Quotations from the book : EPIGRAMS FROM GANDHIJI

Epigrams from Gandhiji

Quotations from the book
Epigrams from Gandhiji

Alphabetical Listing





Numerals after each epigram refer to the pages of volumes indicated by the following abbreviations. Where publisher is not mentioned, it is Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad.

  • I to XXVI: The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Publications Division
  • A : An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth: M. K. Gandhi; Navajivan  Publishing House, Ahmedabad
  • AA: Asia and the Americas: Monthly Magazine published from New York
  • ABP: Amrita Bazar Patrika: English Daily
  • AG: Among the Great: Dilip Kumar Roy; Nalanda Publications, Bombay, 1945
  • AOA: Ashram Observations in Action: Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad
  • BC: The Bombay Chronicle: Daily newspaper published from Bombay
  • Bunch: A Bunch of Old Letters, J. Nehru (Asia, 1958)
  • CP: Constructive Programme: Its Meaning and Place: M. K. Gandhi; Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad
  • EF: The Epic Fast: Pyarelal, Ahmedabad, 1932
  • ER: Ethical Religion: Mahatma Gandhi; S. Ganesan, Madras, 1930
  • EWE : Evil Wrought by the English Medium, R. K. Prabhu(1958)
  • FYM: From Yeravda Mandir: Ashram Observations: M. K. Gandhi; NavajivanPublishing House,
  • GCG: Gandhi's Correspondence with the Government,1924-44: Navajivan Publishing House
  • GIV : Gandhiin Indian Villages: Mahadev Desai; S. Ganesan, Madras1927
  • H: Harijan: (1933-1956) English Weekly Journal founded by Gandhi,
  • HS: Hind SWARAJ OR Indian  Home Rule: ; Navjivan Publishing House,Ahmedabad
  • MM: Mind of Mahatma Gandhi (Ed. Prabhu & Rao), 3rd Edn., 1968
  • MOG: The Message of the Gita, R. K. Prabhu (1959)
  • MGCG: Mahatma Gandhi: Correspondence with the Government (1959)
  • T: (Followed by Vol. No.) Mahatma (D.G. Tendulkar) Vols. 1-8; 2nd Edn.(1960), Publications Division
  • TIG: Truth is God, Ed. R. K. Prabhu(1955)
Handicraft :
  • He who runs, may see, if he would also think, that the future lies with handcraftsmanship. XIV-465
Handsome :
  • Handsome is not he who is handsomely clothed; handsome is he who handsome does.XXVI-258
Hanuman :
  • Rama was not only on the lips of Hanuman, He was enthroned in his heart. He gave Hanuman exhaustless strength. TIG-48
Happiness :
  • True art must be evidence of happiness, contentment and purity of its authors. TIG-109
Harijan :
  • Harijan service is a duty the caste Hindus owe to themselves. T-3-203
  • It is absurd for a single individual to talk of taking all Harijans with himself. Are they all bricks that they can be moved from one structure to another? T-4-97
Haste :
  • The principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody. TIG-36
Hate - Hatred :
  • Hatred is not essential for nationalism. Race hatred will kill the national spirit. T-2-200
  • The hater hates not for the sake of hatred but because he wants to drive away from his country the hated being or beings. T-7-144
  • Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as depth of hatred. T-7-144
  • My freedom from hatred - I would even claim for myself individually, my love - for those who consider themselves to be my enemies does not make me blind to their faults. T-2-195
  • I would rather drown myself in the waters of the Sabarmati than harbour hate or animosity in my heart. XXV-89
  • The world is weary of hate. We see the fatigue overcoming the Western nations. T-2-199
  • Harshness is conquered by gentleness, hatred by love, lethargy by zeal and darkness by light. XIV-402
  • Retaliation is counter-poison, and poison breeds more poison. The nectar of Love alone can destroy the poison of hate. T-5-241
  • It is a heavy downpour of rain which drenches the soil to fullness, likewise only a profuse shower of love overcomes hatred. XIV-402
  • Non-co-operation is not a hymn of hate. T-2-2
  • Our struggle consists in showing that our nonviolence is neither a cloak to hide our violence or hatred, nor a preparation for violence in the near or distant future. T-6-4
Health :
  • It is health which is real wealth, not pieces of silver and gold.MM-201
  • A diseased person has a prospect of getting well by personal effort. He cannot borrow health from others. T-5-204
Helplessness :
  • It is the privilege of arms to protect the weak and helpless. T-7-258
  • Your trouble is not numerical inferiority but the felling of helplessness that has seized you and the habit of depending on others. T-7-255
  • Even a bloody way is better than utter helplessness and unmanliness. T-2-235
Himalayas :
  • The Himalayas are spotlessly snow-white in virtue of the spotless glory of the countless sages who laid down their lives performing penance in their caves.T-2-261
  • If I could persuade myself that I could find Him in a Himalayan cave, I would proceed there immediately. TIG-35
Hindi :
  • Highly Sanskritized Hindi is as avoidable as Persianized Urdu.T-2-208
Hindu - Hinduism :
  • Hinduism dies if untouchability lives, and untouchability has to die if Hinduism is to live. T-3-183
  • Hinduism does not rest on the authority of one book or one prophet, nor does it posses a common creed like the Kalma. XXV-516
  • Hinduism has absorbed the best of all the faiths of the world and in that sense Hinduism is not an exclusive religion. T-8-120
  • Hinduism has become a conservative religion and, therefore, a mighty force because of the swadeshi spirit underlying it. MM-410
  • Hinduism has sinned in giving sanction to untouchability. T-2-36
  • Hinduism is not a codified religion. T-2-285
  • Hinduism is not an exclusive religion. In it there is room for the worship of all the prophets of the world. MM-92
  • Hinduism loses its right to make a universal appeal if it closes its temples to Harijans. T-3-195
  • Hinduism with its message of ahimsa is to me the most glorious religion in the world. MM-93
  • Hinduism would not have been much of a religion if Rama had not steeled his heart against everytemptation. T-2-150
  • Buddha never rejected Hinduism, but he broadened its base. He gave it a new life and a new interpretation. T-2-292
  • Cow preservation is an article of faith in Hinduism. T-3-290
  • Cow protection is the gift of Hinduism to the world. T-2-51
  • The Vedas are as indefinable as God and Hinduism. T-3-181
  • If God gives me the privilege of dying for the Hinduism of my conception, I shall have sufficiently died for the unity of all and even for Swaraj. T-3-187
  • If I know Hinduism at all, it is essentially inclusive and ever-growing, ever-responsive. It gives the freest scope for imagination, speculation and reason. XXV-178
  • I have nothing of the communalist in me because my Hinduism is all inclusive.T-3-187
  • I know of no system other than Hinduism under which a class has been set apart from generation to generation for the exclusive pursuit of divine knowledge and consigned to voluntary poverty. T-3-195
  • I know that Buddhism is to Hinduism what Protestantism is to Roman Catholicism, only in a much stronger light, to a much greater degree. T-2-352
  • I must rebel against the idea that millions of Indians, who were Hindus, the other day, changed their nationality on adopting Islam as their religion. T-5-271
  • I would far rather that Hinduism died than that untouchability lived. T-3-128
  • My Hindu instinct tells me that all religions are more or less true. T-2-132
  • My Hinduism must be a very poor thing if it cannot flourish even under the most adverse influence. T-2-151
  • My life is dedicated to the service of Indians through the religion of nonviolence which I believe to be the root of Hinduism. T-2-6
  • My respectful study of other religions has not abated my reverence for or my faith in the Hindu scriptures. T-2-230
  • My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines. T-5-271
  • Men like me feel that untouchability is no integral part of Hinduism, it is an excrescence. T-3-183
  • Only my death will determine whether I am 'Mohamed Gandhi', Jinnah's slave, destroyer of the Hindu religion or its servant and protector. T-7-370
  • The more I study Hindu scriptures, and the more I discuss them with Brahmins, the more I feel convinced that untouchability is the greatest blot upon Hinduism. T-3-196
  • Idolatry is permissible in Hinduism when it sub serves an ideal. T-2-78
  • If we would be pure, if we would save Hinduism, we must rid ourselves of this poison of enforced widowhood.T-2-227
  • If Hinduism teaches hatred of Islam or of non-Hindus, it is doomed to destruction. XXV-137
  • The removal of untouchability is a question of the purification of Hinduism. T-2-342
  • The untouchability of Hinduism is probably worse than that of the modern imperialists. XXV-397
  • Untouchability is a blot on Hinduism. It is a canker eating into its vitals. T-3-223
  • To remove untouchability is a penance that caste Hindus owe to Hinduism and to themselves. XXV-479
  • Harijan service is a duty the caste Hindus owe to themselves. T-3-203
  • The most distinctive and the largest contribution of Hinduism to India's culture is the doctrine of ahimsa. T-2-341
  • For Hindus to expect Islam, Christianity or Zoroastrianism to be driven out of India is as idle a dream as it would be for Mussalmans to have only Islam of their imagination rule the world. XXV-179
  • There is as much need for a change of heart among the Hindus and Mussalmans as there is among the British before a proper settlement is arrived at. XXVI-233
  • So long as untouchability disfigures Hinduism, so long do I hold the attainment of Swaraj to be an utter impossibility.T-2-183
  • Though philosophical Hinduism has no other god but God, it cannot be denied that practical Hinduism is not so emphatically uncompromising as Islam. T-2-341
  • Touch-me-notism that disfigures the present day Hinduism is a morbid growth. T-3-257
  • In Hinduism we have got an admirable foot-rule to measure every shastra and every rule of conduct, and that is truth. T-2-285
  • It is impossible to wait and weigh, in golden scales, the sentiments of prejudice and superstition that have gathered round the priests who are considered to be the custodians of Hinduism. T-2-286
  • All the four stages in a man's life are devised by the seers in Hinduism for imposing discipline and self-restraint. XXVI-375
  • Being dissatisfied and properly dissatisfied with the husk of Hinduism, you are in danger of losing even the kernel, life itself. T-2-286
  • Nonviolence which to me is the glory of Hinduism, has been sought to be explained away by our people as being meant for the sanyasis only. T-7-272
  • No stone should be left unturned to bring home to the family members that untouchability is a sin and a blot on Hinduism. T-4-158
  • The scriptures of Christians, Mussalmans and Hindus are all replete with the teaching of ahimsa. XXV-521
  • The only way Hinduism can convert the whole world to cow-protection is by giving an object-lesson in cow-protection and all it means. XXV-436
  • Hindu religious literature, indeed all religious literature, is full of illustrations to prove the truth. XXVI-158
  • Hindus, if they want unity among different races, must have the courage to trust the minorities. T-2-133
  • Dining and marriage restrictions stunt Hindu society. T-3-180
  • The only way by which you and I can wean orthodox Hindus from their bigotry is by patient argument and correct conduct. XXV-514
  • The sacred thread and the tuft of hair without a pure heart and a spirit of toleration do not make a Hindu. T-7-413
  • Widowhood imposed by religion or custom is an unbearable yoke and defiles the home by secret vice and degrades religion.MM-299
  • A Swaraj government means a government established by the free joint will of Hindus, Mussalmans and others. XXV-478
  • By Ram Raj, I do not mean Hindu Raj. I mean by Ram Raj, Divine Raj, The Kingdom of God. For me, Ram and Rahim are one and the same deity. T-2-375
  • Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with ahimsa, reject as non-Hindu. XXVI-374
History :
  • History is a record of perpetual wars, but we are now trying to make new history. T-4-165
  • History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul.MM-419
  • I disbelieve history so far as details of acts of heroes are concerned. XXVI-491
  • I positively refuse to judge men from the scanty material furnished to us by history. XXVI-491
  • Does not the history of the world show that there would have been no romance in life if there had been no risks? MM-166
  • The history of Islam, if it betrays aberrations from the moral height, has many a brilliant page. T-2-124
  • History is replete with instances of men who, by dying with courage and compassion on their lips, converted the hearts of their violent opponents. T-3-3
Hitler :
  • Herr Hitler is awake all the twenty-four hours of the day in perfection of his sadhana. T-5-291
  • Rightly or wrongly, and irrespective of what the other powers have done before under similar circumstances, I have come to the conclusion that Herr Hitler is responsible for the war. T-5-162
Honesty :
  • Honesty has never been so much proved to be the best policy as it is now for those who do not or cannot back their dishonesty with gun powder and poison gas. T-4-269
  • Where there is honest effort, it will be realized that, what appear to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves of the same tree. TIG-21
  • The only real reliable guarantee for khadi would be the honesty, truthfulness and sincerity of khadi workers. T-7-20
Hope :
  • The method of satyagraha requires that the satyagrahi should never lose hope, so long as there is the slightest ground left for it. T-5-235
Hostility :
  • Differences of opinion should never mean hostility. MM-10
Human Dignity :
  • It is beneath human dignity to lose one's individuality and become a mere cog in the machine. T-5-9
Human Family :
  • Once we recognize the common parent stock from which we are all sprung, we realize the basic unity of the human family, and there is no room left for enmities and unhealthy competition. T-5-16
Humanity :
  • I am endeavouring to see God through service of humanity, for I know that God is neither in heaven nor down below, but in every one. TIG-5
  • I hold that proselytizing under the cloak of humanitarian work is, to say the least, unhealthy. TIG-69
  • What... does Jesus mean to me? To me, He was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had. TIG-79
Human Nature :
  • Human nature will only find itself when it fully realizes that to be human it has to cease to be beastly or brutal. T-4-279
  • Dignity of human nature requires that we must face the storms of life. T-3-130
  • Not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the godliness of human nature. TIG-144
Humility :
  • True humility means strenuous and constant endeavour entirely directed to the service of humanity.TIG-140
  • Nonviolence is impossible without humility. T-5-12
  • Truth without humility would be an arrogant caricature. TIG-33
  • I am gifted with enough humility to look even to babes and sucklings for help.T-3-60
Hunger :
  • Hunger is the argument that is driving India to the spinning wheel. T-2-63
  • Not all our gold and jewellery could satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst. T-4-22
  • A science to be science must afford the fullest scope for satisfying the hunger of body, mind and soul. T-4-119
Hunger - Strike :
  • A hunger-strike loses its force and dignity, when it has any, if the striker is forcibly fed. T-5-156
  • Hunger-strike has become such a nuisance that it will be as well for the committee to adopt measures to check it before it assumes dangerous proportions. T-5-156
Hypocrisy :
  • Hypocrisy and distortion are passing currents under the name of religion. T-7-128
  • Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. T-3-301
  • Hypocrisy has acted as an ode to virtue but it could never take its place. T-7-67
  • Nakedness is itself a virtue as distinguished from hypocrisy. T-7-193