Mahatma Gandhi

mahatma-gandhi

Born: Mahatma Gandhi born on 2nd October 1989 in the town of Porbandar in Gujrat, India
Died: 30th January 1948 (assassinated)
Successfully led the non-violent freedom struggle in India.
Launched non-cooperation movement.
Studied law from University College London.
Known for simplicity, penance, insistence on truth, non-violence.

Born on 2nd October 1869, Gandhi was the most celebrated figure of the Indian independence movement. He is the political icon of the modern world who propounded the philosophy of  Satyagraha ( insistence on truth ) and Ahimsa ( non-violence ).

Gandhiji influenced very deeply to Indians or the whole of humanity to resist injustice with tolerance without violence. He is called Bapu ( a term for the beloved father ) by Indians and titled as ‘Father of the Nation’.

1.                Mahatma Gandhi Life in  Porbandar, Gujarat:

Born in a coastal town of Gujarat, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the son of a senior government official, belonging to a Hindu Bania community. His mother was a devout Jain.

Indian epical heroes Shravankumar and king Harishchandra impressed and moved deeply to Gandhi in his childhood. They haunted him for the rest of his life, inculcating honor for truth and love as supreme values.

Mohandas got married to Kasturbai at an immatured age of 13. He recalls, “As we didn’t know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives”. The couple’s first child was born when Gandhi was just 15, and the child survived only a few days. They had four more children, all sons.

Mohandas was average at school and did not shine in the classroom or on the playground. He was retiring and tongue-tied in the company. He had soul satisfaction for never telling a lie to his teachers or classmates. The slightest slander on his character drew his tears.

After Gandhi’s father died in 1885, his family aspired Gandhi to be a barrister availing chances of succeeding in his father’s post.

2.               Mahatma Gandhi Life In England:

In 1888, at the age of 18, Gandhi sailed for England to study law at University College London and train as a barrister at the Inner Temple. Adaptation to the English atmosphere of Western-style food, dress, and etiquette was painful for Mohan. Before leaving India, he had promised his mother, before a Jain monk, that he would not “touch wine, woman, and meat”. But the attraction for ‘English culture’ made him become an ‘English Gentleman’. He approached the most fashionable tailors in London for English suites. Mohandas even began lessons in elocution, dancing, and music, under expert tuition. Soon his introvert and introspective mind realized the guilt and futility of extravagance.

When Gandhi came across Henry Salt’s book “Plea for  Vegetarianism” became an asset for him, transforming all his embarrassment about it. He made his first venture into journalism through articles on vegetarian food and soon became a member of the Executive committee of the London Vegetarian Society. Gandhi also made a religious study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. He was moved by the life of Buddha and the message of Gita.

3.                Mahatma Gandhi Back in India:

Gandhi returned to India with an English barrister’s degree. He landed at Bombay, receiving the shock after knowing his mother had died while he was in London and that his family had kept the news from him. But his motherland, Mother India, was awaiting his services for the emancipation of the land. In an attempt to establish his law practice in Bombay, he got his first brief for the modest fee of thirty rupees. As he rose to cross-examine a witness, Gandhi’s shyness clouds his wits, making him collapse into his chair. Gandhi refunded the fee to his client. The young barrister was filled with dark despair at this disgraceful debut, with obscurities about his future in a profession he had entered at such a heavy cost. But Mother India was awaiting this shy full but honest son for pleading the case of Indian liberty.

 

Returning to Rajkot, Gandhi started drafting petitions bringing him a modest income  of 300

rupees a month, but he was forced to stop it when he incurred the displeasure of a British officer. In 1893, he gladly accepted a year-long contract to a post in the colony of Natal,    

South Africa where his life-long affair of freeing Indians from slavery started.

4.               Mahatma Gandhi In South Africa:

Gandhi stayed for 21 years in South Africa, where he developed politics based on the moral principles of Truth & Non-violence. Gandhi faced color discrimination in South Africa during his train and other journeys. In one incident, the magistrate of a Durban court ordered Gandhi to take off his turban, which he refused to do and left the court-room. These insulting incidences awakened him to social injustice, and pathologically shy and retiring Gandhi was transformed into a resolute and assertive pioneer of non-violent revolution in politics. Wealthy Muslims and impoverished Hindus constituted the Indian community in South Africa. He shaped the Indian community of South Africa into a united political force.

In 1907, the Asiatic Registration Act in Transvaal compelled the Indian population of the colony to get registered. Gandhi adopted the methodology of Satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest, for the first time. Gandhi led this struggle with great courage, patience and organizing ability. During the ensuing seven-year struggle, thousands of Indian strugglers were jailed, flogged or shot for their non-violent resistance in various forms. Eventually, South African philosopher leader Jan Smuts was forced to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi. General Smuts stated that there was no hatred and personal ill-feeling, and when the fight was over, “there was the atmosphere in which decent peace would be concluded”.

Gandhi’s ideas took shape with definiteness, and the concept of Satyagraha matured ideally during this struggle. Later in his movements of Indian independence, Gandhi derived inspirations from his experience in South Africa were his politics, as well as personality, took shape. Years in South Africa were most formative for Gandhi. He studied moral and religious principles quite meditatively in South Africa. Tolstoy’s bold idealism and dauntless candor influenced him. Tolstoy’s perspective of life-based on moral principles appealed to Gandhi for his motivation. After a study of comparative religion, Gandhi concluded that true religion was more a matter of the heart than of the intellect.

5.                THAT MAN BACK IN INDIA AS A POLITICAL HERO:

In 1915, Gandhi returned to his motherland India permanently. And further lived like a Freedom Fighter.

Mahatma Gandhiji Quotes:

  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
  • Religion is not what you will get after reading all the scriptures of the world. It is not really what is grasped by the grain. It is a heart grasp.
  • An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
  • There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
  • If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Love:

 

  • I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.
  • Where there is love there is life.
  • In doing something, do it with love or never do it at all.
  • Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it? If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up.
  • Hate the sin and love the sinner.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Life:

  • Live as if  You were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
  • Truth never damages a cause that is just.
  • Where there is love there is life.
  • There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Peace:

  • I regard myself as a soldier, though a soldier of peace.
  • The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy. The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him.
  • The cry for peace will be a cry in the wilderness, so long as the spirit of nonviolence does not dominate millions of men and women.
  • If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.
  • I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Freedom:

  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.
  • I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours.
  • If India adopted the doctrine of love as an active part of her religion and introduced it in her politics, Swaraj (Independence) would descend upon India from heaven. But I am painfully aware that that event is far off as yet.
  • I want freedom for the full expression on my personality.
  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Thoughts:

  • Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Violence:

  • Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.
  • The ideally non-violent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least.
  • I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary the evil it does is permanent.
  • I first learned the concepts of nonviolence in my marriage.
  • If one has no affection for a person or a system, one should feel free to give the fullest expression to his disaffection so long as he does not contemplate, promote, or incite violence.
  • Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.
  • It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Freedom:

  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.
  • I’m a lover of my own liberty, and so I would do nothing to restrict yours.
  • If India adopted the doctrine of love as an active part of her religion and introduced it in her politics, Swaraj (Independence) would descend upon India from heaven. But I am painfully aware that that event is far off as yet.
  • I want freedom for the full expression on my personality.
  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes on Bhagwat Geeta:

  • I find a solace in the Bhagavad-Geeta that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there , and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies — and my life has been full of external tragedies — and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad-Geeta.
  • The Bhagavad-Geeta calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul to pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses.
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