Gandhi's 11 Vows
Ahimsa is not
merely a negative state of harmlessness , but it is positive state of love , of
doing good even to the evil-doer. - Young India,August 25, 1920
Ahimsa is a weapon of matchless potency. It is the summum bonum of life. It is
an attribute of the brave, in fact, it is their all. It does not come within the
reach of coward. It is no wooden or lifeless dogma, but a living and life giving
force. - Young India, Sept 6, 1926.
Ahimsa is not the way of the timid or cowardly. It is the way of the brave ready
to face death. He who perishes sword in hand is no doubt brave; but he who faces
death without raising his little finger and without flinching, is braver. -
Young India, Oct. 11, 1928
Truth has no form. Therefore everyone one
will form such an idea or image of Truth as appeals to him, and there will be as
many images of Truth as there are men. These will be true as long as they last.
For they enable a man to obtain everything he wants. - Diary of Mahadevbhai,
p. 120 .
Truth should be Truth in thought, Truth in speech, and Truth in action. To the
man who has realised this Truth in its fulness , nothing else remains to be
known, because all knowledge is necessarily included in it. What is not included
in it, is not truth and so not true knowledge. - From Yeravda Mandir, p. 2.
Non-stealing does not mean merely not to
steal. To keep or take anything which one does not is also stealing. And of
course, stealing is fraught with violence.- Bapu-ke-Aashirvad, November 24,
We are not always aware of our real needs, and most of us improperly multiply
our wants and thus , unconsciously, make thieves of ourselves. One who follows
the observance of Non-stealing will bring about a progressive reduction of his
own wants. Much of the distressing poverty in this world has risen out of the
breaches of the principle of Non-stealing.- From Yeravda Mandir, p. 20.
Brahmacharya (Self Discipline)
Brahamchraya means control of all the organs of
sense. He who attempts to control only one organ, and allows all the others free
play is bound to find his effort futile .- Bapu's Letters to Mira. P.257.
To hear suggestive stories with the ears, to see suggestive sights with the
eyes, to taste stimulating food with the tongue, to touch exciting things with
the hands, and at the same time to expect to control the only remaining organ,
is like putting one's hands in the fire and expecting to escape being hurt.
Bapu's letters to Mira. P.257.
means that we should not hoard anything that we do not need today. -
Bapu-ke-Aashirvad, Nov. 25,1944.
The less you possess, the less you want , the better you are. And better for
what ? Not for your enjoyment of this life but for enjoyment of personal service
to your fellow beings ; service to which you dedicate yourself ,body, soul and
mind. - Mahatma Vol. 3, p.155.
dispossess yourself of everything you have, you really possess all the treasures
of the world. In other words , you really get all that is in reality necessary
for you., everything . If the food is necessary, food will come to you.- My
Philosophy of Life, p. 138.
Earn thy bread
by the sweat of the brow- says Bible . Bread labour means that everyone is
expected to perform sufficient body-labour in order to entitle him to his
living. It is not ,therefore, necessary to earn one's living by bread labour
,taking living' in its broader sense. But everyone must perform some useful
body-labour. Young India, Nov. 5, 1925.
The economics of Bread labour are the living way of life . It means that every
man has to labour with his body for his food and clothing. If I can convince the
people of the value and necessity of bread-labour, there never will be any want
of bread and cloth. - Harijan, Sept. 7, 1947.
The idea is that every healthy individual must labour enough for his food and
his intellectual faculties must be exercised not in order to obtain a living or
amass a fortune, but only in the service of mankind. If this principle is
observed everywhere, all men would be equal, none would starve and world would
be saved from a sin.- Harijan, Aug 3, 1935.
Aswada (Control of the Palate)
Unless we are
satisfied with foods that are necessary for the proper maintenance of our
physical health, and unless we are prepare to rid ourselves of stimulating
heating and exciting condiments that we mixed with food. We will certainly not
be able to control the over-abundant, unnecessary, and exciting stimulation that
we may have. If we do not do that, the result naturally is that we abuse
ourselves, and become less than animals and brutes. - Speeches & Writings of
Mahatma Gandhi. p. 384
should be healthy and well-balanced. The body was never meant to be treated as a
refuse-bin. Food is meant to sustain the body. - My Philosophy of Life.p.111
Sarvatra Bhayavarjana (Fearlessness)
should connote absence of all kinds of fear - fear of death, fear of bodily
injury, fear of hunger, fear of insults, fear of public disapprobation, fear of
ghosts and evil spirits, fear of anyone's anger. Freedom from all these and
other such fears constitute fearlessness. - Bapu - Ke Ashirwad. Nov 26, 1944
does not mean arrogance and aggressiveness. That in itself is a sign of fear.
Fearlessness presupposes calmness and peace of mind. For that it is necessary to
have a living faith in God. - Harijan, Nov. 3, 1946.
Sarva Dharma Samantva (Equality of the religions)
been interwoven . One sees a special quality in every one of them . But no one
religion is higher than another. All are complimentary to one another .Since
this is my belief, the speciality of any one religion cannot run counter to
another, cannot be at variance with universally accepted principles. -
Harijanbandhu, March 19, 1933.
For I believe
in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that
they are all God-given, and I believe that they
were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I
believe that, if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different
faiths from the standpoint of the followers of those faiths we should find that
they were at bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.- Harijan,
Feb. 16, 1934 .
Just as men
have different names and faces, these religions also are different. But just as
men are all human in spite of their different names and forms, just as leaves of
a tree though different as leaves are the same as the leaves of the same tree ,
all religions though different are the same. We must treat all religions as
equals. - Harijanbandhu, July 22, 1934.
Swadeshi (Use Locally Made Goods)
that sprit in us which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours before
others , and to use things produced in our neighbourhood in preference to those
more remote. So doing, we cannot serve humanity to the best of our capacity, we
cannot serve humanity by neglecting our neigbours. - Young India, April 20
It is sinful to buy and use articles made by sweated labour. It is sinful to eat
American wheat &and let my neighbour, the grain dealer starve for want of
custom. Similarly, it is sinful for to wear the latest finery of Regent Street
when I know that if I had but worn the things woven by the neighbouring spinners
and weavers, that would have clothed me, and fed and clothed them. - Young
India, Oct. 13, 1921.
My definition of Swadeshi is well known . I must not serve my distant neighbour
at the expense of the nearest. It is never vindictive or punitive. It is in no
sense narrow , for I buy from every part of the world what is needed for my
growth. I refuse to buy from anybody anything, however nice or beautiful, if it
interferes with my growth or injures those whom Nature has made my first care.
- Young India, March 12, 1925.
Swadeshi is that spirit in us which restricts us to the use and service of our
immediate surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote& I should use only
things that are produced by my immediate neighbours and serve those industries
by making them efficient and complete where they might be found wanting. It is
suggested that such Swadeshi , if reduced to practice, will lead to the
millennium. - Speeches and Writings of Mahatma Gandhi.
means pollution by the touch of certain persons in reason of their birth in a
particular state or family. It is an excrescence. In the guise of religion, it
is always in the way, and erupts religion. - From Yeravda Mandir, p. 31
untouchability means love for, and service of, the whole world and thus merges
into Ahimsa. Removal of untouchability spells the breaking down of barriers
between man and man and between the various orders of Being. -From Yeravda
untouchability to be a heinous crime against humanity. It is not a sign of
self-restraint, but an arrogant assumption of superiority. - Young India,
Dec. 8, 1920