"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




He was a crusader of nonviolence. And it wasn't that he just preached; he led by example. Millions came to hear his discourses. "Violence is only in the mind. It is a negative energy that entraps us and tries to make us lesser beings," he would often advise his followers, "there is no place for violence in God's world. Look at Nature - the gentle wind, the patient tree, the calm mountain, the silent earth - is there violence in any of them? Let us celebrate Nature through acts of nonviolence." The audience would sway to his words.
 
One evening, after a long day of many speeches, he felt a sore throat and retired to bed early. It was flu - the usual one which gave quick bouts of cold, fever, and went away. Lay people would get an antibiotic course to hasten recovery, but the ahimsa-wadi that he was, he wouldn't use medicines that harmed the germs.
 
So off he went to bed, with a prayer on his lips.
 
That night the fever ravaged his body. The pathogens swam his bloodstream, bruised and battered everything they could get to. They clouded his lungs and made him convulse in episodes of sneezing. They gnawed into his glands and made him sweat. They climbed into his head and toyed with his brain, drawing a pale flush all over his face. They especially played with his face - flushing one cheek, and when he turned, then flushing another, and going on jumping every time he would turn the other cheek...
 
All night the battle waged on, with the pathogens revolting and his immune system militating against the attackers. By dawn, the pathogens had tired out and began to retreat. His health was almost back. As he prepared to get up and start the day, the dead soldiers from both sides were lined up in his intestine to be flushed away. He got out of bed and prepared for yet another day of crusade for nonviolence...
 
Nature was just clockwork; violence or nonviolence is, after all, only in the mind.
 
 
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