Verbatim I

1. From ” MY Experiments with Truth”:

1] “But all my life through, the very insistence on truth has taught me to appreciate the beauty of compromise. I saw in later life that this spirit was an essential part of Satyagraha. It has often meant endangering my life and incurring the displeasure of friends. But truth is hard as adamant and tender as a blossom”.

2] In S Africa:”I had learnt at the outset not to carry any public work with borrowed money. One could rely on people’s promises in most matters except in respect of money. I had never found people quick to pay the amounts thy had undertaken to subscribe, and the Natal Indians were no exception to that. As, therefore, no work was done unless there were funds on hand, the natal Indian Congress has never been in debt.”

3] “But collecting funds was not the only thing to do. Infact, I had long learnt the principle of never having more money at one’s disposal than necessary.”

4] “Peole never cared to have receipts for the amounts they paid, but we always insisted on the receipts being given (ref. Natal Congress). Every pie was thus clearly accounted for… “

5] My experience has shown me that we win justice quicker by rendering justice to other party.

6] “That is why Sir William Hunter has called the indenture sytem (of labor) almost as bad as slavery. Like the slave, the indentured labourer was the property of his master “(ref. indentured labor sent from India to South Africa).

7] In S Africa, a white barber refused to do hair-cut on Gandhiji, when the latter went to his shop. In this reference, Gandhiji says: “We donot allow our barbers (in India) to serve our untouchable brethern. I got the reward of this in South Africa,not once, but many times, and the conviction that it was the punishment for our own sins saved me from becoming angry.”

8] When Gandhiji became famous in S Africa in Indian community for winning rights for them , he also pressed for social reforms, like sanitary reforms. In this regard, he says:

“But I had some bitter experiences. I saw that I could not so easily count on the help of the community in getting to do its own duty, as I could in claiming for its rights. At some places I met with insults, at other with polite indifference. It was too much for people to bestir themselves to keep their surroundings clean. To expect them to find money for the work was out of question. These experiences taught me ,better than ever before, that without infinite patience, it was impossible to get the people to do any work. It is the reformer who is anxious for the reform, not the society, from which he should expect nothing better than opposition, abhorrence and even moral persecution.”

9. While returning to S Africa after his one visit to India, he says: “I believed then that enterprising youths who could not find an opening in the country should emigrate to other lands. I therefroe, took with me four or five such youths, one of whom was Maganlal Gandhi.”

10] While reading Geeta: “Words like aparigraha (non-possession) and samabhava (equability) gripped me. How to cultivate and preserve that equability was the question.”

11] “A satyagrahi is born to be deceived. Let the commanding officer deceive us. Have I not told you times without number that ultimately a deceiver only deceives himself” (ref: to Sorabji in England).

12] To Rustam Kaka in S Africa, when he came to Gandhiji to save him from sure prisonment while admitting that he used to smuggle from India. Gandhji wanted him to admit guilt in front of authorities. He said: “I am of the opinion that the shame lies not so much in going to jail as in committing the offence. The deed of shame has already been done. Imprisonment you should regard as a penance. The real penance lies in resolving never to smuggle again”.

13. To a British secretary, Gandhhi argued: I have no doubt that the British government is a powerful government, but I have no doulbt also that satyagraha is a sovereign remedy.”

14. Gandhiji was interested to join Gokhale’s Friends of the Society (around 1916). There was much resistance in the meeting. He withdrew and says: The withdrawal of my appliaction made me truly a member of the Society.”

15] Many attempts were made to re-invest Gandhiji in S Africa as well as India in the sacred thread. He said: If shudras may not wear it, what right have the other varnas to do so? I had no objection to the thread as such, but the reason for wearing it were lacking”. He further argued to a swamiji: “So long as there were different religions, everyone of them may need some outward distinctive symbol. But when the symbol is made into a fetish and an instrument of proving the superiority of one’s religion over others’, it is fit only to be discarded. The sacred thread doesnot appear to me today to be a means of uplifting Hinduism. I am therefore indifferent to it.

16] “The Champaran struggle was a proof of the fact that disinterested service of the people in any sphere ultimately helps the country politically.”

17] In Kheda satyagraha (Gujrat), Gandhiji says: “The main thing was to rid the agriculturists of their fear by making them realize that the officials were not the masters but the servants of the people, inasmuch as they received their salaries from the taxpayer.” NB: How true is this dictum even today, infact much more relevant!

18. “Experience has taught me that civility is the most difficult part of satyagraha. Civilty here does not mean the mere outward gentlenessof speech cultivated for the occasion, but an inborn gentleness and desire to do the opponent good.”

19] “I had realized early enough in South Africa that there was no genuine friendship between the Hindus and Musalmans.”

20] While talking of Khilafat movement, he at one stage says:”……but it would be another matter and quite graceful , and reflect great credit on them, if the Musalmans of their own free will stopped cow- slaughter out of regard for the religious sentiments of the Hindus, and from a sense of duty towards them as neighbors and children of the same soil.

21] Post Jaliawalan massacre, Congress decided to bulid a memorial and thus raised one lakh rupess for that and as per Gandhiji ” the memorial trust has at present a handsome credit balance in the bank”. But as Gandhiji writes: “But the problem that faces the country today is what kind of memorial to erect on the ground, to sanctify which, Hindus, Musalmasn and Sikhs mingled their blood. The three communities, instead of being bound in a bond of amity and love, are to all appearance, at war with one another, and the nation is at a loss to how to utilize the memorial fund” .

2. There’s enough in the world for every man’s need, but not for every man’s greed.
– Mahatma Gandhi

3. Feeding a snake with milk increases its venom, no nectar is produced.
– Chanakya

4. “Peace is not just the absence of violence”. Peace comes from within. It is only when we have true peace of mind that we can look for peace externally. The main destroyer of peace of mind is not external but the internal enemies”- Dalai Lama

5. “The truth is, religion is mutually exclusive. The person who says, “Oh, I just believe them all,” is an idiot because the religions flat-out contradict each other. You cannot believe in reincarnation and heaven at the same time. “- Pastor Rick Warren, in Newsweek over a debate.

6. The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
– Martin Luther King

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