1.Title The K
of God is Within You
2.Author Leo Tolstoy
3.Publisher Rupa & Co.(2006 reprint)
4.First Published in 1893.
6.Format Rupa Paperback
7.Page Count 407.
8.Price Rs 295.
10.Part of series No.
This book was one of the two books which inspired MK Gandhi to fight for freedom of
from British rule, the other book being
Unto This last by John Ruskin.
Jesus Christ said,” Ye have heard that it was said , An eye for an eye , and a tooth for tooth.But I say unto you ,Resist not him that is evil ;but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek , turn to him the other also .And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat , let him have thy cloak also.”We are not to resist evil by evil, but by all just means.
A Christian must not voluntarily pay the taxes .He must not participate in elections , in the law court or the government , for such a participation is participation in governmental violence.The crimes of our rulers are our own if knowing them to be crimes , we promote them by our co-operation .The government and ruling classes base themselves on four methods of violence:
3.Hypnotization of people , with superstition of patriotism.
4.Selecting public servants (civil servants , police , soldiers) and making them submissive instruments for carrying out all the cruelties and brutalties needed by the governments.
Those who possess power (by inheritance, by army or by elections) differ in no way from other men .They are more disposed than others to subordinate public interests to their own .
The purpose of life is to fulfil the law of God. This deprives all human laws of their right to restrict man .He cannot be in bondage and be forced by any threat of external harm to commit an action which is contrary to his conscience.Man cannot serve two masters.How can a soldier kill people when the law of God says;”Thou shalt not kill.”A true Christian integrates Principles into every action of his life and refuses to co-operate with any thing that is contrary to those Principles.Some of these Principles are contained in the Five Commandments of the Sermon on the Mount.
1.Have no ill-will towards any one , not to provoke ill-will but to love all men. Not to offend any one by a word.
2.Refrain from adultery.
3.Not to take an oath , not to promise any thing for the future.
4.Not to return evil for evil but to endure wrongs.To give up one’s shirt.
5.Do no evil to our enemies , to speak well of them and not to make distinction between them and our compatriots.Only abidingby Principles and not by any external efforts can we safeguard our life.
“The sole meaning of human life lies in serving the world by promoting the establishment of the
kingdom comes by recognition and avowal of truth by each separate
individual . Kingdom of God
It is not that all the arguments given by Tolstoy are perfect .In a way , he advocates a society without government because government is essentially based on violence and force in the form of Police , Army , Civil Servants , Courts and Judges.But he does inspire us to follow our conscience and not to become an instrument of oppression in the hands of rulers who invariably rule by intimidation , corruption , hypnotization and controlling the police , army , civil service and courts.
As a former civil servant , I know that Tolstoy is right .I wish I had read this book much earlier.