Mohandas K. Gandhi

Indian Spiritual & Political Leader
1948 AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
Gandhi Peace Award
Gandhi Peace Prize

birthdate: October 2
Porbandar, India



"You have to do the right thing... You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."


The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures.

I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence.

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. The more helpless the creature, the more that it is entitled to protection by man from the cruelty of man.


Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.


If we are ever to have real peace in this world we shall have to begin with the children.


"Good government is no substitute for self-government."

Civil Disobedience

Non-cooperation is an attempt to awaken the masses, to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be done by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force, if they would but know the soul within.”

“An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. Now the law of nonviolence says that violence should be resisted not by counter-violence but by nonviolence. This I do by breaking the law and by peacefully submitting to arrest and imprisonment.”

Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.


"If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.


I understand democracy as something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong.

To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness.

The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within.

In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself.

The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular.

"What does it matter to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"


"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul."

All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family


If we are ever to have real peace in this world we shall have to begin with the children.


"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.

Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.

I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul.

Man's nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been know to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.


In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love.


"The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty."

There is no road to freedom. Freedom is the road.


"It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business."


The future depends on what we do in the present.

I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present.


Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.


"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”


"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

Human Rights

Rights that do not flow from duty well performed are not worth having.

I learned from my illiterate but wise mother that all rights to be deserved and preserved came from duty well done. Thus the very right to live accrues to us only when we do the duty of citizenship of the world. From this one fundamental statement, perhaps it is easy enough to define the duties of Man and Woman and correlate every right to some corresponding duty to be first performed. Every other right can be shown to be a usurpation hardly worth fighting for.

If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. If leaving duties unperformed we run after rights, they will escape us like a will-o'-the-wisp."

Begin with duties of a man and rights will follow as spring follows winter"


If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.


There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.

There can be no rule of God in the present state of iniquitous inequalities in which a few roll in riches and the masses do not get enough to eat.

There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed.

Inner Peace

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the 'atomic age' -- as in being able to remake ourselves."


They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.

A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.


A weak man is just by accident. A strong but nonviolent man is unjust by accident.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.


Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.


It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty.

“I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.”

What is faith if it is not translated into action?


“Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself”

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.


I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

Living A Life of Compassion

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

"You have to do the right thing... You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."

"Be the change you want to see in the world."


Every good movement passes through five stages, indifference, ridicule, abuse, repression, and respect. --

truthful movements spontaneously attract to themselves all manner of pure and disinterested help.


"Nonviolence s not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave."

[He] alone is truly nonviolent who remains nonviolent even though he has the ability to strike.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

I contend that non-violent acts exert pressure far more effective than violent acts, for the pressure comes from goodwill and gentleness.

"Things undreamt of are daily being seen, the impossible is ever becoming possible. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence."

In the application of the method of non-violence, one must believe in the possibility of every person, however depraved, being reformed under humane and skilled treatment.

"Nonviolence is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave."

"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."

Courtesy towards opponents and eagerness to understand their view-point is the ABC of non-violence.

"If one does not practice nonviolence in one's own personal relations with others and hopes to use it in bigger affairs, one is vastly mistaken."


So far as I can see, the atomic bomb has deadened the finest feeling that has sustained for ages. There used to be so-called laws of war, which made it tolerable. Now we know the truth. War knows no law except that of might. The atomic bomb brought an empty victory but it resulted for the time being in destroying the soul of Japan. What has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early to see...


It is possible to live in peace.


"Poverty is the worst form of violence."


My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into one another; and they all have their rise in my insatiable love for mankind.

Root Causes

"A pacifism which can see the cruelties only of occasional military warfare and is blind to the continuous cruelties in our social system is worthless."


There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed.

“Live simply so that others may simply live.”

Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plan living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man's happiness really lies in contentment.


A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.


Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.

Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause.

Once one assumes an attitude of intolerance, there is no knowing where it will take one. Intolerance, someone has said, is violence to the intellect and hatred is violence to the heart.


An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.


I do not regard flesh-food as necessary for us at any stage and under any clime in which it is possible for human beings ordinarily to live. I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world - if we are superior to it.


"The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others."

No More War

I am a man of peace. I believe in peace. But I do not want peace at any price.

"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."

We Can Work It Out

Courtesy towards opponents and eagerness to understand their view-point is the ABC of non-violence.


It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.




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