Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum


 I want to put a quote for those Western friends who are for democracy. This quote I will give in the next paragraph. I think my friends may ponder-over it. I just got a comment from my sister from Pitsbourg,PA, USA. She has an Indian name as well.  She is very active in Socio-spiritual movement. That is how we became friends. Her Indian name is Mirabai. She has quoted Gandhi in support of Democracy. Gandhi was an intelligent lawyer  also, Therefore, he knew how to make his opponent happy and satisfied. That too, without compromising his own principles. It is a hard fact that Gandhi led India in its struggle for freedom from British Colonialism. He could easely become the Ruler after getting Transfer of Power from the British in the year 1947. Why he opted for going to people rather than becoming the Prime Minister? In the year 1935, Gandhi told Indian National Congress in its Working Commettee that we should  not follow British Parliamentry System after getting Power from Britain. He was left alone. No body supported him in Congress except few. Why Gandhi chose to resgin from the Four Anna{primary membership} of the Congress? I wish my friends will think over it deeply.

Now the quote, ' Recover the Vedanta,the Gita, the Yoga. Recover them not only in intellect or sentiment but in your life. Live them and you will be great and strong, mighty, invincible and fearless. Neither life nor death will have any terrors for you.Diffficulty and impossibility will vanish from your vvocabularies. For it is in the spirit that strengh is eternal and you must win back the kingdom of yourselves, the inner 'Swaraj', before you can win back your outer empire.'

Above quote is written exectly in the same year as Hind Swaraj by Gandhiji. And the key word for him was also Swaraj. In explaining Swaraj Gandhi used the four foundations. These are: Life of Truthfulness, Life of Fearlessness, Life of Voluntary Poverty and Life of Bhahamchrya. Unless we understand these four fundamental foundations for Swaraj and put these into action,  how could we be able to reach Swaraj. This seems to be very difficult, but there is no other go.

Above quote has been taken from the writings of another spiritual revolutionary, Sri Aurobindo Gosh, a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi, and these lines were written on 19th of June, 1909. One was in the middle of a struggle against social injustice in Society, second one was searching with- in. They reached at the same goal, Swaraj. Where does the Western System of Democracy stand in camparison to the concept of Swaraj?:

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Comment by Rose Mirabai Lord on September 27, 2011 at 16:59

Dear Dr. Arya,


Thank you for responding to my comment. I hope I did not offend in any way. You are undoubtedly much more knowledgeable than I on these matters. I just never thought that there was a conflict between democracy, as I understand its meaning, and swaraj.


Democracy is a form of government in which all people have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal (and more or less direct) participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law. It can also encompass social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.”

I understand that Gandhi did not want the exploitation that results from industrialism, the materialistic perspective that results from capitalism or the principle of “might is right,” for the people of India but are those qualities inherent in democracy? Or, is, “ The remedy,” as Gandhiji said, “therefore...not avoidance of democracy but reduction of possibility of abuse to a minimum,” through “the practices of Vedanta, the Gita and Yoga not just in intellect or sentiment but in our lives?”

In other words, are the practices of Vedanta, the Gita and Yoga not possible within the framework of a democratic society as defined above?  

Respectively and with gratitude,

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