Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi

October 2 is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti all over India. The birth anniversary of the Mahatma is a national holiday. There is nothing that is not known about the small and frail man who led a disparate nation of millions to freedom. His only weapons against British rule were Ahimsa (non-violence), Satyagraha (truth force), and Swadeshi (self-sufficiency) and he used them effectively.

Gandhi was a true leader of the masses for he lived and led by example. He never preached what he did not practice. There are numerous instances of the Mahatma using real situations in his life to inspire and influence those around him and to inculcate morals, values, and ethics among both old and young.

One day a woman came to Gandhi and pleaded with him to order her little son to stop eating sugar. He was having too much of it. The Mahatma did not say anything. Instead, he asked the woman to return with her son after three days. When she did as she was told, Gandhi turned to the boy and told him to stop eating sugar because it was bad for him. The woman was nonplussed. She asked Gandhi why he did not tell her son the first time. Gandhi said to her, “I asked you to come back after three days because at the time I too was eating sweets. I could not ask your son to stop eating sweets as long as I was eating them too.”

Another time Gandhi was boarding a train when one of his slippers fell on the ground. Before he could retrieve it, the train started moving. The Mahatma quietly bent down, picked up his other footwear, and threw it out, so that whoever found one would soon find the other and had a pair to wear.


Gandhi's humble and illustrious life is filled with similar anecdotes that serve as evidence of the kind of life one should aspire to lead, particularly if one is on the spiritual path. The Mahatma's parables remind one of the many stories told by Jesus Christ to convey his message to humanity.

2 comments:

  1. I especially love the last story. Is there a biography of him that you would recommend?

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    1. Nan, there is an autobiography titled MAHATMA GANDHI: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY or MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH by Mahatma Gandhi which, though not entirely complete, tells you a lot about the personal and political life of Gandhi.

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