Peace-pilgrim, life-long activist, and former monk, Satish Kumar has been inspiring global change for over 50 years. In his 20s, he undertook a pilgrimage for peace, walking for two years without money from India to America for the cause of nuclear disarmament. Now in his 80s, Satish has devoted his life to campaigning for ecological regeneration, social justice, and spiritual fulfilment.
A world-renown author and international speaker, Satish founded The Resurgence Trust, an educational charity that seeks to inform and inspire a just future for all. He was the Editor of the charity’s change-making magazine, Resurgence & Ecologist, for over 40 years, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. He continues to serve this publication as Editor Emeritus and by writing for each issue.
1) Who has most influenced your life-long commitment to peace and environmental activism?
Mahatma Gandhi. He was one of the greatest apostles of peace. If we follow his teachings and ideas, we will have no environmental problems. He advocated simplicity, frugality and restraint in material consumption and abundance of art, craft, family, friendship and spirituality.
2) Why did you join the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks at 9 years old?
I became a monk in search of a life free of debt! My monkhood was great training for me to be resilient, non-violent and frugal. I learned to do everything without harming myself, my fellow humans or the natural world. That training still informs my work.
3) What motivated you to found The Resurgence Trust?
The Resurgent Trust and Resurgence & Ecologist magazine are a vehicle to explore ideas and promote values which can enable humanity to live in harmony with the natural world. We need to reduce our footprint on planet Earth so that humanity can live joyfully without pollution and waste.
4) Is there a particular issue of Resurgence & Ecologist that you are most proud of?
I love every issue the magazine. It is inspiring, informative and beautiful but I particularly like the recent issues ‘Power to the Peaceful’.
5) Why did you choose the title ‘No Destination’ for your autobiography?
Life is a journey, a pilgrimage and a process. I live every day and every week joyfully and peacefully. Rather than focussing on the future, I take care of the present moment. If I can make the present good, the future will certainly be good. Therefore, rather than focus on the destination, I focus on the journey.
6) And finally, are you currently working on anything that you wish to share with your readers?
Yes, I am currently working on a new book, Radical Love which will be published on 14 February 2023. I believe love is not just a personal ideal; love should be the organising principal of life, society, economy and politics. Love should be the foundation on which we build our policies. The Resurgence Trust and Resurgence & Ecologist magazine have been promoting the ideals of love for over 50 years. My life is moved by love — for me, love is the essence and purpose for living.
Thank you Satish for being part of the #MeetTheContributor blog series! We enjoyed finding about more about your extraordinary life, commitment to peace and environmental activism, and motivations behind founding The Resurgence Trust.