16 Mahatma Gandhi Quotes That Will Make You Want To Change The World

Drake Baer

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India, in 1869.

He was assassinated in 1948. 

Though in school he was rated as only "good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography," he would go on to become a lawyer and spend twenty years in South Africa before returning to a still-colonial India. 

There he led the Indian independence movement, which culminated to the Indian Independence Act of 1947

His philosophy of satyagraha — or mass nonviolent protest — would become a tool of oppressed people around the world, inspiring the likes of Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

For this we call him Mahatma, or great soul. 

On nonviolence

"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary."

["Satyagraha Leaflet No. 11," 1919]

On religion

"In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals."

["Hind Swaraj," 1908]

On practicing law

"I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder."

["Gandhi's Experiments With Truth", 2006]

On the role of the press

"One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand popular feeling and to give expression to it; another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments; and the third is fearlessly to expose popular defects."

["Hind Swaraj," 1908]

On violence

"I came in contact with every known Indian anarchist in London. Their bravery impressed me, but I felt that their zeal was misguided. I felt that violence was no remedy for India's ills, and that her civilisation required the use of a different and higher weapon for self-protection."

["Rediscovering Gandhi," 2007]

On his conscience

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the 'still small voice' within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority."

["The Essential Gandhi," 2002]

On his reputation

"I have been known as a crank, faddist, madman. Evidently the reputation is well deserved. For wherever I go, I draw to myself cranks, faddists, and madmen."

["All Men Are Brothers," 2013]

On his attitude

"A man of truth must also be a man of care."

["Gandhism After Gandhi," 1999]

On hatred

"'Hate the sin and not the sinner' is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world."

["Rediscovering Gandhi," 2007]

On his religious practice

"I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him, but I am seeking after Him."

["All Men Are Brothers," 2013]

On certainty

"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."

["Mahatma," 1962]

On religious violence

"Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal. Wherein is the cause for quarreling?"

["Hind Swaraj," 1908]

On resistance

"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."

["Gandhi on Nonviolence," 2007]

On truth

"Truth never damages a cause that is just."

["Gandhi on Nonviolence," 2007]

On faith

"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."

["The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi," 2005]

On what he left

"My life is my message."

["Mahatma," 1968]

Now that you know the political genius better, meet the physicist once again

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