the change you want to see in the world...
The pure, unadulterated love of one person
can nullify the hatred of millions"
Born in India on October
2nd, 1869, Mohandas Gandhi grew into boyhood having no unusual talents, was extremely
shy, and went through grammar school with less than average grades.
This magnificent spirit, would someday be regarded as the spiritual leader of
hundreds of millions of Indian people. In spite of his inner strength, courage, and
unselfish love for his fellow man, he admits to being a coward as a child, who feared the dark
and would not sleep without a light on in his room.
This incredible soul, who influenced millions of people with his spiritual wisdom and
insight, married at the early age of thirteen, went to college to learn medicine and
failed every class. His attempts at becoming a lawyer in England were challenged by severe
homesickness and lack of direction. After three years of struggling he passed his bar
exams and immediately sailed home to India.
At home at last in India he tried his hand at lawyering, but was a dismal failure because
his English education did not prepare him well for Indian law. His first and only case had
to do with a ten-dollar claim. While in court, he nervously stood up to begin the
cross-examination process and found to his amazement that he could not utter a single
word. He was laughed out of the courtroom.
Little did he know it but from that humiliating point forward his road in life took
one of those unexpected turns through synchronicity
and his true path and mission began to unfold
Gandhi called this turning point an "act of grace." Totally
discouraged, he had nowhere to look for outside help. He was now ready to turn inward on
his long journey of self-discovery.
It also marked the beginning of the real path and life of a man who would someday become
the spiritual leader of over 400 million Indian people. And someone who would bring them
their freedom and independence from England without ever firing a shot or asking for
This man, barely 5 feet tall and weighing about 90 pounds, was unique because
of his passion to live the Truth day in and day out. His incredible inner strength, humility,
courage, discipline, and unselfish love for all of mankind made him a genuine spiritual
There is an excellent book called, Gandhi The Man, written by Eknath Easwaran.
It provides such wonderful insights into this marvelous spirit. Excerpted below are some
of the author's statements, as well as insights from Gandhi himself. I sincerely hope that
they inspire the reader to wonder about who you really are and who you really want to
realizing it, Gandhi had found
the secret of
He began to look on every difficulty
as an opportunity for service.
After attaining some success in South Africa...
"My profession progressed satisfactorily,
was far from satisfying me.
of further simplifying my life and
doing some concrete act of
service to my fellowmen
had been constantly
I had started on a life of ease and comfort,
but the experiment
Although I had furnished the house
it failed to have any hold on me."
Gandhi's joy knew no bounds.
began to see the possibility
between living for himself alone
or living for the sake of others.
As his self-centeredness diminished, his
spiritual awareness increased.
"Do not worry in the least about yourself,
leave all worry to God.
One who would serve will not waste a thought
upon his own
comforts, which he leaves to be
attended to or neglected
by his Master on high...
he will take with him only what he strictly needs
and leave the rest. He will be calm, free from
and unruffled in mind if he finds
Just as one must not receive
one must not possess anything,
which one does not really need.
It would be a breach of this
to possess any unnecessary foodstuffs,
For instance, one must not keep
a chair if one can do without it.
In observing this principle one is led to the... simplification of one's own life.
One cannot do right in one department of life
whilst he is occupied in doing wrong
any other department.
one indivisible whole."
He (Gandhi) had to undergo many trials,
suffer abuse and even physical attacks,
but during that long night in the Natal Mountains
he made the decision never to yield to force
and never to use force to win a cause.
"Truth resides in every human heart,
and one has to search for it there...
It is never the intention of a satyagrahi
(someone who is love in motion)
to embarrass the wrongdoer.
The appeal is never to his fear...
it must be, always to his heart.
I hold myself to be incapable of
hating any being on earth.
By a long course of prayerful discipline,
I have ceased
for over forty years
to hate anybody.
I know this is
a big claim...
nevertheless I make it in all humility."
He (Gandhi) campaigned from
the Himalayas south to Ceylon.
Everywhere the message was
All of us are one.
"When you inflict suffering on others,
you are bringing
suffering on yourself.
When you weaken others
you weaken yourself."
Gandhi dramatized his unity with the poor
by sharing their way
of life completely...
"We must step down from our pedestals
and live with them - not as outsiders, but as one of them
in every way,
sharing their burdens and sorrows."
This is the heart of Gandhi's approach.
He taught, above all, by personal example. He himself became their servant.
He (Gandhi) was at his very
best when being persecuted.
He was at his strongest when under pressure.
And he was free whether inside prison or out.
Gandhi was so detached from his
physical environment that going to jail
or not did not disrupt his work at all. Every day he served in prison
only added to his spiritual growth.
"I believe that if one man gains spiritually
the whole world gains with him and,
if one man falls,
world falls to that extent.
For nonviolence means the capacity
to love those who hate you,
to show patience and understanding
in the face of the most
This is the most difficult discipline
one can learn in life
and that is why the Bhagavad
says if you want to be brave,
look at those who can forgive.
Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from indomitable will.
Perfect love casts out fear...
it is a lifelong challenge,
a lifelong battle within oneself,
full of challenges
and trials so severe
that those who tread the path of love
in every religious
tradition have called it
sharper than a razor's
Everything he did was an experiment
in expanding the human being's capacity to love...
Hatred does not cease by hatred at any time;
hatred ceases by love. This is an unalterable law.
Satisfaction lies in the effort,
not in the attainment.
Full effort is full victory."
Gandhi believed that in order to enjoy life,
we cannot be selfishly attached to anything, whether it was money, possessions, power or prestige,
even family or friends.
The moment we are selfishly attached,
we become their prisoner.
It is only when he (Gandhi) began to live for others
that he found himself bursting with
almost unharnessable power.
"For a non-violent person,
the whole world is one family.
He will thus fear none, nor will others fear him.
Strength of numbers is the delight of the timid.
The valiant in spirit, glory in fighting alone."
evening in Delhi, India Mohandas Gandhi was making an appeal for peace between the Hindu
and Muslim people. On the way to a prayer meeting, a young man blinded with rage, shot and
killed this incredible man-spirit of non-violence. As his body fell to the ground, several words
came to his lips "Rama, Rama, Rama... I forgive you, I love you, I bless
of Non-Violent Resistance
Excerpted from Dr. Martin Luther King's Book
Pilgrimage to Nonviolence
it must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for
cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or
merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly
nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only
alternative to violence, it is better to fight ... The method is passive
physically, but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive
nonresistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil.
second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek
to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and
understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest
through noncooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that these are not
ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in
the opponent ... The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the
beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.
third characteristic of this method is that the attack is directed against
forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil
... We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be
fourth point that characterizes nonviolent resistance is a willingness to
accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent
without striking back. 'Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain
our freedom, but it must be our blood,' Gandhi said to his countrymen. The
nonviolent resister ... does not seek to dodge jail. If going to jail is
necessary, he enters it 'as a bridegroom enters the bride's chamber...'
fifth point concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only
external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The
nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also
refuses to hate him. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of
sixth basic fact about nonviolent resistance is that it is based on the
conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. Consequently, the
believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future. This faith is
another reason why the nonviolent resister can accept suffering without
retaliation. For he knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic