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Ghandi, The Man not the Myth - Essay Example

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Gandhi’s approach to life is to build, not break. He knew that prosperity in the real sense of the term will not happen unless the people are sound and industrious, and basic conditions are created for them to become this way. With the profound knowledge that he possessed about cultural traditions and the state of the economy, he was in a position to guide the destiny of the people. The country he was associated with had their economy and cultural traditions exploited and devastated with a calculated plan by the colonial rulers. He desired that every segment of the population of the country needs to be self-sufficient and should not look forward for foreign aid. He desired and worked for the Indian people to make them self-sufficient and lead the life maintaining the essential dignity. Truth was the underlying message in his way of life. Non-violence to him meant strength without destruction, with no chance for weakness or fear for challenging injustice. In the dark coalmine of politics, he was the sparkling gem.
He had powerful issues to fight with, like racism, violence, religious fanaticism, and colonialism. Since truth was at the root of all his battles, he had no confusion about his goals, for he knew his destination. To him, how he did, what he did, and the honest means employed were more important than the violent tactics normally adopted by the politicians. "Truth remained at the root of his integrated approach to life, and by non-violence he meant vitality without destruction, with no opportunity for weakness or fear for challenging injustice." Religion enveloped every action in his life In 1944 Albert Einstein said, “Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth,”. He spoke of Gandhi as an angel, that only occurs once on earth. That was the time when Gandhi was at the peak of spiritual advancement and the Indian Freedom struggle had entered the conclusive phase. Most of the people then and even today understand the superficial Gandhi, a tall lean figure with a walking stick and robe. They were enthusiastic about following him, without understanding the basic principles for which he stood for. In turn he mixed freely with the people, irrespective of their class or official status and at the same time he maintained the essential dignity needed in a true leader. He possessed personal assets like purity in personal lifestyles, good dietary practices (he was a strict vegetarian), celibacy, and a life devoid of violence (ahimsa) His dietary practices were often ridiculed and termed as impractical for a hardworking and busy individual. However, Gandhi knew the scientific justification for his pursuits in this area, which he considered as an important aspect for his spiritual advancement. Gandhi’s food discipline is part of this theory. His mother took advice from a Jain priest and the 5 five great vows of Jainism are: nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy, and non possession (Holmes, p.6). Those taking junk and non-vegetarian foods are prone to anger, restlessness and unsteady behavior, get upset over frivolous issues and have jealous dispositions. Gandhi terms his life as an experiment with truth, and he tendered convincing proofs for all his actions. Gandhi does not expect everyone to follow his principles blindly and as the man with the divine orientation he knows that each individual is born with a level of progression. There is a place in which he has to commence the one’s own journey of life from the given set of circumstances. When the individuals are honest about their intentions and have an unselfish approach, all problems, personal, societal, national and international, can be solved. Apparently, this may seem hard to obtain, but this is the only alternative to challenge the issues confronting humankind. Treading the spiritual path is a gradual process and the episodes presented by Gandhi chronologically in the book need to be understood in this context. As one progresses spiritually, many a past beliefs turn myths. Meaning, such an individual has transcended the ...Show more
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Summary

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was a simple individual made complex by the people around him, his admirers and critics. For Gandhi, admiration and criticism were alternative beats of the same heart…
Ghandi, The Man not the Myth
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