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EPIGRAMS FROM GANDHIJI
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Machine - Machinery
The spinning wheel is itself an exquisite piece of machinery. My head daily bows in reverence to its unknown inventor.
The supreme consideration is man. The machine should not tend to make atrophied the limbs of man.
The machine should not be allowed to cripple the limbs of man.
Today machinery merely helps a few to ride on the backs of millions.
My machinery must be of the most elementary type which I can put in the home of the millions.
I would not weep over the disappearance of machinery or consider it a calamity.
What I object to is the craze for machinery, not machinery as such.
The author of the Mahabharata has not established the necessity of physical warfare, on the contrary he has proved its futility.
The immortal but unknown author of the Mahabharata weaves into his story sufficient of the supernatural to warn you against taking him literally.
I look upon Gibbon and Motley as inferior editions of the Mahabharata.
I regard Duryodhana and his party as the baser impulses in man and Arjuna and his party as the higher impulses.
I have never, even in my dream, thought that I was mahatma and that others were alpatma (little soul).
A minority does not always fear majority because it is a majority.
The principle of majority does not work when differences on fundamentals are involved.
To say that there was danger in numbers was as true as to say that there was safety in numbers.
A man who throws himself on God ceases to fear man.
Man believes and lives.
Man can only conceive God within the limitation of his own mind.
Man can only describe God in his own poor language.
The man of prayer will be at peace with himself and with the whole world.
Man is sent into the world to perform his duty even an the cost of his life.
The more a man gives his life, the more he saves it.
Man will ever remain imperfect, and it will always be his part to try to be perfect.
Mans triumph will consist in substituting the struggle for existence by a struggle for mutual service.
Mans nature is not essentially evil, brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love.
Man lives freely by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him.
Men aspiring to be free can hardly think of enslaving others.
Man does not live by destruction.
A man of faith does not bargain or stipulate with God.
Man is not at peace with himself till he has become like unto God.
A man who would interpret the scriptures must have the spiritual discipline.
Man cannot breathe with borrowed lungs.
Man does not live by bread alone. Many prefer self-respect to food.
Men of stainless character and self purification will easily inspire confidence and automatically purify the atmosphere around them.
Man becomes not the lord and master of all creation but he is its servant.
Man is the maker of his own destiny, and I therefore ask you to become makers of your own destiny.
Man has always desired power. Ownership of property gives this power. Man hankers also after posthumous fame based on power.
Man the law-giver will have to pay a dreadful penalty for the degradation he has imposed upon the so called weaker sex. XXVI-516
Man in the flesh is essentially imperfect. He may be described as being made in the image of God but is far form being God.
The man who coerces another not to eat fish commits more violence than he who eats it.
A courageous man prefers death to the surrender of self-respect.
The man who fears man, falls from the estate of man. Fear God alone.
Nonviolence is the virtue of the manly. The coward is innocent of it.
Bravery is not mans monopoly.
A man can give up a right, but he may not give up a duty without being guilty of a grave dereliction.
Man is not to drown himself in the well of the Shastras, but he is to dive in their broad ocean and bring our pearls.
Man is oftentimes weak-minded enough to be caught in the snare of greed and honeyed words.
A man nor a woman who serves the country with all his or her heart stands on a par with the tallest Congress-man.
Man is born of woman, he is flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone.
Men to be men must be able to trust their womenfolk, even as the latter are compelled to trust them.
God has made of man and woman one complete whole. In the scheme of nature, both of them are equal.
If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably mans superior.
Man has regarded woman as his tool. She has learnt to be his tool and in the end found it is easy and pleasurable to be such, because when one drags another in his fall, the descent is easy.
No man could look upon another as his enemy, unless he first became his own enemy.
Man cannot be transformed from bad to good overnight.
My love of nationalism is that my country may become free, that if need be the whole of the country die, so that the human race may live.
The man who eats to live, who is friends with the five powers earth, water, ether, sun and air and who is a servant of God, the creator of all of these, ought not to fall ill.
It is for you and me to show that no vice is inherent in man.
Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plain living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants.
I must refuse to believe that the Germans contemplate with equanimity the evacuation of cities like London for fear of destruction to be wrought by mans inhuman ingenuity.
I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man.
Truth and ahimsa demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be.
My own opinion is that just as fundamentally man and woman are one, their problem must be one in essence.
The Swaraj of my dream is the poor mans Swaraj.
It is my firm faith that man is by nature going higher.
I can neither serve God nor humanity, if as Indian I do not serve India, and as a Hindu I do not serve the Indian Mussalmans.
I believe that if one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him, and if one man falls, the whole world falls to that extent.
I believe in advaita, I believe in the essential unity of man and for that matter of all that lives.
I believe in what Max Muller said years ago, namely, that truth needed to be repeated as long as there were men who disbelieved it.
If Euclids point, though incapable of being drawn by any human agency, has an imperishable value, my picture has its own for mankind to live.
I believe in conversion of mankind, not its destruction.
If it is possible for the human tongue to give the fullest description of God, I have come to the conclusion that God is Truth.
I hold no man to be indispensable for the welfare of the country.
I cannot picture to myself a time when all mankind will have one religion.
I regard Duryodhana and his party as the baser impulses in man, and Arjuna and his party as the higher impulses.
I have discovered that man is superior to the system he propounds.
I trust men only because I trust God.
If I am true to myself, if I am true to mankind, if I am true to humanity, I must understand all the faults that human flesh is heir to.
I refuse to believe that the tendency of human nature is always downward.
My creed is service of God and therefore of humanity.
A man like me cannot but believe that this earthquake is a divine chastisement sent by God for our sins.
My errors have been errors of calculation and judging men, not in appreciating the true nature, of truth and ahimsa or in their application.
Mankind is one, seeing that all are equally subject to the moral law. All men are equal in Gods eyes.
It is derogatory to the dignity of mankind, it is derogatory to the dignity of India, to entertain for one single moment hatred towards Englishmen.
So far as I can see, the atomic bomb has deadened finest feeling that has sustained mankind for ages.
Gods ways are more than mans arithmetic.
Some form of common worship and a common place of worship appear to be a human necessity.
Mans upward progress means ever increasing difficulty, which is to be welcomed.
God is certainly one. He has no second. He is unfathomable, unknowable and unknown to the vast majority of mankind.
Every man has an equal right to the necessaries of life even as birds and beasts have.
A selfish basis would not serve the purpose of taking a man higher and higher along the paths of evolution.
All the great religions of the world inculcate the equality and brotherhood of mankind and the virtue of toleration.
I believe in absolute oneness of God, and, therefore, also of humanity.
A man who wants to control his animal passions easily does so if he controls his palate.
Through realization of freedom of India, I hope to realize and carry on the mission of brotherhood of man.
An India prostrate at the feet of Europe can give no hope to humanity.
No two men are absolutely alike, not even twins, yet there is much that is indispensably common to all mankind.
The human society is a ceaseless growth, an unfoldment in terms of spirituality.
Let India become alive by self-purification, that is self-restraint and self-denial, and she will be a boon to herself and mankind.
History shows that the priesthood has not always interfered with the political matters to the benefit of mankind.
Mankind has to get out of violence only though non-violence.
Living faith in God means acceptance of the brotherhood of mankind.
Human dignity demands courage to defend oneself.
The golden way was to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family like the members of one family.
A mans true wealth hereafter is the good he has done to his fellowmen.
The fact that mankind persists shows that the cohesive force is greater than the disruptive force, centripetal force greater than centrifugal.
By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man body, mind and spirit.
That which makes man the mere plaything of fate is God.
That which impels man to do the rights is God.
The whole existence of man is a ceaseless duel between the forces of life and death.
What distinguishes the man from the brute is his conscious striving to realise the spirit within.
Only an arrogant man will claim to be independent of everybody else and to be self-contained.
If it is mans privilege to be independent, it is equally his duty to be inter dependent.
A man of truth must ever be confident, if he has also equal need to be diffident.
Study men following the law of their higher nature, the law of love, so that when you grow to manhood, you will have improved your heritage.
Man had the supreme knack of deceiving himself; the Englishman was supremest among men.
Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with all that lives. T-2-51
When a man wants to make up with his maker, he does not consult a third party.
The path of bhakti, karma and love, expounded in the Gita, leaves no room for the despising of man by man.
God cannot be so cruel and unjust as to make the distinction between man and man, even as there is no distinction between animal and animal.
There can be in the eyes of God no distinction between man and man, even as there is no distinction between animal and animal.
Human language can but imperfectly describe Gods ways.
Human life is a series of compromises, and it is not always easy to achieve in practice what one has found to be true in theory.
A man without religion is like a ship without a rudder.
That which is inherent in man is his virtue.
God in His wisdom has circumscribed mans vision, and rightly too, for otherwise mans conceit would know no bounds.
Men are good. But they are poor victims making themselves miserable under the false belief that they are doing good.
Truth is superior to mans wisdom.
Imperfect men had no right to judge other imperfect men.
The woman has circumvented man in a variety of ways in her unconsciously subtle ways, as the man has vainly and equally consciously struggled to thwart the woman in gaining ascendancy over him.
It is degrading both for man and woman that woman should be called upon or induced to forsake the hearth and shoulder the rifle for the protection of that hearth.
God has blessed man with seed that has the highest potency; and woman with a field richer than richest earth to be found anywhere on this globe.
To call women the weaker sex is a libel; it is mans injustice to woman.
If we could all give our own definitions of God, there would be as many definitions as there are men and women.
The most practical, the most dignified way of going on in the world to take people at their word, when you have no positive reason to the contrary.
Ahimsa is nothing if not a well-balanced, exquisite consideration for ones neighbour, and an idle man is wanting in that elementary consideration.
Khaddar is an activity that can absorb all the time of all available men and women and grown-up children, if they have faith.
The force generated by nonviolence is infinitely greater than the force of all the arms invented by mans ingenuity.
Cow-slaughter and man-slaughter are in my opinion the two sides of the same coin.
Nonviolence, applied to very large masses of mankind, is a new experiment in the history of the world.
To bear all kinds of tortures without a murmur of resentment is not possible for a human being without the strength that comes from God.
What is impossible with man is childs play with God.
Often does good come out of evil. But that is Gods, not mans plan.
God gifted man with intellect that he might know his Maker.
Do not flatter yourselves with the belief that a mere recital of that celebrated verse in St. John makes a man a Christian.
If treachery is the reward of trust, will the man who trusts come to harm?
Literary education should follow the education of the land the one gift that visibly distinguishes man from beast.
All great religions have rightly regarded kama as the arch-enemy of man, anger or hatred coming only in the second place.
Unlike the animal, God has given man the faculty of reason.
Study not man in his animal nature man following the laws of the jungle but study man in all his glory.
He who runs may see that opium and such other intoxicants and narcotics stupefy a mans soul and reduce him to a level lower than that of beasts.
Repression does for a true man or a nation what fire does for gold.
We are all very imperfect and weak things, and if we are to destroy all whose ways we do not like, there will be not a man left alive.
All the four stages in a mans life are devised by the seers in Hinduism for imposing discipline and self-restraint.
Speed is not the end of life. Man sees more and lives more truly by walking to his duty.
The field of research in the the doctrine of civil resistance is necessarily limited, as the occasions for civil resistance in a mans life must not be frequent.
Speed is not the end of life. Man sees more and lives more truly by walking to his duty.
The field of research in the doctrine of civil resistance is necessarily limited, as the occasions for civil resistance in a mans life must not be frequent.
Religion is more than life. Remember that his own religion is the truest to every man even if it stands low in the scales of philosophic comparison.
Every species, human and subhuman, has some distinguishing mark, so that you can tell a man from a beast, or a dog from a cow.
No one should dogmatize about the capacity of human nature for degradation of exaltation.
Study men laying down their lives without hurting anyone else in the cause of their countrys freedom.
We burn the evil men do with their mortal remains. We treasure the memory of the good they do, and distance magnifies it.
Life becomes liable only to the extent that death is treated as a friend, never as an enemy.
A fear-stricken person can never know God, and one who knows God will never fear a mortal man.
Marriage is a natural thing in life and to consider it derogatory in any sense is wholly wrong.
Marriage is a matter if choice.
Marriage is not an act of service. It is a comfort man or a woman seeks for himself or herself.
The privilege of marriage presupposes temperamental and other affinity.
Marriage loses its sanctity when its purpose and highest use is conceived to be the satisfaction of the animal passion without contemplating the natural result of such satisfaction.
Undefiled love between husband and wife takes one nearer God than any other love.
Those marriages which are undertaken for the sake of joint service carry their own blessings.
With me marriage is no necessary test of friendship even between husband and wife, let alone their respective clans.
There is an indissoluble marriage between matter and spirit. Our ignorance of the results of the union makes it a profound mystery and inspires awe in us but it cannot undo them.
Nothing can so quickly put the masses on their legs as the spinning wheel and all it means.
A successful bloody revolution can only mean further misery for the masses.
Character alone will have real effect on the masses.
A nonviolent struggle necessarily involves construction on a mass scale.
If we are true servants of the masses, we would takes pride in spinning for their sake.
Whatever cannot be shared with the masses is taboo to me.
An organization, which looks to money for everything, can ever serve the masses.
I defy anyone to give for independence a common Indian word intelligible to the masses.
I am myself an insignificant being, but I am supposed to have some hold over the dumb millions.
How to link the classes with the masses is for me one of the greatest problems.
Those who play upon the passions of the masses injure them and the countrys cause.
Slow and inglorious self-imposed starvation among the starving masses is every time more heroic than the death of the scaffold under false exaltation.
Militarization of India will mean her own destruction as well as of the whole world.
All I want to say, with the utmost emphasis at my command, is that the description of India as a military country is wrong.
Refusal of military service is more superficial than non-co-operation with the system which supports the state.
A general is none the worse for the realization of his weakness and for atoning for his sin.
If the Commander-in-Chief will look beyond the defence forces, he will discover that real India is not military but peace-loving.
To refuse to render military service when particular time arrives is to do the thing after all the time for combating the evil is gone.
I claim to know my millions. All the hours of the day I am with them. They are my first care and last because I recognise no God except that God that is to be found in the hearts of the dumb millions.
The hungry millions ask for one poem, invigorating food.
It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that the millions have ceased to use their hands as hands.
A nonviolent system of government is clearly an impossibility so long as the wide gulf between the rich and the hungry millions persists.
A mind that is once hooked to the Star of Stars becomes incorruptible.
Every submission to merited punishment strengthens the mind of man, every avoidance saps it.
The mechanical university study deprives us of the desire for originally; years of memorizing causes a fatigue of the mind that makes most of us fit for the clerical work.
Man can only conceive God within the limitations of his own mind.
I always welcomes an honest difference of opinion, for I have always an open mind and have no axe to grind.
A minority does not always fear a majority because it is a majority.
In a well-ordered society, there should be no minority.
My nonviolence bids me dedicate myself to the service of the minorities.
Hindus, if they want unity among different races, must have the courage to trust the minorities.
We the English-educated Indians often unconsciously make the terrible mistake of thinking that the microscopic minority of the English-speaking Indian is the whole of India.
Let us learn from the English rulers the simple fact that the oppressors are blind to the enormity of their own misdeeds.
This motive of mass proselytization lurking in the background vitiates missionary effort.
Trusting one another, however, can never mean trusting with the lip and mistrusting in the heart.
Mobocracy is autocracy multiplied million times.
Nothing is so easy as to train mobs, for the simple reason that they have no mind, no meditation.
Moral Force Morality
Moral result can only be produced by moral restraints.
Moral restrictions tend to become lax in a foreign country, since the fear of social opinion disappears.
Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort.
True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding out the true path for ourselves and in fearlessly following it.
To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions.
That economics is untrue which ignores or disregards moral values.
To me God is truth and love, God is ethics and morality, God is fearlessness.
Khaddar delivers the poor from the bonds of the rich and creates a moral and spiritual bond between the classes and the masses.
The very essence of our civilization is that we give a paramount place to morality in all our affairs, public or private.
Economics that hurt the moral well-being of an individual or a nation are immoral and, therefore, sinful.
If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably mans superior.
Satan mostly employs comparatively moral instruments and the language of ethics to give his aims an air of respectability.
The object of basic education is the physical, intellectual and moral development of children through the medium of handicraft.
In a nonviolent army, the general and the officers are elected or are as if elected when their authority is moral and rests solely on the willing obedience of the rank and file.
A country that is governed by even its national army can never be morally free and, therefore, its so-called weakest member can never rise to his full moral height.
It is difficult for me to regard anyone who obeys no moral principle in his conduct to be a religious man.
Whatever may be the pros and cons of going to the public theatre, it is a patent fact that it has undermined the morals and ruined the character of many a youth in his country.
A democrat relied upon the force not of the arms his state could flaunt in the face of the world, but on the moral force his state could put at the disposal of the world.
The popular government wields a moral force, which is infinitely superior to the physical force that the foreign government could summon to its assistance.
Mortification of the flesh has been held all the world over as a condition of spiritual progress. TIG-53
Every mother is a scavenger in regard to her own children, and every student of modern medicine is tanner inasmuch as he has to dissect and skin human carcasses.
My mother was certainly as scavenger inasmuch as she cleaned me when I was a child.
Only a prospective mother knows what it is to carry. The onlookers notice her illness and pity her. But she alone knows the travail.
I must cling to my mother-tongue as to my mothers breast, in spite of its shortcomings. It alone can give me the life-giving milk.
Is it not possible for us all to realize that masses will never mount to freedom through murder?
Museums of ancient things which have disappeared from our economic life have their use and place, but not in our programme which concentrates on industries and crafts which are capable of being revived.
The music of life is in danger of being lost in the music of the voice.
The art of producing good music from a cultivated voice can be achieved by many, but the art of producing that music from the harmony of a pure life is achieved very rarely.
To know music is to transfer it to life.
Work for Swaraj fails to appeals to us because we have no music in us.
There can be no Swaraj where there is no harmony, no music.
I would make compulsory a proper singing in company of national songs.
Where there is filth, squalor and misery, there can be no music.
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