>Our last post and it’s Gandhi connection got us thinking again about Helen Tworkov’s interview with Philip Glass on Satyagraha & what exactly is Gandhi’s lasting influence. It ends with a somewhat sobering take on Western Buddhists we think, but we’ll let you read and decide that one.
The interview was conducted the summer before his Satyagraha opera was re-staged at the Metropolitan opera, and 50 years after the partition of India, so these subjects were very much in peoples minds that year.
Unbending Intent, An Interview with Philip Glass
Philip Glass’s opera Satyagraha, written in 1979, depicts the early years of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa. Born in India in 1869, Gandhi studied law in England before accepting a job to mediate a dispute between two Indian businessmen in South Africa. Here he remained for the next twenty years (1893–1914), developing his strategies of nonviolent transformation, which he called satyagraha. The entire text for Glass’s Satyagraha comes from the Bhagavad Gita, which is a part of the great Indian epic The Mahabharata.
In the Gita, the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, who is the embodiment of Lord Krishna, charge onto a battlefield where opposing armies stand ready to fight. Suddenly Arjuna is beset by doubt and misgivings, and in response, Krishna delivers some of the greatest spiritual teachings in world history.