Monday, September 14, 2020

Gandhian thoughts - Gandhian Dictums

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) is honored the world over as one of the greatest leaders of men for all time. In India, he is revered as the Mahatma (great soul), Bapuji (Respected father), Gandhiji or Mahatmaji (ji being an honorable suffix), Rashtrapita (Father of the nation) and so on. 

His use of NON-VIOLENCE as a powerful weapon against the imperialist power Great Britain stunned mad mesmerized the whole world. And using Passive Resistance, Satyagraha, Ahimsa etc (weapons which the world at large had never heard of before) Gandhiji and his followers vanquished the might of the British Empire and won freedom for India and Indians. Gandhian methods were later adopted by world leaders like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others of the same ilk.

Ethics, Righteousness, Moral Responsibility for one’s actions, and devotion to Truth were all dear to Mahatmaji. His great books like MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH are widely read and admired all over the world. He was a prolific writer and orator. Many of his wise sayings (Gandhi dictums) must be read and assimilated not only by every Indian, but also by every human being. I am giving below some of the dictums, which I have compiled from various sources. 

1. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

2. Where there is love, there is life.

3. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

4. The best way to find yourself is to lose you in the service of others.

5. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.

6. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean. If a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

7. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

8. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

9. Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

10. Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

11. A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.

May the gems of Gandhian thought keep on inspiring one and all of us. Let me quote here the Vedic prayer: “Anobhadraakratavoyanthuviswatha:” (Let noble thoughts come to us from every side)

Prof. Dr C G R Nair - The author is former Secretary (Science, Technology & Environment) to the government of Kerala and former Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Kerala.

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