Mahatma Gandhi “Great Soul” Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is considered to be the Twentieth Century’s modern day Messiah. He was born of a modest middle class family from India and educated in law from the aristocratic society of London, England. Mahatma Gandhi was the paramount leader for Indian nationalism in British-ruled India who exercised non-violent civil disobedience and led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
Mahatma Gandhi has inspired people during his lifetime and many after his death. He has inspired men such as Martin Luther King Jr., former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, and current US President and then-Senator Barack Obama. Martin Luther King Jr. drew from Gandhi’s theories of civil disobedience and non-violence and fashioned his movement with many similarities. Nelson Mandela also followed Gandhi’s teachings after ending apartheid and began helping everyone that faced injustice. Albert Einstein penned Gandhi and informed him that he admired his courage and use of non-violence even though his adversaries choose not to and would like to meet him. Heather Whipps, journalist for Live Science adds, “Martin Luther King Jr. is said to have been heavily influenced by Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, believing it to be the only logical approach to the problem of race relations in America.” (Famous personalities influenced by Gandhi)
Jesus being the exception, no great leader has ever not been influenced and shaped into who they have become, if it were not for other great teachers before them. Gandhi is no exception. His influences have been through the readings of many great books such as Leo Tolstoy’s 1894 novel; The Kingdom of God is within You, John Ruskin’s novel; Unto This Last, Henry David Thoreau’s essay; Civil Disobedience and Shrimad Rajchandra, who practiced self-discipline and abstinence from worldly pleasures. Gandhi also read the Christian Holy Bible, the Hindu Holy Books, the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Ramayana, as well as Buddhist teachings from the Dhammapada to find the parallels in all three teachings. These books and teachings transformed his outlook and way of life. (Who and What Influenced Gandhi's Ideas & Actions)
Satyagraha is a term originated by Mahatma Gandhi, which involves refusing to collaborate with anything seeming as wrong, while maintaining the attitude of non-violence in order to preserve harmony of self, essential for insight and understanding. Satyagraha was first used during Gandhi’s earliest struggles in South Africa for Indian rights and later in the Indian independence movement. Gandhi’s Satyagraha theory influenced Nelson Mandela's struggle in South Africa under apartheid, and Martin Luther King, Jr. campaigns for civil rights in the United States. (Lelyved)
Gandhi said that is life was his message. Neither a philosopher or a scholar but an activist with a perceptive sense of right and...

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