February 18, 1973
(Extracts from a meeting with the schoolteachers. One of them complains that the first signs of violence are showing up in the children.)
Violence is necessary as long as men are ruled by their ego and its desires. But violence must be used only as a means of defense when you are attacked. The ideal towards which humanity is moving and which we want to realize is a state of luminous understanding in which each person's needs as well as the harmony of the whole are taken into account.
The future will have no need of violence because it will be governed by the Divine Consciousness, in which all things are harmonized and complement each other.
For the moment, we are still in a stage where weapons are necessary. But it should be understood that this is a transitory stage, not a permanent one, and we must strive for the other one.
Peace... peace and harmony will be a natural outcome of the change of consciousness.
You see, in India there reigns the Gandhian concept of nonviolence which has replaced physical violence with moral violence, but it's far worse!
But if you dare speak against Gandhi, everyone will immediately... oh!
You don't need to mention his name, you can explain to the children that replacing physical violence with moral violence is no better. Lying down in front of a train to stop it running is a moral violence that can ultimately cause more disorder than physical violence.
There would be a lot to say.... It depends on each case. I myself very much encouraged the practice of fencing because it gives you skill, control over your movements and discipline in violence – I very much encouraged fencing at one time. I learned how to shoot; I used to shoot with a rifle, because it gives you steadiness and skill and a very good eye; and it forces you to remain calm in the midst of danger. All these things are.... I don't see why one should be hopelessly nonviolent, it only makes a spineless character.
Turn it into an art! An art for cultivating calm, skill and self-control. There's no need to cry out indignantly as Gandhi would. It's useless, useless, absolutely useless – I am not at all in favor of it! One should master the means of self-defense, and one should cultivate them in order to do so.
Above all, make them understand that moral violence is just as bad as physical violence. It can even be worse, that is, at least physical violence forces you to become strong and control yourself, whereas moral violence is.... You may be like this [apparently quiet] and harbor the worst moral violence in yourself.