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31 Inspirational Quotes from Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) was the great political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. His philosophy and life were deeply rooted in the view of non-violence (ahimsa), and have inspired movements for civil rights and freedom throughout the world.

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“The future depends on what we do in the present.”

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”

“To see the all-pervading Spirit of Truth, one must be able to love the meanest of all creation as oneself.”

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver.”

“Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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

“A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

“They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”

“My life is my message.”

A Western journalist asked, “Mr. Gandhi, you have been working fifteen hours a day for fifty years. Don’t you think you should take a vacation?” Gandhi smiled and replied, “I am always on vacation.”

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

“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 difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”

“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

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

“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

“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.”

“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”

“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.”

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

”Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”

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Image: pinkiwinkitinki’s photostream

Biographical source: Wikipedia

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17 Comments

  1. Jean Sampson

    He has mentioned the teachings of all of the modern day spiritual gurus! I find all the teachers whose work and words I have studied for years right here! What an amazing soul! We are going to need a bunch more people like him to lead us through the transformation that is happening now! And we will have to pay attention to what they teach and apply it as much as we can! He didn’t just say these things—–he actually lived them! It is almost beyond comprehension how one man could embody all of these principles! Thanks, Sandra!

    • Hi Jean,

      It’s so true that wisdom never really changes, it just takes on new expression or new forms. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the truth, love, and kindness. Like Gandhi, we can live these principles too. It might take a lifetime to perfect them but no better time to start than now. Thanks for sharing your excitement!

  2. Vishnu's Virtues

    That’s an amazing way to live your life, Vishnu. I’m delighted you’ve found such meaningful ways to be of service and enjoy your work so much.

    • It’s so true that wisdom never really changes, it just takes on new expression or new forms. I appreciate your enthusiasm for the truth, love, and kindness. Like Gandhi, we can live these principles too. It might take a lifetime to perfect them but no better time to start than now. Thanks for sharing your excitement!

  3. Always enjoy reading Gandhiji’s quotes. Thanks for the treat! 🙂

  4. I love it – each one could be a life’s work…

  5. I read this over and over. My favorite quote: My life is my message. Thank Sandra.

  6. jdmeier

    Gandhi really does have a way with words.

    My top three favorites are:
    1. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
    2. “My life is my message.”
    3. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

  7. Those are my three favorites too. His contribution to the civil right movement has been huge. Martin Luther King held “The ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ and the ‘love-your-enemies’ philosophy were only valid when individuals were in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations were in conflict, a more realistic approach seemed necessary. But after reading Gandhi, I saw how utterly mistaken I was.” Thus it was that starting in 1955 when King became actively involved in planning and implementing strategies to fight against the crippling racial discrimination practiced in America at the time, he chose exclusively Gandhian methods of nonviolent direct action.it’s a safe assumption that both King and the Movement would have been very different without the influence of the Indian spiritual leader.
    Sources:
    Placido P. D’Souza, “Commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.-Gandhi’s Influence on King.” SFGate.
    “Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948).” Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle.
    “Martin Luther King, Jr.-Influence of Gandhi and Nonviolence.” YouTube.
    “MLK Jr. in Gandhi’s Footsteps.” Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

  8. This is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing this bit of civil rights history with us. You’re right – everything could have taken a very different turn.

  9. Mzpmimpact

    I enjoyed reading you, Sandra. I love your layout, poise and control. Stay blest!

  10. Thanks for writing such a useful and informative article. This post is a really worth for readers and especially for young generation.

  11. Those words are everlasting…… and thanks for sharing them again…..!

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