This Website is Dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi - The Father of Our Great Nation Bharat.   

My Faith
Message of Gita
Natural Cure
Tribute to Patriots
Nation Building
Wisdom of Gurus
28 Pillars
Constructive Program
Kirti Mandir
Eleven Vows
His Assassin
Gandhi Peace Prize


  Nation Building

The character and Nation-building Programme as envisioned by Gandhiji is now being fully explained here. His Constructive Programmes are most powerful.

The constructive programme is the truthful and non-violent way of winning Purna Swaraj. Its wholesale fulfillment is complete independence (Constructive Programme-Its Meaning and Place, Navajivan, 1948, p. 5).

Satyagrah [civil disobedience] is?a full substitute for armed revolt. Training is necessary as well for Satyagrah as for armed revolt. For Satyagrah it means the constructive programme (ibid.).

In violence truth is the first and the greatest sufferer; in non-violence it is ever triumphant (ibid., p. 6) -

Mahatma Gandhi


Truth is God (From Yeravda Mandir, 1957, p.1).
Devotion to this Truth is sole justification for our existence.
Without Truth it is impossible to observe any principles or rules in life.
There should be Truth in thought, Truth in speech and Truth in action (ibid., p. 2).
But how is one to realize this Truth? ?By single-minded devotion (abhyas) and indifference to all other interests in life (vairagya),? says the Bhagavadgita (ibid., p.3).

In spite of such devotion, however, what may appear as truth to one person will often appear as untruth to another person. But that need not worry the seeker?..For the quest of Truth involves tapas-self-suffering, sometimes even unto death?..In such selfless search for Truth, nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path, he stumbles and is thus redirected to the right path?..There is no place in it for defeat. It is the talisman by which death itself becomes the portal to life eternal (ibid., pp. 3-4).
God as Truth has been for me a treasure beyond price; may it be so to every one of us (ibid., p.4).


Truth alone is, being God himself. And the only means of realizing it is ahimsa or Love (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, 1954, pp. 6-7).
Without ahimsa it is not possible to seek and find Truth (From Yeravda Mandir, 1957, p.8).
The path of Truth and ahimsa is as narrow as it is straight. To walk on it is like balancing oneself on the edge of a sword?..The slightest inattention brings one tumbling to the ground. One can realize Truth and ahimsa only by ceaseless striving (ibid., p. 5).

Mere non-killing is not enough. One who follows the law of love must not be angry even with the perpetrator of the greatest imaginable wrong, but must love him, wish him well and serve him. Although he must thus love the wrongdoer, he must never submit to his wrong or his injustice, but must oppose it with all his might, and must patiently and without resentment suffer all the hardships to which the wrong-doer may subject him in punishment for his opposition (Ashram Observances in Action, 1959, p.111).

Not to hurt any living thing is no doubt a part of ahimsa. But it is its least expression. For the principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody. It is also violated by our holding on to what the world needs (From Yeravda Mandir, pp. 7-8).
Ahimsa is the means; Truth is the end. Means to be means must be within our reach, and so ahimsa is our supreme duty. If we take care of the means, we are bound to reach the end sooner or later (ibid., p. 9).


The fulfilment of (Truth and) ahimsa is impossible without brahmacharya (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, pp. 6-7).
It is not enough that one should not look upon any woman or man with a lustful eye; animal passion must be so controlled as to be excluded even from the mind. If married, one must not have a carnal mind regarding one?s wife or husband, but must consider him or her as one?s lifelong friend and establish relationship of perfect purity. A sinful thought, gesture or word is a direct breach of this principle (Ashram Observances in Action, pp. 111-12).
It is a grave misuse to fritter away for physical gratification that which is given to men and women for the full development of their bodily and mental powers. Such misuse is the root cause of many a disease (From Yeravda Mandir p. 12).

It may be harmful to suppress the body if the mind is at the same time allowed to go astray (ibid).
It is one thing to allow the mind to harbour impure thoughts. It is a different thing altogether if it strays among them in spite of ourselves. Victory will be ours in the end if we non-co-operate with the mind in its evil wanderings (ibid., pp. 12-13)
Brahmacharya means control of all the organs of sense. He who attempts to control only one organ and allows all the others free play is bound to find his effort futile (ibid., p.13).

Brahmacharya means conduct adapted to the search of Brahma, i.e. Truth. From this etymological meaning arises the special meaning, viz. Control of all the senses. We must entirely forget the incomplete definition which restricts itself to the sexual aspect only (ibid., p. 14).


I have found from experience that the observance of celibacy becomes comparatively easy, if one acquires mastery over the palate (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 15).

Eating is necessary only for sustaining the body and keeping it a fit instrument for service. It must not be practised for self-indulgence. Food must therefore be taken like medicine with restraint. In pursuance of this principle one must eschew exciting foods such as spices and condiments. Meat, liquor, tobacco, bhang etc. are excluded from the Ashram. This principle requires abstinence from feasts or dinners which have pleasure as their object (Ashram Observances in Action, p.112).

A common kitchen where this principle is observed is very helpful, for its authorities will not pamper us, but cook only such food as helps to keep the body a fit instrument for service (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 18).
In an ideal state the sun should be our only cook and we should live only on a fruitarian diet (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, p. 14).


We may steal not only what belongs to others but also what belongs to ourselves, as is done for instance by a father who eats something secretly, keeping his children in the dark about it (From Yeravda Mandir, p.19).

It is also theft if one receives anything which one does not really need (Ashram Observances in Action, pp. 112-13)
One who follows the observance of non-stealing will bring about a progressive reduction of his own wants. Much of the distressing poverty in this world has arisen out of breaches of the principle of non-stealing (From Yeravda Mandir, pp. 20-21).

It is theft mentally to desire acquisition of anything belonging to others, or to cast a greedy eye on it (ibid., p.21).]


Just as one must not receive, so must one not possess anything which one does not really need. It would be a breach of this principle to possess unnecessary foodstuffs, clothing or furniture. For instance, one must not keep a chair if one can do without it. In observing this principle one is led to a progressive simplification of one?s own life (Ashram Observances in Action, p. 113).

God never stores for the morrow. He never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 23).
If each retained possession only of what he needed, no one would be in want and all would live in contentment (ibid., pp. 23-24).

Civilization in the real sense of the term consists not in the multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service (ibid., p. 24).

Thoughts which turn us away from God or do not turn us towards Him constitute impediments in our way (ibid., p.25).


A seeker after Truth must give up the fear of parents, caste, government, robbers etc. and must not be frightened by poverty or death (Ashram Observances in Action, pp. 114-15).

Fearlessness heads the list of the divine attributes enumerated in the sixteenth chapter of the Gita?..How can one seek Truth or cherish love without fearlessness? As Pritam says, ?the path of Hari [the Lord] is the path of the brave, not of cowards.? Hari here means Truth, and the brave are those armed with fearlessness, not with the sword, the rifle and the like. These are taken up only by those who are possessed by fear (From Yeravda Mandir p. 27).
The seeker after Truth?.should be ready to sacrifice his all in the quest of Truth, even as Harishchandra did (ibid., p. 28).

We must give up all external fears. But the internal foes we must always fear. We are rightly afraid of animal passion, anger and the like. External fears cease of their own accord when once we have conquered these traitors within the camp.
?..Fear has no place in our heart when we have shaken off attachment for wealth, for family and the body. ?Enjoy the things of the earth by renouncing them? is a noble precept (ibid, pp. 28-29).


Untouchability is altogether irreligious (Ashram Observances in Action, p.115).
None can be born untouchable, as all are sparks of one and the same Fire (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 31).
Every Hindu who considers untouchability a sin should atone for it by fraternizing with ?untouchables?, associating with them in a spirit of love and service, deeming himself purified by such acts, redressing their grievances and helping them patiently to overcome ignorance and other evils due to the slavery of ages (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 32).

Some people in observing untouchability have become a veritable burden on earth (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, p.25).
This observance is not fulfilled merely by making friends with ?untouchables?, but by loving all life as our own selves. Removal of untouchability means love for and service of the whole world (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 33).

Removal of untouchability spells the breaking down of barriers between man and man and between the various orders of Being (ibid., p.33).
Caste has injured Hinduism because its implications of superior and inferior status and of pollution by contact are contrary to the law of Love (Ashram Observances in Action, p. 115).

The division of varnas is based upon occupation, and therefore a person should maintain himself by following the hereditary occupation not inconsistent with fundamental morals, and should devote all his spare time and energy to the acquisition and advancement of true knowledge (ibid.).


Man can be saved from injuring society as well as himself only if he sustains his physical existence by physical labour. Able-bodied adults must do all their personal work themselves, and must not be served by others except for proper reasons. But?..service of children as well as of the disabled, the old and the sick is a duty incumbent on every person who has the required strength (Ashram Observances in Action, p. 113)
How can a man who does not do body labour have the right to eat? (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 35).

Every one must be his own scavenger?..The best thing would be for everyone to dispose of his own waste. If this is impossible, each family should see to its own scavenging. I have felt for years, that there must be something radically wrong where scavenging has been made the concern of a separate class in society?..We should, from our very childhood, have the idea impressed upon our minds that we are all scavengers, and the easiest way of doing so is for every one who has realized this to commence bread labour as a scavenger (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 37).
If nature?s laws were not broken, old people too would be fit for labour, and sickness would crease to be a ground for exemption as there would be no sickness (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, p. 28).


The principal faiths of the world constitute a revelation of Truth; but as they have all been outlined by imperfect men, they have been affected by imperfections and alloyed with untruth. One must therefore entertain the same respect for the religious faiths of others as one accords to one?s own. Where such tolerance becomes a law of life, conflict between different faiths becomes impossible, and so does all effort to convert other people to one?s own faith. One can only pray that the defects in the various faiths may be overcome and that they may advance, side by side, towards perfection (Ashram Observances in Action, p. 116).

If we are imperfect ourselves, religion as conceived by us also must be imperfect?..And if all faiths outlined by men are imperfect, the question of comparative merit does not arise. All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth, but all are imperfect and liable to error. Reverence for other faiths need not blind us to their faults. We must be keenly alive to the defects of our own faith also, yet not leave it on that account but try to overcome those defects. Looking at all religions with an equal eye, we would not only not hesitate but would think it our duty to blend into our faith every acceptable feature of other faiths (From Yeravda Mandir, pp. 38-39).


Tolerance obviously does not disturb the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil. The reference here is naturally to the principal faiths of the world. They are all based on common fundamentals (From Yeravda Mandir, p.40).

Why then should there be many faiths? We know that there are many faiths. The Soul is one but there are innumerable bodies, which cannot be rolled into one?..The root of religion is one like the root of a tree, but it has numerous branches (Mangal Prabhat, Gujarati, p.31).
All obstacles in our path will vanish, if only we observe the golden rule that we must not be impatient with those whom we may consider to be in error, but must be prepared, if need be, to suffer in our own person (From Yeravda Mandir, p. 44).

Email This Page

Print This Page

Mohan Mala
Other Articles
Essays / Lectures
Other Links

Top   Page  1   2 

Home | About Us | Guest Book
© 2000- All rights reserved.