Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence stems from the pacifist views. According to the text, Exploring Religious Meaning, pacifism is one of three distinct positions taken by Christians on war and violence. It consists of absolutely no violence or participation in physical war struggles and brutality. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary defines pacifism as, "the belief that war and violence are morally unjustified" (565). Throughout the film, it is obvious that Gandhi follows and promotes the pacifist views as he turns away from violence and encourages the Indians to protest through non-violent actions. He greatly disapproved of violence in India's struggle to gain their independence from Britain; rather he believed the best way to go about obtaining freedom was best done through the mind and heart. Gandhi influenced his followers to use their non-violent actions to attack the heart of their oppressors, and in turn they would receive the sympathy and respect that they so greatly deserved.
Gandhi based much of his pacifist teachings on the Hindu traditions while using the religion's text, the Baghavad-Gita. In this sacred text he found excerpts to support the pacifist views on avoiding violence while in a struggle with one's enemy (ERM 247). After studying the Hindu religion and its text, Gandhi decided to use Satyagraha to make statement and help the people of India overcome their strife with the British. Satyagraha is a Hindu doctrine involves a direct action taken to make a difference, without using violence in any way. Turning away from physical strength, Gandhi practiced and taught that spiritual strength could be great enough to conquer. He advocated to the people that violence was not nearly as strong or powerful as the use of Satyagraha, and the nonviolent faithful actions practiced in his pacifist ways (64-65). The religious tradition of Hinduism also offered the practice of karma and the belief that the behavior one displays throughout life effects the next cycle of life.