War spans the human memory across time where disputes ranging from religion, ideology, wealth, politics, power and territory are resolved through killing other human beings. The 20th century is viewed as the most destructive on record, 250 wars and 109 million humans have been killed and not a day passes without a war reported in the media. Whilst wars are horrific as a means to an ends, the advent of the atomic bomb moved the world to the precipice of mutually assured destruction. The world now has a choice nuclear annihilation or a golden age of peace. Mahatma Gandhi on hearing the news about Hiroshima in 1945, did not move a muscle, he was clear, ‘unless now the world adopts nonviolence it will spell certain suicide for mankind’. This paper will explore nonviolence from its origins through its many transformations of mysticism, pacifism, gandhian satyagraha and pragmatic nonviolence. The lamp of nonviolence will illuminate the question of how effective is nonviolence in creating a lasting world peace and how the future could manifest out of a commitment to nonviolence.