Revised: October 4, 2014

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“I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average abilities. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.”
- GANDHI            
Mahatma Gandhi
Spiritual/Political Leader and Humanitarian, 1869 - 1948

(Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, India. He became one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the Twentieth Cnetury. Gandhi helped free the Indian people from British rule through nonviolent resistance, and is honored by his people as the father of the Indian Nation. The Indian people called Gandhi Mahatma, meaning Great Soul.

At age 13, Gandhi joined Kasturba, age 12, in a marriage arranged by their parents. The Gandhis had four sons: Harilal and Manilal, born in India, and Ramdas and Devdas born in South Africa. While Gandhi displayed loving kindness to everyone else, he was quite demanding and severe with his wife and sons. Use the links below to learn more about Gandhi's relationship with his family.

Gandhi studied law in London and returned to India in 1891 to practice. In 1893 he accepted a one year contract to do legal work in South Africa. At the time South Africa was controlled by the British. When he attempted to claim his rights as a British subject he was abused, and soon saw that all Indians suffered similar treatment. Gandhi stayed in South Africa for 21 years working to secure rights for Indian people. He developed a method of direct social action based upon the principles courage, nonviolence and truth called Satyagraha. He believed that the way people behave is more important than what they achieve. Satyagraha promoted nonviolence and civil disobedience as the most appropriate methods for obtaining political and social goals.

In 1915 Gandhi returned to India. Within 15 years he became the leader of the Indian nationalist movement. Using the tenets of Satyagraha he lead the campaign for Indian independence from Britain. Gandhi was arrested many times by the British for his activities in South Africa and India. He believed it was honorable to go to jail for a just cause. Altogether he spent seven years in prison for his political activities. More than once Gandhi used fasting to impress upon others the need to be nonviolent.

India was granted independence in 1947, and partitioned into India and Pakistan. Rioting between Hindus and Muslims followed. Gandhi had been an advocate for a united India where Hindus and Muslims lived together in peace. On January 13, 1948, at the age of 78, he began a fast with the purpose of stopping the bloodshed. After 5 days the opposing leaders pledged to stop the fighting and Gandhi broke his fast. Twelve days later he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic who opposed his program of tolerance for all creeds and religion.

Among the tributes to Gandhi upon his death were these words by the great physicist, Albert Einstein:

“Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Mahatma Gandhi or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

Resource Menu
Books By/About Gandhi

An Autobiography An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments With Truth
by M.K. Gandhi

Gain greater insight into the life of one of the greatest men of the century. Great reading. Very moving.

Purchase this paperback edition of An Autobiography

Gandhi on Non-Violence Gandhi on Non-Violence
by M.K. Gandhi

The text covers the principles of non-violence, the spiritual dimensions of non-violence, the political scope of non-violence, and the purity of non-violence.

Purchase this paperback edition of Gandhi on Non-Violence

The Essential Gandhi The Essential Gandhi: His Life, Work, and Ideas : An Anthology
by M.K. Gandhi, Louis Fischer (Editor)

Gandhi regarded secrecy as the enemy of freedom. In nearly a half-century of prolific writing, speaking, and subjecting his ideas to the test of actions, and painted a detailed self-portrait of his mind, heart, and soul. Find it here.

Purchase this paperback edition of The Essential Gandhi

The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi
by M.K. Gandhi, John Strohmeier (Editor)

Gandhi's Gita text and commentary together in their entirety. Presented to his disciples at prayer meetings over a nine-month period in 1926.

Purchase this paperback edition of The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi


DVDs About Gandhi

Gandhi Gandhi (1982)
Winner of 9 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley as the great man. An excellent film!

Purchase this DVD edition of Gandhi


Gandhi: Pilgram of Peace Gandhi: Pilgram of Peace
by M.K. Gandhi, John Strohmeier (Editor)

Gandhi's Gita text and commentary together in their entirety. Presented to his disciples at prayer meetings over a nine-month period in 1926.

Purchase this DVD edition of Gandhi: Pilgram of Peace


Related Websites

GandhiServe

This website offers photos, footage, audio, books, information, writings online, video online, research service, consultancy and rare materials on Gandhi.

The Complete Gandhi Website

Mahatma.com

Mohandas Gandhi

On the BBC History Website

Mahatma Gandhi

On the History & Politics Website

Gandhi@Fact-Index.com



Mahatma Gandhi



Other Humanitarians in the Lucidcafé Library

Other Spiritual Leaders in the Lucidcafé Library


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