(a) Today is Gandhi Jayanthi – the Birth Anniversary of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. During his studies in England, Mahatma Gandhi became interested in the Christian faith. He had been reading the Bible to keep a promise he had made to a friend. This made a huge positive impression on him.
(b) Gandhi told Millie Polak, the wife of one of his earliest disciples. “I did once seriously think of embracing the Christian faith,” “The gentle figure of Christ, so patient, so kind, so loving, so full of forgiveness that he taught his followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek, I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man…”
(c) He kept hanging in his little hut a black and white print of Christ with an imprint “he is our peace”. The picture of the crucified Christ wearing only a loin cloth such as millions of poor men wear in Indian villages, had touched Gandhi’s heart very deeply.
(d) The teachings of Jesus – particularly the Sermon on the Mount (the Beatitudes) found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5, 6 and 7 deeply impacted Mahatma Gandhi.
In Matthew 5:38, 39 Jesus taught “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
And in verses 43–45 he further taught: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
It was Jesus who taught us to love one another and to love our enemies. Jesus started the ideals of non-violence.
(e) Other leaders that followed this philosophy of non-violence was Nelson Mandela who led South Africa into freedom and Martin Luther King who led the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
India was once blessed by the principles of non-violence. So was South Africa and the Afro-Americans of USA. We need to imbibe the values taught by our Lord in our homes, in our communities and in our nation. And our world will be better place.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they will be called children of God.”
– Jesus in Matthew 5:9
WHO WAS GANDHIJI?
(1) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in western India, but when he died in 1948 he was one of the greatest political leaders in human history.
(2) His influence and character were so strong that, by his mid-forties, he was already being referred to by the title “Mahatma,” meaning “great soul.”
(3) During his life, he was also referred with reverence as Ghandi-ji, or more commonly as Bapu, (“father”).
(4) Gandhi’s legacy is built on his commitment to non-violent revolution—or satyagraha—through which he helped India obtain independence from the British Empire.
(5) Non-violence is a great Godly force which Jesus always taught which can bring freedom to a soul against Satan’s weapon of violence which many are using to kill, steal and destroy.
(6) Today the fashion or trend is a VIOLENT LOOK, violent talks. This is thought as great a weapon to instil fear in people to make them to submit.
(7) Look at many of the political leader’s or TV anchors portraying a violent look which is attracting many youths to violence.
(8) The proud look is considered fashion today for the younger generation But the definition of pride is serving self, looking to self, lifting up self while not caring for others and pulling others to serve themselves.
(9) Gandhiji’s birthday is celebrated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.
(10) At age thirteen, Gandhi was married by arrangement to Kastur Kapadia, age fourteen. She would remain his wife until her death sixty-one years later.
(11) Gandhi attended law school in London, England. He then moved to South Africa. For more than twenty years, Gandhi struggled there against racial and religious discrimination.
(12) During this time Gandhi began to call for non-violent revolution as a means to challenge authority. His efforts in South Africa garnered him great respect and a large following.
(13) Gandhi returned to India, at that time still a British territory, and began working directly in politics.
(14) His primary goal was a fully independent India, one without any control from foreign governments.
(15) His method for achieving this goal was satyagraha, roughly meaning “non-violent revolution.”
(16) After decades of struggle, intermittent imprisonments, and setbacks, as well as four failed assassination attempts, Gandhi’s goal was finally achieved in 1947, as India was granted full independence.
(17) Gandhi’s fifth brush with an assassin was his last, when Nathuram Godse shot him three times in the chest in 1948. Less than six months after realizing his dream of Indian self-government, Gandhi was being mourned worldwide.
(18) Interestingly, Gandhi, was heavily influenced by the earthly ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
(19) Gandhi also viewed Jesus’ method of non-violent persuasion as the epitome of satyagraha.
(20) In particular, Gandhi valued Jesus’ moral commitment to not merely conquer a culture but to convert it.
(21) This, Gandhi realized, was the only way of effecting real, lasting change: a complete transformation in thinking.
HAPPY MAHATMA GANDHI JAYANTI 2018!
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