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Mahatma Gandhi about Truth and Nonviolence.

I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Nonviolence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could. In doing so I have sometimes erred and learnt by my errors. Life and its problems have thus become to me so many experiments in the practice of truth and nonviolence. 

For me, TRUTH is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in words (and speech), but truth in thoughts also, and not only relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth - of the Eternal Principles; which is God. "God is Truth and Truth is God". 

The way of peace is the way of Truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness. Indeed, lying is the mother of violence. A truthful man cannot long remain violent. He will perceive in the course of his search of truth that he has no need to be violent and he will further discover that so long as there is the slightest trace of violence in him, he will fail to find the truth he is searching. 

Mankind is one. Religions are different roads converging to the same point (God). What does it matter we take different roads (Paths) as long as we reach the same goal? 

In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals. Real message of Gita is this. Religion is linked with every individual. The Gita calls it "Swa-Dharma".

I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible, but I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. 

Whether mankind will consciously follow the law of love I do not know. But that need not perturb us. The law will work, just as the law of gravitation will work whether we accept it or not. And just as scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, even so a man who applies the law of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders. 

The force of nonviolence is infinitely more wonderful and subtle than the forces of the nature, like for instance electricity. The man who discovered the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our modern scientists. Only our explorations have not gone far enough and so it is not possible for every one to see all its workings. 

I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence. Violence is bred by inequality, and nonviolence by equality. 

Not to hurt any living thing is no doubt a part of Nonviolence (Ahimsa); but it is its least expression. The principle of Ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred and by wishing ill of any body.

Nonviolence is an attribute of soul, and should be practiced in all departments of life. 

There is no halfway between Truth and Nonviolence on one hand and untruth and violence on the other. We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our main goal and make steady progress towards it. 

The attainment of freedom, whether for a man, a nation or the world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence by each. 

Let those, therefore, who believe in nonviolence as the only method of achieving real freedom, keep the "Lamp of Nonviolence Burning"

In the midst of the present impenetrable gloom. The truth of a few will count, the untruth of millions will vanish even like chaff before a whiff of wind. 

The force generated by nonviolence is infinitely greater than the force of all the arms invented by man's ingenuity. 

I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or a woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith. 

To call women the weaker sex is libel, it is man's injustice to women.

Means and ends are convertible terms in my philosophy of life.

Democracy must in essence means the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic, and spiritual resources of all the various sections of the people in the service of the common good of all. 

Democracy if disciplined and enlightened, is the finest thing in the world. My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest. 

Love is the subtlest force in the world. Purity of life and thoughts is the highest and truest art. 

Forgiveness is more manly than punishment and revenges. 

The Bible is as much a holy book for me as the Gita and the Koran.

Well all my philosophy, if that could be called by that pretentious name is contained in what I have said. But you would not call it 'Gandhism' because there is no 'ism' about it. The scriptures have been quoted against my position that truth may not be sacrificed for anything whatsoever. Those who believe in the simple truths I have laid down can propagate them only by living them. 

Individual liberty and interdependence are both essential for life in a society. 

Character cannot be built with mortar and stone. It cannot be built by other hands than your own. The principal and the professor cannot give you character from the pages of the books. Character building comes from your very own lives, and really speaking, it must come from within yourselves. True knowledge (of Self) gives moral standing and moral strength. 


Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will power. 

God alone is the judge of true greatness, because He knows men's hearts. In the Gita, Lord says "I dwell in every heart". (Ch. XV -15). 

From "My religion", "Experiments with truth- Autobiography" and other writings of M. K. Gandhi. (Courtesy - Navjivan Press. - Ahmedabad, Gujarat. - India.)

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