. Gandhi will present other spiritual practices of his grandfather, as well as his grandfather’s thoughts about the relationship and dialogue among the world’s religious traditions.
A day of teaching with Dr. Gandhi is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. From the morning of Saturday, Oct. 18, through the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 19, Dr. Gandhi will lead a two-day retreat. Both events take place at Pacific Hall in Tremont.