gandhi2Image taken from here

Gandhi is a figure that has always interested me, first off because of the movie starred by Ben Kingsley, and later on I always heard or read stories about him. His peace and struggle using non-violence amazed me, so I decided to read Gandhi, his life and message for the World by Louis Fischer.

Gandhi was a kharma yogi, which is a devotee who is jealous of none, who is a fount of mercy, who is without egotism, who is selfless, who treats alike cold and heat, happiness and misery, who is ever forgiving, who is always contented, whose resolutions are firm, who has dedicated mind and soul to God, who causes no dread, who is not afraid of others, who is free from exultation, sorrow and fear, who is pure, who is versed in action yet remains unaffected by it, who renounces all fruit, good or bad, who treats friend and foe alike, who is untouched by respect or disrespect, who is not puffed up by praise, who does not go under when people speak ill of him, who loves silence and solitude, who has a disciplined reason. Such devotion is inconsistent with the existence at the same time of strong attachments.

But Gandhi wasn’t always an example of peace and obtaining great victories through non-violence. He recognized his bad impulses and foul temper in his early years and the beginning of his marriage. The experiences he lived throughout life enabled him to transform himself and become the Gandhi that all of us have heard about. Fighting for justice and standing up for what he believed was right.

Moving masses not by promising them wealth or power, instead hoping that they would desire a country in which they would live freely (even though, at the end, this would be a far cry from reality) because no amount of speeches will make us fit for self-government. It is only our conduct that will fit us for it. Gandhi struggled to make the British Government realize that the Indian people were fit to govern themselves.

Gandhi’s strength and power over masses reduces itself to Soul Force: the vindication of truth not by infliction of suffering on the opponent but on one’s self… weaning the opponent from error by patience and sympathy. One cannot read this and wonder how a nation started the road to independence moved by such a weak looking man, but whose inner strength surpassed the force of an earthquake. True, the Indian struggle for independence did not come without troublesome situations, as violence between Muslims and Hindus, and within Hindus themselves but, nevertheless, violence was put behind as Gandhi fasted with so much faith in his people and the nation he so much loved.

He was murdered January 25, 1948 while attending prayer but his love and strength, the Soul Force, went beyond his present time and left us with so much to ponder about, searching and hopefully one day grasping inner peace.