Presentation on theme: "MAHATMA GANDHI AN ORTHODOX HINDU AS A GREAT POLITICAL STRATEGIST"— Presentation transcript:
1 MAHATMA GANDHI AN ORTHODOX HINDU AS A GREAT POLITICAL STRATEGIST -Dr. Vasudeo Kshirsagar
2 Gandhi is as tall as Himalyas There are more than thousand books written on GandhiThere is hardly any thing to add moreGandhi has written booksHindu DharmaMy ReligionThe story of My Experiments with TruthIn addition I have referred other booksGandhi – The writer by Bahabani BhattacharyaGandhi – A Memoir by William L. ShirerMohandas Gandhi –Essential Writings by John DearMahatma Gandhi –His Life and Ideas by Charles F. Andrews
3 Mahatma Gandhi He was not only a Political Leader A follower of Hindu ReligionHe claimed as Sanatani HinduNot as the influence of Heredity orBorne in Hindu familyHe would reject it, if he found it inconsistent with Moral sense
4 Mahatma Gandhi He is Hindu for following reasons Most tolerant of all ReligionsFreedom from DogmaGives the largest votary for self expressionRespects all other religions andAlso assimilates good in other religionsRoom for worship of all Prophets of the WorldAdvises everyone worship God according to his or her own faith.
5 Hindu ReligionThe Hindu Religion is a reflection of composite character of the Hindus, who are not one people but many. It is based on universal receptivity. It has ever aimed at accommodating itself to circumstances, and has carried on the process of adaptation through more than three thousand years. It has first borne with and then so to speak, swallowed, digested and assimilated something from all creeds.Monier Williams (Religious Thoughts & Life in India)
6 Hindu ReligionThe Vedic Seers had Universal Vision which is reflected in last hymn from Rig-Veda. They have addressed it to mankind as a whole, as how humanity should form one brotherhood.Assemble, speak together, and let your minds be all of one accordAs ancient gods unanimous sit down to their appointed shareThe place is common, common the assembly, common the mind, so be there thought united.A common purpose do I lie before you, and worship with your general oblationOne and the same be your resolve, and may be your minds of one accord, united to the thoughts of all that all may happily agreeLet Noble thoughts come to us from every side of the Universe.
7 GANDHI’S INTRODUCTION TO DIFFERENT RELIGIONS He met two unmarried Theosophists brothers in LondonRequested for his help for proper interpretation onSir Erwin Arnold’s translation “ THE SONG CELESTICAL”Gandhi was ashamed of his ignorance about Bhagwad GitaHe has meager knowledge of Sanskrit, but managed to explain where translation failed to bring out the real meaning.The verses in second chapter of Bhagwad Gita made a deep life long impressionIF ONE PONDERS ON THE OBJECTS OF THE SENSESTHERE SPRINGS ATTRACTIONEROM ATTRACTION GROWS DESIRE,DESIRE FLAMES TO FIERCE PASSION,PASSION BREEDS RECKLESSNESS;THEN THE MEMORY – ALL BETRYEDLET NOBLE PURPOSE GO, AND SAPS THE MIND,TILL PURPOSE,MIND, AND MAN ARE ALL UNDONE
8 GANDHI’S INTRODUCTION TO DIFFERENT RELIGIONS At same time he met a good Christian from Manchester in vegetarian boarding. He advised Gandhi to read Bible. Gandhi read several books with little interest as he had difficulty in understanding.But the NEW TESTAMENT produced different impression, especially SERMON ON THE MOUNT, which went straight to his heart.“BUT I SAY TO YOU, DO NOT (VIOLENTLY) RESIST EVIL:WHOEVER SHALL STRIKE YOU ON THE RIGHT CHEEK,TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. AND ANY ONE TAKES AWAYYOUR COAT, LET HIM HAVE YOUR CLOAK AS WELL”Gandhi was delighted beyond measure. His young mind tried to unify the teaching of Gita and Sermon On The Mount.He concluded RENUNCIATION is the highest form of religion.In London same time he attended the meetings of Anjuman Islamia and studied Koran.
9 In 1893 in South Africa he had discussion with Baptist Minister Rev. J.J. Doke about Soul Force or Passive Resistance.Doke told that Soul Force has been mentioned first in Bhagwad GitaGandhi replied him from the passage on the SERMON ON THE MOUNT“LOVE YOUR ENEMIES; PRAY FOR THEM THAT PERSECUTE YOU, THAT YE MAY SONS OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN”Overjoyed him and the BHAGWAD GITA deepened the impression,And Tolstoy’s The Kingdome Of God Within You gave the permanent form.ACCORDING TO GANDHI SOUL-FORCE IS INFINITLY SUPERIOR TO BODY- FORCEJesus Christ, Daniel, and Socratics represented the purest form of Soul-Force.
10 GANDHI’S STAY IN AFRICA In 1893 he had close contacts with Christian and Muslim friendsAttended Protestant Christian convention with Mr. BakerDelighted with their prayers and devoutnessChristian friends were endeavoring to convert himHe saw no reason to change his belief or change his religionIt was impossible for him to believe that he go to heaven or attain salvation only by becoming Christian.Christian friends were shocked to listen his opinion.
11 Abdullah Sheth a Muslim friend kept him inducing to study Islam He started exhaustive comparative study of different religions Christianity and Islam. He also met different religious leaders and had discussion on different religions.He also kept constant contact with Raychandbhai (a Gujrati sage) and expressed his difficulties with religious studies.Raychandbhai sent several Hindu religious books to GandhiAfter studying different religions, he wrote to Raychandbhai“EVERYBODY CAN ATTAIN LIBERATION BY FOLLOWING HIS OWN RELIGION. FOR LIBERATION MEANSE COMPLETE FREEDOM FROM ATTACHMENT AND HATRED AND THIS IS THE COMMON GOAL OF ALL RELIGIONS”
12 SECRET OF STAYING POWER OF HINDUISM According to Gandhi Hinduism has survived in spite of several attacks by different religions for following reasonsIt has tried to imbibe whatever was good in other religionsHindu BeliefsGod exists, he is without beginning, immaculate without any attribute or formHe omnipresent and omnipotentSoul exists and is distinct from bodyIt is without beginning, without birthBut it takes on, from time to time, a body as a result of karmaAnd goes on being borne againTo be free from the cycle of birth and death and attain MokshaOne has to do good deeds, have compassion for all beingsLive with truthAction should be undertaken for his own sake,Without an eye on the fruit
13 JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT CONVERTING TO CHRISTIANITY ADDRESS TO CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES IN CALCUTTAAT Y.W.C.A. JULY 28, 1925.“I was to find my satisfaction through reasoning, I must study the scriptures of other religions also and make my choice. And I turned to Koran. I tried to understand what I could of Judaism as distinguished from Christianity. I studied Zoroastrianism, and I came to conclusion that all religions are right, and every one of them imperfect, because they were interpreted with our poor intellects, some times with our poor hearts, and most often misinterpreted.”However, he remained indebted to his Christian friends for the religious quest they awakened in him. He studied Bible, Tolstoy’s books. The Gospels in Brief, What to do? And other books which made a deep impression on him.By reading these books he realized more and more the infinite possibilities of Universal Love.In Sabarmati Ashram he use to singLead kindly Light amid encircling gloom,AndWhen I survey the Wondrous Cross
14 GANDHI RESPECTED ALL RELIGIONS “My Hindu instinct tells me that all religions are more or less true. All proceeded from the same God, but all are imperfect because they have come down to us through imperfect human instrumentality.”Young IndiaGandhi quoted words of Jalaluddin Rumi of Persia ( )“The ways of God are as many as the number of souls of men…God’s light is one but its rays are various in hue. We can worship any path, provided it be with a true and sincere heart”Views on ConversionConversion must not mean denationalization. Conversion should mean a definite giving up of the evil of old, adoption of all the good of the new, and scrupulous avoidance of every thing evil in the new. Conversion, therefore , should mean a life of greater dedication to one’s country, greater surrender to God, greater self purification.
15 Three people left deep impression on Gandhi’s life Raychandbhai (Shri Rajchandra) a Gujrati sage whom he met in India.Count Leo Tolstoy, a Russian Aristocrat and greatest author of novels in world literature. He was also tormented with spiritual problems as Gandhi faced in South Africa. Gandhi never met Tolstoy. They have contacts by writing letters.John Ruskin
16 Gandhi-TolstoyGandhi’s notable reference about Tolstoy with his biographical data appeared in Indian Opinion in Gandhi considered Tolstoy as most talented person in the western world. His teachings are as follows:MEN SHOULD NOT ACCUMULATE WEALTHNO MATTER HOW MUCH EVIL A PERSON DOES TO US;WE SHOULD ALWAYS DO WELL TO HIM. SUCH IS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, AND ALSO HIS LAW.NO ONE SHOULD TAKE PART IN FIGHTINGIT IS SINFUL TO WEILD POLITICAL POWER, AS IT LEADS TO MANY EVILS.MAN MUST PAY MORE ATTENTION TO HIS DUTIES THAN TO HIS RIGHTSAGRICULTURE IS MAN’S TRUE OCCUPATION. IT IS WRONG TO ESTABLISH BIG CITIES, TO EMPLOY HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS IN FACTORIES SO THAT A FEW CAN EXPLOIT THE POVERTY OF MANY.Gandhi adopted this message to reorient his own life.
17 Gandhi-John RuskinJohn Ruskin’s book “Un To The Last”, Gandhi read in South Africa in a 24 hours railway journey from Johannesburg to Durban which made deepest convictions on his mind.The teachings of this book in Gandhi’s wordsThat the good of individual is contained in the good of allThat a lawyers work has the same value as the barber’s in as much as all have the same right of earnings their livelihood from their workThat the life of labor, i.e. the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicrafts man is the life worth living.
18 GANDHI AS AN ORTHODOX HINDU The most favorite religious books were Bhagwad Gita and RamayanaHe has also read Hindu Scriptures extensivelyHe was influenced by Pantajali’s Yogsutra, Vivekananda’s Raj YogaUpanishads, Most favorite is Isa UpanishadAs a sanatani Hindu he believed in Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. But he refrained from using the word divine origin. If he believes Vedas are divine in origin, then Bible, Koran, and Zend-Avesta much divinely inspired as Vedas.At the same time he declined to be bound by interpretation, however learned may be, if it repugnant to reason or moral sense.
19 GANDHI AS AN ORTHODOX HINDU He believed in Vernashrama:Vernashrama in his opinion is, inherent in human nature, and Hinduism has simply reduced it to a science. Verna means predetermination of the choice of man’s profession of his ancestors for earning his livelihood. Each child naturally follows the “color” of his father.Verna, therefore, is in a way the law of heredity.There is nothing against for a Sudra , to prevent from acquiring highest knowledge as he wishes.A Brahmin falls, if he has no knowledge.Verna has nothing to do with the casteAll are borne equal to serve God’s creation.
20 Cow Protection Cow Protection Gandhi had very strong feelings about cow protectionMost wonderful phenomena in all human evolutionIt takes the human being beyond his speciesIt is protection of whole dumb creation of God
21 Idol Worship He thought Idol Worship is part of human nature. Everybody hankers after symbolismWhy one should be more composed in Church than elsewhere.No Hindu considers an image to be GodHinduism tells everyone to worship God according to his own faithThere is a room for worship all the prophets of the world and so itLives at peace with all the religions.Gandhi was never excited in Idol WorshipHe believed in God in the following mannerGod is Truth and LoveGod is ethics and moralityGod is the source of life and lightGod is omniscient and omnipresentGod is atheism to atheistHe knows us and our heart better than ourselvesI know, too that I shall never know God if I do not wrestle with against evil
22 PrayerPrayer was critically important for Gandhi. Each morning, he spent one hour in silent meditation before sunrise. Each evening he spent another hour in silent meditation. Every day for 50 years he had read from Sermon On The Mount, the Koran, and most importantly, the Bhagwad Gita with focus on the second chapter. He quotes the Gita’s words“do your allotted work but renounce the fruit; be detached and work;have no desire for reward”This he believes, is the Gita’s unmistakable teaching.The object of Gita is to show the best way of attaining self-realization.According to Gandhi prayer is the very soul and essence of religion.Prayer must be the very core of the life of man.God has thousand names or rather He is nameless.Worship Him by whichever name pleases to youFor him God is Truth and Love.Gandhi believed in the Hindu aphorism that no one really knows theScriptures who has not attained perfection in Innocence (Ahimsa), Truth (Satya) and Self Control (Brahmcharya) and who has not renounced all acquisition or possession of wealth. He believed , along with every Hindu in God and his Oneness, in rebirth and salvation.
23 GANDHI AS AN ORTHODOX HINDU Untouchability and Caste system is shame to HinduismCaste is an excrescence, just like untouchability , upon Hinduism.Failure to follow Vernashram is responsible for economic ruins and spiritual ruin.Caste and untouchability is defection of faithThe modern Caste, with arrogant exclusiveness, is good as gone.
24 GANDHI AS A RELIGIOUS POLITICAL STRATEGIST Battling violence in a strange new manner called Passive ResistanceA seemingly airy weapon named Truth ForceLater he found the name as “SATYAGRAHA”SATYA MEANS TRUTHAGRAHA MEANS FIRMNESSIn passive resistance there is a scope for the use of arms when suitable occasion arises. In Satyagraha physical force is forbiddenSatyagraha postulates the conquest of the adversary by suffering in one’s own person.The influence impinged on the early conceptFirst by ThoreauTolstoySocrates
25 Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau He was an American writer Practiced what he preachedImpelled by his duty, he wrote much against his countryCampaigning for abolition of Negro slavery, he wrote a famous essay“ON THE DUTY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE”He went to prison for the sake of his principles and sanctified by his sufferings.
26 GANDHI’S MESSAGE OF NONVIOLENCE Nonviolence is the greatest contribution to humanityIt is the way to peace, justice, and to reach the GodHe took seriously biblical commandments“Though shall not kill” and“Love your enemies” along with Hindu TraditionAhimsa (nonkilling).Applied non violence to his own heart and life and practiced in South Africa, India, and the World.He taught the nonviolence is not just the refusal to kill,It is the action of love and truth as a positive social change.
27 UNIQNESS OF GANDHI AS A POLITICIAN Gandhi was a brilliant political strategist and revolutionary personOnly politician kept reliance upon God in his public practice ofNON VOILENCEIt was a spiritualityAway of lifeCenter of his ReligionHe insisted that Nonviolence succeeds only when we have real living faith in God.A messenger telling us that God is nonviolent and wants us to become nonviolent even on the political, national, and international levels.
28 DREAM OF RELIGIOUS UNIVERSAL GOVERNMENT “ INDEED RELIGION SHOULD PERVADE EVERY ONE OF OUR ACTIONS. HERE RELIGION DOES NOT MEAN SECTARIANISM. IT MEANSE A BELIEF IN ORDERED MORAL GOVERNMENT OF UNIVERSE. IT IS NOT LESS REAL BECAUSE IT IS UNSEEN. THIS RELIGION TRANSCENDS HINDUISM, ISLAM, CHRISTIANITY etc. IT DOES NOT SUPERSEED THEM. IT HARMONZES THEM AND GIVES THEM REALITY.(Harijan , p.445)
29 MAHATMA - GREAT SOUL Gandhi was not borne Great To put it cryptically, he was Every manSo he has secret funds of strength and has his overt areas of weaknessPutting his feet on an unfertile soil and barren earth, never departed from his grass rootsWith knife in hand, he slashed off every element of weakness in the depth of his beingLike an artist with chisel in hand working on a rough stone bit by bit he carved out himselfMAHATMA - GREAT SOUL
30 MAHATMA - GREAT SOULEVEN SINCE FORTIETH YEAR OF HIS LIFE HE WAS THROUGHLY IMMERSED INKIND OF NIRVANA, A PASSIOONLESS NESS. AND IN THIS CONTEXT , ONE CANNOTHELP BEING REMINDED OF GAUTAM BUDDHA. A MAN WHO ATTAINS ABSOLUTECONTROL OVER HIS INNER SELF IN HIS HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED ERA BY A RARERPHENOMENON THAN ONE KIND WHO LIVED 2500 YEARS AGO.