Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Gandhi was an Indian nationalist leader who established his country's freedom through a nonviolent
revolution.  Also known as Mahatma Gandhi, he was born in Porbandar on October 2, 1869, and
educated in law at University College, London.  In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar,
Gandhi returned to India.   Two years later an Indian firm with interests in South Africa retained him
as legal adviser in its office in Durban.  Arriving in Durban, Gandhi found himself treated as a
member of an inferior race.  He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights
to Indian immigrants to South Africa.  He threw himself into the struggle for elementary rights for Indians.

 thinkers home

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

God is the hardest taskmaster I have known on this earth, and he tries you through and through.  And when you find that your faith is failing or your body is failing you, and you are sinking, he comes to your assistance somehow or other and proves to you that you must not lose your faith and that he is always at your beck and call, but on his terms, not on your terms.  So I have found.  I cannot really recall a single instance when, at the eleventh hour, he has forsaken me.
It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important.  You have to do the right thing.  It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there will be any fruit.  But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing.  You may never know what results come from your action.  But if you do nothing, there will be no result.

I am not a visionary.  I claim to be a practical idealist.  The religion of non-violence is not meant merely for the rishis [holy men] and saints.  It is meant for the common people as well.  Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute.  The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might.  The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law--the strength of the spirit. . . .  Non-violence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering.  It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means the pitting of one's whole
soul against the will of the tyrant.  Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honor, his religion, his soul and lay the foundation for that empire's fall or regeneration.


Faith is not something to grasp; it is a state to grow into.


Faith is the function of the heart.



Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement.
Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.

Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.

If I had no sense of humor, I should long ago have committed suicide.


Nonviolence is the first article of my faith.  It is also the last article of my creed.



It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. . . . What
is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts,
than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need
but not for man's greed.

There's more to life than increasing its speed.

Let then our first act every morning be
to make the following resolve for the day:
I shall not fear anyone on earth.
I shall fear only God.
I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
I shall conquer untruth by truth.
And in resisting untruth I shall put up with all suffering.

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.

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At the time of writing I never think of what I have said before.  My aim
is not to be consistent with my previous statements on a given question,
but to be consistent with truth as it may present itself to me at a given
moment.  The result has been that I have grown from truth to truth.

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