Gandhi sign at his ashram in Ahmedabad, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Ben Sutherland’s photostream

October 2 is the day of Mahatma Gandhi‘s birth. It is also the day that the United Nations General Assembly declared to be the International Day of Non-Violence to honor this pre-eminent leader of the Indian independence movement who achieved his goal through a strategy of non-violence. Gandhi inspired the world — in the political, philosophical and spiritual realms — through his pioneering use of “satyagraha” which he defined as follows:

Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance”, in connection with it, so much so that even in English writing we often avoided it and used instead the word “satyagraha” itself or some other equivalent English phrase

The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and his teachings this Sunday with cultural performances, inter-faith presentations, and more. The day will also include a lecture by Dr. Uma Majmudar, Gandhian researcher and published author. “Gandhi’s Legacy of ‘Satyagraha’ in the Modern World” will explore the meaning of that philosophy both as used by Gandhi and how it pertains to our modern times.

Along with The Asian Studies Center, sponors for this event include Sri Venkateswara Temple, Alliance for Humanitarian Initiatives Non-violence and Spiritual Advancement, Hindu Jain Temple, Sunday Morning Forum of the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon Multicultural & Diversity Initiatives, Gujarati Samaj of Greater Pittsburgh, Chinmaya Sanjeevani Ashram, Rotary Club of Monroeville, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association for India’s Development (AID), and Silk Screen.

Annual Mahatma Gandhi Birthday Celebration
WHEN: Sunday, October 2, 2011, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
WHERE: Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh