The theory of satyagraha sees means and ends as inseparable obtain an end are wrapped up in and attached to that end. Therefore, it is contradictory to try to use unjust means to obtain justice or to try to use violence to obtain peace. As Gandhi wrote: \"They say, 'means are, after all, means'. I would say, 'means are, after all, everything'. As the means so the end. Separating means and ends would ultimately amount to introducing a form of duality and inconsistency at the core of Gandhi's non-dual (Advaitic) conception.
The essence of satyagraha is that it seeks to eliminate antagonisms without harming the antagonists themselves, as opposed to violent resistance, which is meant to cause harm to the antagonist. A satyagrahi therefore does not seek to end or destroy the relationship with the antagonist, but instead seeks to transform or \"purify\" it to a higher level. A euphemism sometimes used for satyagraha is that it is a \"silent force\" or a \"soul force\" (a term also used by Martin Luther King Jr. during his famous \"I Have a Dream\" speech). It arms the individual with moral power rather than physical power. Satyagraha is also termed a \"universal force,\" as it essentially \"makes no distinction between kinsmen and strangers, young and old, man and woman, friend and foe.\"
Civil disobedience and non-cooperation as practised under satyagraha are based on the \"law of suffering\", a doctrine that the endurance of suffering is a means to an end. This end usually implies a moral uplift or progress of an individual or society. Therefore, the non-cooperation of satyagraha is in fact a means to secure the cooperation of the opponent that is consistent with truth and justice.