Sunday, May 5, 2013

Folk Wisdom for Growing Up Lesson: Gandhi - Model for all ages, for all faiths, for all times. And for all Humanity

Dr Abe V Rotor
Gandhi, the Guru (regarded as father of his country,
the enlightened, wise man, hero, short of being a god)

As a model of simple and righteous living among his people

Gandhi as a young lawyer, educated in England
Gandhi in his early adolescence

Gandhi: Model for all ages, for all faiths, for all times. 
And for all Humanity

Mahatma Gandhi, Man of the Millennium, interprets the Seven Deadly Sins as follows:

1. Wealth without Work
2. Pleasure without Conscience
3. Science without Humanity
4. Knowledge without Character
5. Politics without Principle
6. Commerce without Morality
7. Worship without Sacrifice

After viewing the film, Gandhi, with my students, I presented a comparison of Gandhi's interpretation with Vatican's Seven Cardinal Sins, which are as follows:

1. Anger
2. Gluttony
3. Wrath
4. Sloth
5. Lust
6. Greed
7. Envy

Gandhi has built a bridge of understanding not only between the Christians and the non-Christians - but among different faiths - that goodness is universal. His way to the Truth, his way to Peace through non-violence, in fact the way he lived and died - truly make him the Man of the Millennium (Time).

Here are beautiful passages from the Man of the the Millennium.

1. "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."

2. "Truth is what the voice within tells you."

3. "Truth is the right designation of God."

4. "Truth and nonviolence will never be destroyed."

5. "Truth is like a vast tree which yields more and more fruit the more you nurture it."

6. "Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time."

7. "Truth is self-evident, nonviolence is its maturest fruit, it is contained in Truth, but is not self-evident."

8. "Truth is the first to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you."

9. "Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong"

10. "The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different."

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

12. "We must become the change we want to see in the world."

13. "Intellect takes us along in the battle of life to a certain limit, but at the crucial moment it fails us. Faith transcends reason. It is when the horizon is the darkest and human reason is beaten down to the ground that faith shines brightest and comes to our rescue."

14. "No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive."

15. "Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning."

16. "Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it."

17. "I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could."

18. "Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep."

19. "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

20. "My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet."

21. "Human kind has to get out of violence only through nonviolence. Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred."

22. "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."

23. "Consciously or unconsciously, everyone of us does render some service or another. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and it will make not only for our own happiness, but that of the world at large."

24. "Men say I am a saint losing himself in politics. The fact is that I am a politician trying my hardest to become a saint."

25. "Prayer is a confession of one's own unworthiness and weakness."

26. "Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment."

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

28. "The badge of the violent is his weapon, spear, sword or rifle. God is the shield of the non-violent."

29. "All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth, but all are imperfect and liable to error"
"My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him."

30. "If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today."

31. "There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts."

32. "Exercise of faith will be the safest where there is a clear determination summarily to reject all that is contrary to truth and love"

33. "Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself"

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

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

36. “The law an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

37. “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever”

38. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

39. Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.”40. “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator”

41. “The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children.”42. “Faith... Must be enforced by reason...When faith becomes blind it dies.”

43. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”44. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

45. “The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives”

46. “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems”

47. “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

48. “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”

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

50. “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.”

NOTE: In response to the increasing abuses and excesses of postmodernism and capitalism, three cardinal sins have been proposed to be added to the original seven, namely, indifference, particularly towards the needy; environmental degradation leading to ecological disaster; direct intervention to life, such as cloning, and embryonic stemcell therapy. Gandhi's interpretation of the cardinal sins provide precaution and moderation to these scourge of the so-called Good Life.

Acknowledgment: Famous Personalities, India, Mahatma Gandhi by சிவாஜி
Mahatma Gandhi Quotes
Sources of Insights, Internet; Gandhi the Movie

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