Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

Epitome of Gandhian Teachings : Part I

The selections from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi (in his own words)  :-   

     1)  Religions have been interwoven. One sees a special quality in every one of them. But no one religion is higher than another. All are complimentary to one another .Since this is my belief, the speciality of any one religion cannot run counter to another, cannot be at variance with universally accepted principles. – [Harijanbandhu, March 19, 1933.]

      2)   For I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given, and I believe that they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that, if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of those faiths we should find that they were at bottom all one and were all helpful to one another. – [Harijan, Feb. 16, 1934.]

      3)  Just as men have different names and faces, these religions also are different. But just as men are all human in spite of their different names and forms, just as leaves of a tree though different as leaves are the same as the leaves of the same tree, all religions though different are the same. We must treat all religions as equals. - [Harijanbandhu, July 22, 1934.]

      4) All true change comes from within. Any change brought by pressure, is worthless. (Harijan: 31-03-1946)

      5) The execution of Constructive Programme in its entirety means more than Swaraj; it means Rama Raj, Khudai Sultanat or the Divine Kingdom. I am thirsting after such Raj. My God does not reside up above. He has to be realised on earth. He is here within you, within me. He is omnipotent and omnipresent. You need not think of the world beyond. If we can do our duty here, the beyond will take care of itself. (Harijan: 4-1-1946)

      6) Preservation of one’s own culture does not mean contempt for that of others, but requires assimilation of the best that may be in all cultures. (Young India: 06-12-1928.)

      7) Civility does not mean the mere outward gentleness of speech cultivated for the occasion, but an inborn gentleness and desire to do the opponent good. [My Experiments With Truth]

      8) I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality. I tolerate unreasonable religious sentiment when it is not immoral. The aim of the Fellowship (of Faiths) should be to help a Hindu to become a better Hindu, a Mussalman to become a better Mussalman, and a Christian a better Christian. The attitude of patronizing toleration is false to the spirit of International Fellowship. If I have a suspicion in my mind that my religion is more or less true, and that others' are more or less false, instead of being more or less true, then, though I may have some sort of fellowship with them, it is of an entirely different kind from the one we need in the International Fellowship. Our prayer for others must be NOT 'God, give him the light that Thou hast given me/ BUT 'Give him all the light and truth he needs for his highest development.' Pray merely that your friends may become better men, whatever their form of religion. Nevertheless, your experience may become a part of their experience, without your knowing it.
[MK Gandhi, Sabarmati, A Report of the First Annual Meeting of the Federation of International Fellowship] 1928,

       9) “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of different religions.” 
-M.K Gandhi, [CWMG Vol.XXV, pg.179.]

Beautiful painting (portrait) of Mahatma Gandhi from the heritage collections at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi, Karnataka, India.

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