Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Essay

Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Essay.

“Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit, the more you nurture it. The deeper the search in the mine of truth the richer the discovery of gems buried there, in the shape of openings for an ever greater variety of service” (Gandhi 191). Mohandas K. Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, and ever since that day has dedicated his life to the search for truth. During this quest, he became a leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement against British rule and to this day remains a highly influential figure in political activism and social progress.

In his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Gandhi shares stories of his triumphs and falls while trying to free India from British rule, all the while trying to stay true to his vows to his mother and to himself. The point that shows through brightly in Gandhi’s autobiography is that his values and morals about life coincide with his political philosophy.

Gandhi’s main view on business and politics is the strictness to truth. He explains this well when he states: Business, they say, is a very practical affair, and truth a matter of religion; and they argue that practical affairs are one thing, while religion is quite another.

Pure truth, they hold, is out of the question in business, one can speak it only so far as is suitable. I strongly contested the position in my speech and awakened the merchants to a sense of their duty, which was two-fold. Their responsibility to be truthful was all the greater in a foreign land, because the conduct of a few Indians was the measure of that of the millions of their fellow-countrymen” (109).

Gandhi’s devotion to truth begins as far back as his high school days. During a spelling examination Gandhi has trouble spelling the word “kettle”. Seeing this the teacher tries to prompt Gandhi with the point of his boot to copy his neighbors answer, with which Gandhi does not respond cooperatively and was the only one in the class to misspell the word. He explains, “I never could learn the art of ‘copying’”(4). His devotion to truth only is strengthened as he matures eventually he states that he is a, “Worshiper of Truth”(6) and that, “The passion for truth was innate in me”(9).

Gandhi shows an admiration for truth that runs deep in his blood. Most likely he obtained this ideology from the devotion his mother held within her. He explains of the impact of his mother while stating, “The outstanding impression my mother has left on my memory is that of saintliness. She was deeply religious. She would not think of taking her meals without her daily prayers”(2). Clearly Gandhi received his committed, religious mindset from his mother; the exception was that Gandhi’s religion was his search for ultimate truth. To begin his odyssey Gandhi travels to London for training to become a barrister.

The profession of barrister comes with the reputation of being filled with lies and trickery, which one might say disputes the purpose of Gandhi’s existence. However, Gandhi does not believe this is so explaining, “As a student I had heard that the lawyer’s profession was a liar’s profession. But this did not influence me, as I had no intention of earning either position or money by lying”(324). Gandhi’s pure heart could not be tainted by even the most corrupted of professions. After school he returned to India in 1891 and in 1893 accepted a job at an Indian law firm in Durban, South Africa.

Gandhi was appalled by the treatment of Indian immigrants there, and joined the struggle to obtain basic rights for them. Gandhi’s determination to honesty and truth combined with his uprising political stance granted him great respect in the political community. He realizes this when he states, “I also saw that my devotion to truth enhanced my reputation amongst the members of the profession, and in spite of the handicap of colour I was able in some cases to win even their affection”(328). Not only is he gaining enough prestige to win the cases he is doing it despite the nonwhite color of his skin.

The honor he earns in and out of the court room allows him to put up a valiant effort in his fight for Indian rights. His values in his political war are synonymous with the strict values he holds in his real life. One of the main aspects of his life is religion. To prove this he states, “It is that faith which sustains me”(335). Faith and religion holds a deep place in his heart and coincides with how he feels politics should be handled. He states, “I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means”(454).

For instance, when Gandhi goes to experience the Bengal religion he is deeply troubled by the tradition of sacrificing a lamb and explains “To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious that that of a human being. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitle it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man”(208). In Gandhi’s eyes it is not moral to kill any life including one that is less powerful than a human being. This religious view that he holds translates to how he deals with issues in society. Such as the terrible Zulu rebellion, a rebellion in South Africa against British rule.

Hearing of the rebellion Gandhi did not fight back or fight with the South Africans he simply set up an Ambulance Corps and helped the South African victims. Through out all of his life Gandhi never once harmed anyone to get his political point across, for that was not in his religion to do so. Just as religion affected the way he viewed politics, so did his diet. For a majority of his life Gandhi has been a vegetarian, which was all started by a vow that he promised to his mother in his young adult life. The main value that his strict diet has taught him is self restraint in the rest of his life.

He mentions this saying, “One should eat not in order to please the palate, but just to keep the body going”(287). When Gandhi gives up the pleasure one gets from eating he leaves it simply to the biological need of the task. He explains the difference between his life and of others when he states “The diet of a man of self-restraint must be different from that of a man of pleasure, just as their ways of life must be different” (292). He uses his value of self restraint to his political advantage when he makes his stance simply by being controlled and not reacting to the situation.

For example, while him and some of his followers are retrieving water from the well they are faced with great abuse and are told that they would pollute the water. To combat this, Gandhi uses great self restraint and simply tells everyone, “put up with the abuse and continue drawing water at any cost”, this works beautifully, later “when he saw that we did not return his abuse, the man became ashamed and ceased to bother us”(356). Gandhi’s use of self restraint and self control give him up the upper hand in any political fight and like this one, always almost end up in a victory for him in the end.

Both his self restraint and non violence values come in to play in Gandhi’s main political weapon, civil disobedience. Civil Disobedience involves making a stand and taking action against a social injustice, however, using complete peace and never once resorting to violence. Gandhi explains it best when he says, “A nation that wants to come into its own ought to know all the ways and means to freedom. Usually they include violence as the last remedy,[civil disobedience], on the other hand, is an absolutely non-violent weapon. ” (339).

An instance where this strategy is used is while the government is trying to force its Indian citizens to pay an unnecessary tax on their crops with no exceptions, even in a famine. Gandhi forms a pledge to be signed by all the affected citizens that simply states that they will not pay the taxes anymore. No violence is used and no emotional or physical pain comes in to play. While Gandhi does not share the consequences of the pledge in his autobiography the reader realizes the courage it takes to stand up to authority calmly and not defensively.

A more famous example where there was a beautiful demonstration of civil disobedience is the salt march that Gandhi led his followers on. When the citizens were being taxed excessively on salt, Gandhi leads them on a march to the sea to make their own salt in protest to the government’s taxes. Gandhi explains the powerful affect this has on the people when he states, “The people had for the moment lost all fear of punishment and yielded obedience to the power of love which their new friend exercised”(367).

Civil disobedience not only works magically to solve social problems it does it without causing harm to either party involved and causes a strong community atmosphere to develop, which works faster to solve difficult political issues. Civil disobedience is a contribution to today’s society that will never be forgotten and never taken for granted. Gandhi will forever leave an impact in every person’s heart. He used his extraordinary values and morals to free the Indian citizens from harsh British rule.

His politics never deterred from what he held deep in his heart. He answered the tough questions such as, ‘What if everything is pointing me to do something I do not believe in? ’ and ‘Where do you step aside from your values for the betterment of your community? ’. His answer to these questions are always follow your heart and follow what you believe is true. Gandhi dealt with extreme turmoil and through out every obstacle never stopped on his quest for the truth. While not every step there was smooth, it was a determined path none the less.

When Gandhi explains the symbol of a Court of Justice he states that it “is a pair of scales held evenly by an impartial and blind but sagacious woman. Fate has purposely made her blind, in order that she may not judge a person from his exterior but from his intrinsic worth”(127). This is comparable to Gandhi’s view on life and politics. He does not judge the people around him, he takes the situation for what it is, truly, and does what he believes in his heart is right. While Gandhi has had an incredible impact in politics forever his real lessons begin in finding ourselves, and the truth within ourselves.

Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Story of My Experiments with Truth Essay

Mahatma Gandhi Essay

Mahatma Gandhi Essay.

One of India’s most important men in history was Mahatma Gandhi. In this interpretation I wish to discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s writing’s on India’s Independence. As discussed in “Indian Home Rule” written in 1909. Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but known as Mahatma Gandhi lived from the year 1869 to the year 1948. He was the primary leader for India’s independence and one of the most successful users of civil disobedience in history. He was a spiritual and political leader in India, and he used his position and voice to make his country better.

Mahatma Gandhi believed in satyagraha or ” resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Satyagraha remains one of the most potent philosophies in freedom struggles throughout the world today,” (bio.com) . Gandhi spent most of his life fighting for Indian Liberation from outside influences and he was assassinated trying to stop a Hindu-Muslim conflict by a Hindu fanatic on January 30, 1948. His death was unfortunate but he is remember by the world as one of the most successful spiritual leaders.

Gandhi’s most fundamental criticism of British rule in India lies in the fact modernization that has been incorporated into their society by the British has caused India to turn away from their founding principles and religion. Mahatma Gandhi mentions that his people “should set limit to worldly ambition..’ and ‘make religious ambition be illimitable,” (Strayer, p. 920). This thought reflected his belief that the British concern was merely worldly ambition and that was not what his country should have set their sights upon. In his work, Gandhi defines civilization in his country’s sense and the British’s definition of civilization both of which differed dramatically. Gandhi’s concept of civilization center around a simple lifestyle not dependent on modernization and industrial characteristics. He believed civilization was their past lifestyle before railroads and British imperialism where his people lived in huts and plowed their own land the same way as their previous fathers did. His definition of British civilization was highly diluted and biased when he lists their idea of what it is.

His definition of their civilization mentions “women who should be queens of households, wandering in the streets or slaving away in factories’, men being ‘enslaved by temptations of money and the luxuries that it buys’, and ‘that their business is not to teach religion” (Strayer, p. 920). He goes on to say that their civilization will eventually be self destroyed whereas India’s will just keep continuing. Gandhi reconciles with the idea of India as a single nation even though the obvious religion division between Hindus and Muslims because he is speaking merely on India versus outsiders, not in any way distinguishing India as having separate divisions within itself. Gandhi seeks a future where India is that of its native culture handed down to them. Not in anyway seeking the advice of outsiders, yet instead living as they did in the past and sticking instead to elevate others moral being. With Gandhi’s ideas, he probably met criticisms from India’s increasing nationalist politicians who did not want to go back to the old way of life and who loved the power they gained from the British.

Mahatma Gandhi said that the tendency of Western civilization is to propagate immorality. I think he says that because the history of Western Colonization is that of spreading their culture and way of life wherever they travel, and he feel that their culture is immoral and corrupted. I think it is impossible for colonialism to be moral because more times than not the outsiders were intruding upon the natives and causing a severe disruption to their lifestyles that probably resulted in their demise or downfall. The history of colonialism does not lend itself to being a moral topic.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 04:39, Jul 27, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/mahatma-gandhi-9305898.

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Mahatma Gandhi Essay

Be The Change Essay

Be The Change Essay.

Mahatma Gandhi once wrote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ” Gandhi said this after a prayer service when a few members of the church had said to him “the world has to change for us to change” (Gandhi). Gandhi was a man who believed no one person is better than another. Gandhi’s quote applies to me because, along with Gandhi, I believe that everyone is equal with one another just as he believed us all to be.

Whether you are a multi-millionaire or bum on the streets, you are just as equal and deserving of full respect as anyone.

The quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi) to me means if you want to see change in the world you must not start with telling others what to do. You begin with yourself; live the life you wish to live. Change the world around yourself. If you want to see the world freer, live a freer life or live the type of life you’d be living if you were living in the world of your choice.

Gandhi did everything he could to help the Indians be able to live the life they wanted to live.

Gandhi endured great pain and humiliation for his actions of trying for a better future for himself and the he Indians he represented. Not many would people disagree or argue that the quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi), is an unclear or wrong statement. Although, some do believe that change will come on its own and we must just wait for that change to occur, instead of doing what Gandhi did and starved himself almost to death just because he was trying to make change.

However, most say that Gandhi made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of others and that the quote means something like “To be the change you want to see in the world, you don’t have to be loud… You don’t even have to be particularly smart or well educated. You do, however, have to be committed” (Anonymous). Every time I hear this quote being used at school or by a friend I like to ask why they use this quote because it means so much to me and I like knowing what it means to other people. I’ve heard things such as “If somebody doesn’t look out for me, why should I do it for someone else?”

(Anonymous) and wondered why thought that way. Sure you won’t benefit from looking out for someone but it’s the right thing to do. I like to believe that I can change this world for the better even if it means one small step at a time, even if the steps are as small as getting someone’s back for them, I believe that is one small step closer to making the world a better place. Works Cited “What Does This Quote By Gandhi Mean To You” October 2006. http://answers. yahoo. com/question/index? qid=20061031195028AAySXYg

Be The Change Essay