Chapter 2. Will

Chance favors the prepared mind.

Louis Pasteur

The Peaceful Fight: Part One

The child was born in a coastal town in fall of 1869. His father, Karamchand, was the diwan, the prime minister, of a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India. His mother, Putlibai, was Karamchand's fourth wife. The first three, it was said, had died in childbirth. His grandfather was called Uttamchand or, more fondly, Utta.

The combination of his mother's piety and the Jain traditions of the region instilled in the youngster strict values: compassion for sentient beings, vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between individuals of different creeds. He was haunted by the stories of Shravana and Maharaja Harishchandra, ...

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