Gene Chapman has put up three questions and one suggestion. First question is weather Gandhi was much impressed by Jainism that he followed nonviolence? Answer to this question is not simple. Gandhiji at one time was about to become Christian. He was so much impressed by Jesus Christ. But then he did not adopt Christanity. He was impressed by concept of nonviolence. But he did not become Jain. He was very much Vaishnav, and he himself said that he is a staunch Hindu. But at the same time he gave revolutionary turn and said Truth is God. In Hindu tradition it is said God is Truth. So it is not desirable to give a particular name of a traditional religion to Gandhiji. If we see closely to his personal life, we can easely find that through out his entire life he was practically experimenting with Truth. He himself had said that his life is an experiment with Truth. So, we can say his life was devoted to Truth, he had been trying to find Truth where ever he saw truth. Infact he had been trying to be away from untruth in his entire life. My impresson is that he never tried to be very strict to define Truth. His simple way was to be away from untruth. For example, the hardest and ugliest untruth for Gandhiji was the abject Poverty all over the World, not only in India alone. What he did was, adopting Volunltary Poverty. Such unique person was Gandhiji.
It was another unique thing[Q. No. 3] that he had said that every body should search his own religion and the process he suggested was ''going within oneself'' and not to follow outwardly compultions. This is an innovative idea that he invented through his experiments with Truth. Most of the disputes in this world have been because ''My Religion is Superior than your's''. But if we take a simple wayout then whatever my Inner Self says should be easier and near to Truth. So the question Gene has raised is about the very basics, that every indvidual has to find himself his/her religion. Swami Vivekanand, the modern Yogi, when he was invited to the First World Religion Conferece in Chicago, USA, in the begining of 20th Century. An interesting incident took place. When he was speaking in the Conference, he deeply impressed the audience. As soon as Swamiji finished his speach, audience was mad to touch Swqmiji's feet. Swamiji was discouraging the the people not to touch his feet. There was some confusion. People were touching his feet because Swamiji has realised God. Swamiji asked the people then what? The God that he has realized will not be helpful for the people. They have to realize their own God. My God will not help. That is what Gandhiji meant by saying that each one has to discover his or her own God.
The suggestion Gene has put is interesting, He suggested that if every body accept Gandhiji's saying than every body will become Gandhian. Well the first thing is that Gandhiji himself was against Gandhism. His whole emphasis had been on Truth, nothing else but Truth. So one can easely conclude what was Gandhji stood for.