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GANDHIJI SPECIAL 2nd October

GANDHIJI SPECIAL 2nd October  
It was said where Gandhiji resided was the Capital of India. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi called Mahatma “great soul” (the poet Rabindranath Tagore honoured with a Nobel price first called him that) inspired millions of Indians as a living example with his ascetic life in simplicity, kindness and love. Even today the image of the small and skinny man covered in a self weaved cotton blanket is a symbol of truth, non-violence and civil resistance and finds adoration and imitation. Gandhi's life story is full of courage, determination and religious willpower. His timeless message still holds true - to combat injustice and cruelty with the means of love and truth. His message can be used to solve today's social, political and ecological problems.

“Believe in Truth, think Truth and live Truth. How-so-ever triumphant untruth may seem to be, it can never prevail against truth.”

For Gandhiji religion was nothing separate from day to day life. Life itself should be understood as a religion. “Life divorced from religion is not human life, it is animal life.” Gandhiji tried to realize and live this consciousness in the ashrams he founded in South Africa and India. As self-supplying communities his ashrams welcomed everybody as long as the rules of a simple and peaceful life were obeyed. “Whoever joins me must be ready to sleep on plain floor, wear simple clothes, get up early, live from undemanding nutrition and even clean his toilet.”

Gandhiji motivated masses and stood up against discrimination and suppression with three concepts that were the pillars of his philosophy: Satyagraha, Ahimsa and Brahmacharya.

Satyagraha - well known after Gandhi's numerous campaigns - means “strength through truth and love.” His thorough studies of the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible led him to the conviction that humanity must always stand up against evil - turning the other cheek. For him non-operation with evil was just as important as co-operation with good.

To realize this principle he taught civil disobedience as a strategy in his speeches, essays, books and through his living example. With this Gandhiji did not mean to accept injustice but actively to stand up against it without violence. His method was freely to disregard the law and willingly serve the sentence. Vedanta philosophy teaches that Realization of the Truth is not at all possible without Ahimsa (Non-violence), and therefore, Ahimsa is the supreme Dharma (Duty). Mahatma practised the principle of non-violence towards all living beings, again as a living example - he was a strict vegetarian. In his work as a politician he expressed this by respecting all humans irrespective of gender, caste, nationality, race or religion. In particular this was expressed through the respect and kindness with which he treated his colonial oppressors.

The third pillar of his philosophy - Brahmacharya means Orientation to God and renouncement of worldly things.

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