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)
Taboo :
  • In Ahimsa, wars were not only not taboo, but nobody observed the contradiction between them and ahimsa. TIG-103
Taxation :
  • All taxation to be healthy must return tenfold to the taxpayer in the form of necessary services.T-4-173
Teacher :
  • What ... does Jesus mean to me? To me, He was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had. TIG-79
  • No teacher can be held responsible for a caricature of his teachings.T-7-402
Temples :
  • I know of no religion or sect that has done or is doing without its house of God, variously described as a temple, a mosque, a church, a synagogue or agiari. T-3-194
  • I hold it a blasphemy to say that the Creator resides in a temple from which a particular class of His devotees sharing the faith in it are excluded. T-3-219
  • It is necessary first to purify the drunken and dissolute worshippers in charge of some of these temples. T-2-261
  • Temples are for sinners, not for saints. T-3-271
  • Temples are like spiritual hospitals, and the sinful, who are spiritually diseased, have the first right to be ministered unto by them.T-3-270-71
  • Temples are meant for sinners where they can wash away their sins.T-3-230
Temptation :
  • Learning takes us through many stages in life but it fails us utterly in the hours of danger and temptation.XXVI-28
Terrorism :
  • Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak.T-2-20
Thinking :
  • Today, it is certain that millions cannot have high living and we, the few who profess to do the thinking for the masses, run the risk, in a vain search after high living, of missing high thinking.T-3-94
Thoughts :
  • Deeds are indifferent caricatures of our thoughts. XXVI-297
  • All your scholarship, all your study of Shakespeare and Wordsworth would be vain if at the same time you do not build your character and attain mastery over your thoughts and your actions.T-2-376
  • It is rarely that language succeeds as a vehicle of thought. More often than not it conceals thought. Language always circumscribes thought. XX-5
  • Thought is never complete unless it finds expression in action and action limits your thought.MM-495
  • Thoughts, which turn us away from God, or do not turn us towards Him, constitute impediments in our way.MM-190
Time :
  • Time is always on the side of those who will wait upon it. XXVI-268
  • Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. T-7-178
  • Time is wealth, and the Gita says the Great Annihilator annihilates those who waste time.T-2-274
Tolerance- Toleration :
  • Tolerance gives us spiritual insight, which is as far from fanaticism as the north pole is from the south. TIG-66
  • Tolerance implies a gratuitous assumption of the inferiority of other faiths to one's own. TIG-64
  • Tolerance obviously does not disturb the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil.TIG-66
  • Tolerance is the only thing that will enable persons belonging to different religions to live as good neighbours and friends. MM-401
  • Mutual tolerance is a necessity for all time and for all races. MM-401
  • Decency and tolerance, to be of any value, must be capable of withstanding the severest strain.T-8-132
  • Unless we are able to evolve a spirit of mutual tolerance for diametrically opposite views, non co-operation is an impossibility. T-2-12
  • God the Compassionate and the Merciful, Tolerance incarnate, allows Mammon to have his nine days' wonder. TIG-144
  • The first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance, and loving kindness. T-4-236
  • The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of different religions. XXV-179
  • The sacred thread and the tuft of hair do not make a Hindu, without a pure heart and a spirit of tolerance.T-7-413
Tolstoy :
  • What has appealed to me most in Tolstoy's life is that he practiced what he preached and reckoned no cost too great in his pursuit of truth. T-2-317
  • Tolstoy's so-called inconsistencies were a sign of his development and his passionate regard for truth. T-2-318
  • I do not believe that "My philosophy" is an indifferent mixture of Tolstoy and Buddha.XXVI-140
Tools :
  • It is a bad carpenter who quarrels with his tools. It is a bad general who blames his men for faulty workmanship.T-4-167
Tragedy :
  • It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that the millions have ceased to use their hands as hands.T-2-251
Treachery :
  • If treachery is the reward of trust, will the man who trusts come to harm?XXV-509
Trust :
  • Trust put on is worse than useless. Trust felt is the thing that counts. MGCG-199
  • Men to be men must be able to trust their womenfolk, even as the latter are compelled to trust them.T-2-249
  • Trustworthy action will dispel all mistrust or distrust as the sun dispels the morning mist. MGCG-199
  • Trusting one another, however, can never mean trusting with the lip and mistrusting in the heart. XXV-436
  • Are we sure that the leaders trust one another? My fear is that neither at the top, nor at the bottom, are we cleansed of hypocrisy. T-8-297
  • If treachery is the reward of trust, will the man who trusts come to harm? XXV-509
  • A scavenger who works in His service shares equal distinction with a king who uses his gift in his name and as a mere trustee. TIG-137
  • Each and every one of you should consider himself to be a trustee for the rest of his fellow labourers and not be self-seeking. T-2-297
Truth :
  • Truth is what the voice within tells you.T-3-144
  • Truth is the right designation of God. TIG-21
  • Truth and ahimsa will never be destroyed. T-5-245
  • Truth is like a vast tree which yields more and more fruit the more you nurture it. MM-43
  • Truth is superior to man's wisdom. T-2-143
  • Truth and nonviolence are perhaps the most active forces you have in the world. T-3-145
  • Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. T-7-178
  • Religious truth, or for that matter any truth, requires a calm and meditative atmosphere for its percolation. T-3-269
  • Truth and untruth often co-exist; good and evil often are found together. TIG-107
  • Truth stands for fact, nonviolence negates fact. MOG-14
  • Truth is self-evident, nonviolence is its maturest fruit. It is contained in truth, but is not self-evident. MOG-14
  • Truth-sat-is positive, nonviolence is negative. MOG-14
  • All truths, not merely true ideas, but truthful faces, truthful pictures, or songs, are highly beautiful. XXV-249
  • Every truth is self-acting and possesses inherent strength. XXV-423
  • Truth, which is permanent, eludes the historian of events. Truth transcends history. T-2-11
  • Truth and ahimsa demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be. XXVI-374
  • Truth is God, and truth overrides all our plans. T-7-363
  • Truth is the first to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you. XXV-255
  • Truth is not truth merely because it is ancient. Nor is truth necessarily to be regarded with suspicion because it is ancient. T-4-57
  • Truth should so humble that even dust could crush it. MM-43
  • Truth without humility would be an arrogant caricature. TIG-38
  • A man of truth must ever be confident, if he has also equal need to be diffident. T-2-204
  • A seeker after truth, a follower of the law of Love, cannot hold anything against tomorrow. MM-188
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. TIG-94
  • All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth, but all are imperfect and liable to error. TIG-65
  • The path of truth is as narrow as it is straight. Even so is that of ahimsa. TIG-36
  • The quest of Truth involves tapas - self-suffering - sometimes even unto death. TIG-21
  • Though God may be Love, God is Truth above all. T-3-144
  • Truth and nonviolence are perhaps the activist forces you have in the world. T-3-144
  • The panoplied warrior of Truth and nonviolence is ever and incessantly active. T-3-145
  • The greater the realization of truth and ahimsa, the greater the illumination. XXV-521
  • Devotion to Truth is the sole justification for our existence. TIG-20
  • Every expression of truth has in it the seeds of propagation, even as the sun cannot hide its light.T-4-13
  • God alone is truth, everything else is transitory and illusory. XXVI-265
  • God is light, not darkness. God is love, not hate. God is truth, not untruth. God alone is great.XXV-479
  • God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.T-3-221
  • If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth, you must reduce yourself to a zero. T-3-144
  • Nobody in this world possesses absolute truth. MM-45
  • Not violence, nor untruth but non-violence and Truth are the laws of our being. MM-444
  • One is ever young in the felt presence of the God of Truth or Truth which is God. T-5-71
  • One cannot reach Truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. T-8-38
  • Search for truth is search for God. Truth is God. God is because Truth is. T-3-293
  • When you want to find Truth as God, the only inevitable means is love, that is nonviolence. T-3-144
  • We may not go about parroting truth and non-violence and steer clear of them in our daily life.T-5-180
  • Where there is truth, there also is knowledge which is true. TIG-20
  • Truth and nonviolence are both the means and the end, and given the right type of men, the legislatures can be the means of achieving the concrete pursuit of truth and nonviolence. T-4-161
  • Truth and nonviolence are no cloistered virtues but are applicable as much in the forum and the legislatures as in the marketplace. T-4-161
  • 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 trust and hammered with ahimsa, reject as non-Hindu. XXVI-374
  • A man of faith will remain steadfast to truth even though the whole world might appear to be enveloped in falsehood. MM-47
  • A man with a grain of faith in God never loses hope, because he ever believes in the ultimate triumph of Truth. XXV-188
  • A successful search for truth means complete deliverance from the dual throng, such as of love and hate, happiness and misery. MM-44
  • Even atheists, who have pretended to disbelieve in God, have believed in Truth. T-3-294
  • Satyagraha is search for Truth, and God is Truth. XXV-489
  • There is no 'playing with truth' in the charkha programme, for Satyagraha is not predominantly civil disobedience but a quiet and irresistible pursuit of Truth. XXV-587
  • The deepest spiritual truths are always unutterable. T-2-343
  • The highest truth needs no communicating, for it is by its very nature self-propelling. It radiates its influence silently as the rose its fragrance without the intervention of a medium. T-2-343
  • The instruments for the quest for Truth are as simple as they are difficult. TIG-33
  • The law is God. Anything attributed to Him is not mere attribute. He is Truth, Love, Law and a million things that human ingenuity can name. T-3-250
  • The patriotic sprit demands loyal and strict adherence to nonviolence and truth. T-2-92
  • We dare not enter the kingdom of liberty with mere lip-homage to truth and nonviolence. T-2-85
  • Where there is honest effort, it will be realized that what appears to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves of the same tree. TIG-21
  • 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
  • Hindu religious literature, indeed all religious literature, is full of illustrations to prove the truth.XXVI-158
  • Nothing in the Shastra, which is manifestly contrary to universal truths and morals, can stand. T-4-42
  • I believe in the what Max Muller said, namely, that truth needed to be repeated as long as there were men who disbelieved it. TIG-143
  • I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness, light persists, hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light, He is Love, He is the supreme good. T-2-313
  • I claim no perfection for myself. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth which is but another name for God. T-5-295
  • I know no diplomacy save that of truth. XXV-423
  • I know that man who forsakes Truth can forsake his country and his nearest and dearest ones.T-2-236
  • I have repeatedly stated that satyagraha never fails and that one perfect satyagrahi is enough to vindicate Truth. XXV-489
  • I will say that if there is anything like God Or Truth on earth, Hindu-Muslim unity is also possible.T-2-236
  • I worship the God that is truth or Truth which is God through the service of these millions.T-5-58
  • If I am true to myself, if I am true to mankind, if I am true to humanity, I must understand all the faults that human flesh is heir to. T-2-199
  • If it is possible for the human tongue to give the fullest description of God, I have come to the conclusion that God is Truth. T-3-144
  • The only virtue I want to claim is truth and nonviolence. T-2-84
  • There is nothing on earth that I would not give up for the sake of country, excepting, of course, two things and two only, namely, truth and nonviolence. T-2-235
  • With God as witness, I want to proclaim this truth, that the way of violence cannot bring Swaraj, it can only lead to disaster. T-3-77
  • I would far rather that India perished than that she won her freedom at the sacrifice of truth. T-3-113
  • I acknowledge no other God but the one God of truth and righteousness. MM-326
  • My anekantavada is the result of the twin doctrines of satya and ahimsa. TIG-12
  • My errors are errors of calculation and in judging men, not in appreciating the true nature of truth and ahimsa or in their application. T-2-204
  • My experience teaches me that truth can never be propagated by doing violence. MM-177
  • My faith in truth and nonviolence is ever growing, and as I am ever trying to follow them in my life, I too am growing every moment. T-4-15
  • My religion is based on truth and nonviolence. Truth is God. Nonviolence is the means of realizing Him. XXV-558
  • Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of truth. T-7-178
  • Truth is my God, I can only search Him through nonviolence and in no other way. T-3-298
  • Truth is my religion and ahimsa the only way of its realization. T-4-250
  • Truth to me is infinitely dearer than the 'mahatmaship' which is purely a burden. MM-1
  • Every moment of my existence is dedicated to the winning of Swaraj by means of truth and nonviolence. T-3-79
  • For me, Rama and Rahim are one and the same deity. I acknowledge no other God but the one God of truth and righteousness. T-2-375
  • For me the voice of God, of Conscience, of truth or the Inner Voice or 'the still small voice' mean one and the same thing. TIG-2
  • To me God is Truth and Love, God is ethics and morality, God is fearlessness. TIG-10
  • God as truth has been for me a treasure beyond price; may He be so to every one of us. TIG-22
  • Indeed, my errors and my prompt confessions have made me surer, if possible, of my insight into the implications of truth and ahimsa. T-2-204
  • It is an ever-growing belief with me that truth cannot be found by violent means. T-3-217
  • Let hundreds like me perish, but let truth triumph. T-2-217
  • Prayer has not been a part of my life in the sense that truth has been. T-3-110
  • Silence is a great help to a seeker after truth like myself. TIG-61
  • The attainment of national independence is to me a search for truth. T-3-217
  • What has appealed to me most in Tolstoy's life is that he practiced what he preached and reckoned no cost too great in his pursuit of truth. T-2-317
  • Without living Truth, God is nowhere. T-8-270
  • If we had attained the full vision of Truth, we would no longer be seekers, but become one with God, for Truth is God. TIG-6
  • God, who is the embodiment of Truth and Right and Justice, can never have sanctioned a religion or practice which regards one-fifth of our vast population as untouchables. T-3-288
  • If fighting for the legislatures means a sacrifice of truth and non-violence, democracy would not be worth a moment's purchase. T-4-1
  • Our life is a long quest after Truth, and the soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height. TIG-61
  • Your character must be above suspicion and you must be truthful and self-controlled. XVI-297
  • Tolstoy's so-called inconsistencies were a sign of his development and his passionate regard for truth. T-2-318
  • The patriotic spirit demands loyal and strict adherence to nonviolence and truth. T-2-92
  • Exercise of faith will be the safest where there is a clear determination summarily to reject all that is contrary to Truth and love. TIG-9
  • The charkha is an outward symbol of Truth and nonviolence. T-5-265
  • If people knew the working of the law of truth and nonviolence, then they would themselves regulate the matter of shortage. T-8-40
  • The first step in nonviolence is that we cultivate in our daily life, as between ourselves, truthfulness, humility, tolerance and loving kindness. T-4-236
  • Buddha renounced every worldly happiness because he wanted to share with the whole world his happiness which was to be had by men who sacrificed and suffered in the search for truth. T-2-295
  • Satyagraha is a relentless search for truth and a determination to search truth. XXVI-273
  • A seeker of truth will never begin by discounting his opponent's statement as unworthy of trust. MM-324
  • The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness.MM-153
  • Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. MM-248
  • The finite human being shall never know in its fullness Truth and Love which is itself infinite. MM-20
  • Openness of mind strengthens the truth in us and removes the dross from it, if there is any. MM-342
  • To find truth completely is to realize oneself and one's destiny, i.e. to become perfect. MM-18
  • The practice of truth and nonviolence melted religious differences, and we learnt to see beauty in each religion.T-5-225
  • Those who are truthful, nonviolent and brave do not cease to be so because of the stupidity of their leader.T-5-128
  • To a true artist only that face is beautiful which, quite apart from its exterior, shines with the truth within the soul.T-2-159
  • Death is at any time blessed but it is twice blessed for a warrior who dies for his cause, that is, truth.T-2-237
  • Names and forms matter little; they come and go. That which is permanent and therefore necessary eludes the historian of events. Truth transcends history.XXV-129
  • The propagation of truth and nonviolence can be done less by books than by actually living on those principles.T-5-93
  • Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them.TIG-37