Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948), writer, humanitarian, political and spiritual leader

Mahatma Gandhi

In celebration of the human spirit, here are some inspiring thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi,

From “All Men Are Brothers,” a selection from the writings of Mahatma Gandhi compiled for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), copyright by the Navajivan Trust.

“By religion, I do not mean formal religion, or customary religion, but that religion which underlies all religions, which brings us face to face with our Maker.

There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything. I feel it, though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses.
It transcends the senses. But it is possible to reason out the existence of God to a limited extent.

To me God is Truth and Love; God is ethics and morality; God is fearlessness. God is the source of Light and Life and yet He is above and beyond all these. God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist…. He transcends speech and reason …. He is a personal God to those who need His personal presence. He is embodied to those who need His touch. He is the purest essence. He simply is to those who have faith. He is all things to all men. He is in us and yet above and beyond us …. He is long-suffering.

The relation between the body and the mind is so intimate that, if either of them got out of order, the whole system would suffer. Hence it follows that a pure character is the foundation of health in the real sense of the term; and we may say that all evil thoughts and evil passions are but different forms of disease.

I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.

It [silence] has now become both a physical and spiritual necessity for me. Originally it was taken to relieve the sense of pressure. Then I wanted time for writing. After however, I had practiced it for some time, I saw the spiritual value of it. It suddenly flashed across my mind that that was the time when I could best hold communion with God. And now I feel as though I was naturally built for silence.

Mankind is one, seeing that all are equally subject to the moral law. All men are equal in God’s eyes. There are, of course, differences of race and status and the like, but the higher the status of a man, the greater is his responsibility.

My mission is not merely brotherhood of Indian humanity. My mission is not merely freedom of India, though today it undoubtedly engrosses practically the whole of my life and the whole of my time. But through realization of freedom of India I hope to realize and carry on the mission of the brotherhood of man. My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount upon the distress or the exploitation of other nationalities. The conception of my patriotism is nothing if it is not always, in every case without exception, consistent with the broadest good of humanity at large. Not only that, but my religion and my patriotism derived from my religion embrace all life. I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth. I want, if I don’t give a shock, to realize identity with even the crawling things upon earth, because we claim descent from the same God, and that being so, all life in whatever form it appears must be essentially one.

The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one. He who distinguishes between the votaries of one’s own religion and those of another miss-educates the members of his own and opens the way for discord and irreligion.

Real education consists in drawing the best out of yourself. What better book can there be than the book of humanity?”

The Seven Blunders of the World …

1. Wealth without work

2. Pleasure without conscience

3. Knowledge without character

4. Commerce without morality

5. Science without humanity

6. Worship without sacrifice

7. Politics without principle

Quotes for thought …

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

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