I have a dream...
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mahatma Gandhi
Vision, Wisdom, and Teachings

Humanity was gifted with the person of Mahatma Gandhi in the first half of the 20th Century. Born in India, Gandhi became an attorney in London, but then moved to South Africa, and eventually back to India, where he worked for justice and freedom. Gandhi was faithful to his Hindu religion, but he greatly admired the teachings of Jesus on nonviolence. He believed that active nonviolence (ahimsa) was the only valid way to restore social justice and freedom. Gandhi believed that humankind was basically nonviolent and that violence was an aberration of human nature.

The Oneness of Humanity

“I do not believe that an individual may gain spiritually and those that surround him suffer. I believe in the essential unity of man and, for that matter, of all that lives. Therefore I believe that if one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him and, if one man falls, the whole world falls to that extent.”

Real Freedom

“Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. And when a man thus loses himself, he immediately finds himself in the service of all that lives. It becomes his delight and his recreation. He is a new man, never weary of spending himself in the service of God's creation.”

The Divine Law

“A seeker of truth, a follower of the Law of Love cannot hold anything against tomorrow. God never stores for the morrow. He never creates more that what is strictly needed for the moment. If, therefore, we repose faith in His providence, we should rest assured that He will give us everything that we require. Saints and devotees who have lived in such faith have always derived a justification for it from their experience. Our ignorance or negligence of the Divine Law, which gives to man from day to day his daily bread and not more has given rise to inequalities with all the miseries attendant upon them. The rich have a superfluous store of things which they do not need, and which are therefore neglected and wasted, while millions are starved to death for want of sustenance.”

“If we are to be nonviolent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which the meanest or the lowest of of human beings cannot have.”

Devotion to Truth

“Truth is the first thing to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added to you. This is what Christ really taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was to my mind, a supreme artist because he saw and expressed Truth; and so was Muhammad, the Koran being the most perfect composition in all Arabic literature. It is because both of them strove first for Truth that the grace of expression naturally came in and yet neither Jesus nor Muhammad wrote on art. That is the Truth and Beauty I crave for, live for and would die for.”

Satyagraha

“Satyagraha is literally holding on to the Truth, and it means, therefore, Truth-force. Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as Soul-force. Non-cooperation and civil disobedience are branches of satyagraha, which includes all nonviolent resistance for the vindication of truth.”

“I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one's opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of Truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on one's self.”

“Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.”

The Power of Nonviolence

“In its positive form, ahimsa (nonviolence) means the largest love, greatest charity. If I am a follower of ahimsa, I must love my enemy. I must apply the same rules to the wrong-doer who is my enemy or stranger to me, as I would to my wrong-doing father or son.”

“Nonviolence is the greatest and most active force in the world. One person who can express ahimsa in life exercises a force superior to all the forces of brutality. Nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment.”

“It is the acid test of nonviolence that in a nonviolent conflict there is no rancor left behind, and in the end enemies are converted into friends.”

“When the practice of ahimsa becomes universal, God will reign on earth as He does in heaven.”

Ends and Means

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

War and Peace

“Peace will never come until the great powers courageously decide to disarm themselves.”

Prayer

“Prayer from the heart can achieve what nothing else can in the world.”