“Walk Alone”–Daily Metta

June 9

gandhi-21“There are moments in your life when you must act, even though you cannot carry your best friends with you.”

–Gandhi (The Monthly Review, Calcutta, October, 1941)

One of Gandhi’s favorite songs was Ekla Chalo Re, a Bengali hymn translated as “Walk Alone.” Written by the famous Rabindranath Tagore, the lyrics are as follows, translated by Tagore himself from Bengali:

If they answer not to your call walk alone

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,

O thou unlucky one,

open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,

O thou unlucky one,

trample the thorns under thy tread,

and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they shut doors and do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,

O thou unlucky one,

with the thunder flame of pain ignite your own heart,

and let it burn alone.

Gandhi is known to have drawn from the power within this song, singing it as he traveled alone into violence-rife villages toward the end of his life, in an effort to get the bloodshed  between Hindus and Muslims to cease.


Experiment in Nonviolence:

Learn the words of Ekla Chalo Re by heart, as Gandhi did; or at least let’s take them to heart.



Daily Metta 250x250Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.