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GANDHI QUOTES > EPIGRAMS FROM GANDHIJI
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Daridranarayana
  • Daridranarayana is insatiable and there is room enough in his belly for all the money and ornaments you can give. T-2-272
  • The real Daridranarayana even I have not seen, but know only through my imagination. T-2-272
  • I would like to assure those who would serve Daridranarayana that there is music, art, economy and joy in the spinning wheel. T-2-275
  • Of all the myriad of Gods, Daridranarayana is the most sacred, inasmuch as it represents the untold millions of poor people as distinguished from the few rich people. T-2-377
  • It is my great misfortune that I have to measure your love by the money and gifts you give for Daridranarayana. T-2-354

Death
  • 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
  • Death is no fiend, he is the truest of friends. He delivers us from agony. T-2-237
  • Death on the battlefield is welcome to a soldier. XXV-329
  • To die in the act of killing is, in essence, to die defeated. MM-169
  • Birth and death are not two different states, but they are different aspects of the same state.
    XXV-333
  • It is as clear to me as daylight that life and death are but phases of the same thing, the reverse and obverse of the same coin. T-3-4
  • A courageous man prefers death to the surrender of self-respect. MM-462
  • Life becomes livable only to the extent that death is treated as a friend, never as an enemy. T-8-205
  • If love was not the law of life, life would not have persisted in the midst of death. TIG-18
  • True ahimsa should wear a smile even on a deathbed brought about by an assailant. It is only with that ahimsa that we can convert our opponents and win their love. T-5-243
  • It was the cowards who died many times before their death. T-7-110
  • If we weep for all the deaths in our country, the tears in our eyes would never dry. TIG-147
  • Running away for fear of death, leaving one’s dear ones, temples or music to take care of themselves, is irreligion; it is cowardice. XXV-138
  • Where death without resistance or death after resistance is the only way, neither party should think of resorting to law-courts or help from the government. XXV-138
  • What is imprisonment to the man who is fearless of death itself? T-2-65
  • I came alone in this world, I have walked alone in the valley of the shadow of death, and I shall quit alone when the time comes. T-7-147
  • Only my death will determine whether I am ‘Mahomed Gandhi’, Jinnah’s slave, destroyer of the Hindu religion or its true servant and protector.T-7-370
  • 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
  • You may pluck out my eyes, but that cannot kill me. You may chop off my nose, but that will not kill me. But blast my belief in God, and I am dead.TIG-35
  • It is much more difficult to live for nonviolence than to die for it.T-5-4
  • 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

Debt
  • In the billiard room and on the tennis-court think of the big debt that is being piled against you from day to day. T-2-272
  • What God may have enabled me to do is but a repayment of debt, and he who repays a debt deserves no praise.T-4-257

Deception
  • Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak.T-2-20

Defeat
  • Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats. XXV-588
  • Never own defeat in a sacred cause and make up your minds henceforth that you will be pure and that you will find a response from God. TIG-58
  • Defeat has no place in the dictionary of nonviolence. T-4-139

Defence
  • It is the Maginot Line* that has made the Siegfried Line** necessary and vice versa. T-5-178
    * For defence of France constructed by France on her frontier
    **For defence of Germany constructed by Germany on her frontier
  • Whether one or many, I must declare my faith that it is better for India to discard violence altogether even for defending her borders.T-5-178

Democracy
  • Democracy necessarily means a conflict of will and ideas, involving sometimes a war of the knife between different ideas.T-3-291
  • Democracy can only represent the average if not less than the average. MM-343
  • The very essence of democracy is that every person represents all the varied interests which compose the nation. T-5-75
  • Democracy comes naturally to him who is habituated normally to yield willing obedience to all laws, human or divine. T-5-104
  • Democracy demands patient instruction on it before legislation. MM-344
  • Democracy, disciplined and enlightened, is the finest thing in the world. MM-338
  • Democracy and dependence on the military and police are incompatible. MM-347
  • Democracy is a great institution and, therefore, it is liable to be greatly abused. MM-345
  • Democracy is an impossible thing until the power is shared by all, but let not democracy degenerate into mobocracy. MM-345
  • Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. MM-341
  • Democracy and violence can ill go together. MM-347
  • Evolution of democracy is not possible if we are not prepared to hear the other side. MM-342
  • The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within. T-3-301
  • In the days of democracy there is no such thing as active loyalty to a person. You are, therefore, loyal or disloyal to institutions. T-3-25
  • Democracy will break under the strain of apron strings. It can exist only on trust. MM-339
  • Islam was nothing if it did not spell complete democracy. T-7-312
  • My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest. T-5-277
  • To safeguard democracy people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect and their oneness. MM-339
  • What is really needed to make democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but right education. T-7-209
  • Intolerance, discourtesy and harshness are taboo in all good societies and are surely contrary to the spirit of democracy. MM-342
  • The line of demarcation between democracy and monocracy is often thin, but rigid and stronger than unbreakable steel. MM-346
  • In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself. MM-338
  • The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular. MM-347
  • The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart. MM-338
  • People in a democracy should be satisfied with drawing the Government’s attention to a mistake, if any. MM-341
  • You have to uphold democracy, for, democracy and dependence on the military and the police are incompatible. T-7-284
  • Under democracy, individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded. MM-341
  • No perfect democracy is possible without perfect nonviolence at the back of it. MM-348
  • The only force at the disposal of democracy is that of public opinion. T-8-100
  • True democracy is not inconsistent with a few persons representing the spirit, the hope and the aspirations of those whom they claim to represent. T-3-301
  • The voice of the people may be said to be God’s voice, the voice of the Panchayat. MM-340
  • A born democrat is a born disciplinarian. T-5-104
  • A democrat must be utterly selfless. He must think and dream not in terms of self or of party, but only of democracy. T-5-104
  • The true democrat is he who, with purely nonviolent means, defends his liberty and, therefore, his country’s and ultimately that of the whole of mankind. MM-347
  • A democratic organization has to dare to do the right at all costs. MM-346
  • Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.T-3-301

Dependence
  • No nation being under another nation can accept gifts, and kick at the responsibility attached to those gifts imposed by the conquering nation. T-2-13

Desire
  • When there is no desire for fruit, there is also no temptation for untruth or himsa. T-2-311

Despair
  • "Despair" is a term which does not occur in my dictionary. XXVI-266
  • I shall despair when I despair of myself, of God and humanity. XXVI-266

Destiny
  • Man is the maker of his own destiny, and I therefore ask you to become makers of your own destiny. XXVI-294
  • To find Truth completely is to realize oneself and one’s destiny, to become perfect.T-2-73

Devotee – Devotion (Bhakti)
  • Devotion to Truth is the sole justification for our effusiveness. TIG-20
  • Devotion required by the Gita is not soft-hearted effusiveness. T-2-309
  • Without devotion, action and knowledge are cold and dry, and may even become shackles.MOG-26
  • A devotee may use, if he likes, rosaries, forehead marks, make offerings, but these things are not a test of his devotion.T-2-309
  • A devote of Rama may be said to be the same as the steadfast one (sthitaprajnya) of the Gita.TIG-111
  • The path of bhakti, karma, love, as expounded in the Gita, leaves no room for the despising of man by man. T-2-278
  • Knowledge without devotion will be like a misfire. TIG-99
  • Renunciation is the central sun, around which devotion, knowledge and the rest revolve like planets. TIG-99
  • In order that knowledge may not run riot, the author of the Gita has insisted on devotion accompanying it and has given it the first place.T-2-309

Diagnosis
  • A correct diagnosis is three-fourths the remedy. T-5-129

Dignity
  • The truest test of civilization, culture and dignity is character and not c1othing.XXVI-258

Diplomacy
  • I know no diplomacy save that of truth.XXV-423

Disarmament
  • A free India will throw all her weight in favour of world disarmament and should herself be prepared to give a lead in this.T-5-319

Discipline
  • True discipline gives enthusiastic obedience to instructions even though they do not satisfy the reason. T-5-266
  • A disciplined army of a few hundred picked men has routed countless undisciplined hordes. XXVI-564
  • Conscience is the ripe fruit of strictest discipline. XXV-23
  • A student’s life has been rightly likened to the life of a sanyasi. He must be the embodiment of simple living and high thinking. He must be discipline incarnate. His pleasure is derived from his studies. T-8-71
  • Unless discipline is rooted in nonviolence, it might prove a source of infinite mischief. T-4-256
  • For winning Swaraj one requires iron discipline. XXV-5
  • A born democrat is a born disciplinarian. T-5-104
  • A man who would interpret the scriptures must have spiritual discipline. MOG-13
  • Chastity is one of the greatest disciplines without which the mind cannot attain requisite firmness. X-52
  • I have not known of a war gained by a rabble, but I have known of wars gained by disciplined armies. T-2-13
  • Non-co-operation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opponents views.T-2-12

Disease
  • We are like the nurses, who may not leave their patients because they are reported to have an incurable disease.T-4-73

Dishonesty
  • A businessman who lies and cheats his simple minded and ignorant customers cannot hope to be saved.T-7-124

Distinctions
  • Labour is a great levelers of all distinctions. T-8-97

Distrust
  • It is weakness which breeds fear, and fear breeds distrust.T-2-123

Divine Rights
  • There is no such thing as the divine right of the kings to rule and the humble duty of the ryots to pay respectful obedience to their masters.T-8-31

Divinity
  • Divine knowledge is not borrowed from books. It has to be realized by oneself. TIG-94
  • The meaning of prayer is that I want to evoke that Divinity without me. T-5-147
  • The Divine Radio is always singing, if we could only make ourselves ready to listen to it, but it is impossible to listen without silence. TIG-60
  • There is a divine purpose behind every physical calamity. TIG-24
  • I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus. He is as divine as Krishna or Rama or Muhammad or Zoroaster. TIG-78
  • My belief in the Hindu scriptures does not require me to accept every word and every verse as divinely inspired. TIG-75

Doctor
  • A doctor who uses his talent to pander to the vice of his patient degrades himself and his patient. TIG-114

Dominion Status
  • Dominion status is nothing if it does not mean the ability of the dominion in question to stand by itself. T-5-254
  • My conception of dominion status implies present ability to sever the British connection if I wish to. T-2-382

Dream
  • Close the day with prayer so that you may have a peaceful night free from dreams and nightmares. TIG-43

Drink
  • Drink makes a man forget himself. He ceases to be a man for the time being. He becomes less than a beast. XXVI-350
  • It is wrong and immoral for a nation to supply intoxicating liquor to those who are addicted to drink.XXV-474

Duty
  • Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. X-37
  • A duty religiously performed carries with it several other important consequences. T-3-225
  • A man can give up a right, but he may not give up a duty without being guilty of a grave dereliction. T-2-324
  • Means to be means must always be within our reach, and so ahimsa is our supreme duty. TIG-37
  • Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practise it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as is humanly possible from violence. T-7-61
  • Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. X-37
  • Out of the performance of duties flow rights, and those that knew and performed their duties came naturally by their rights. XXV-573
  • A pure fast, like duty, is its own reward. T-8-247
  • The true source of rights is duty. T-2-179
  • A teetotaler would regard it as his duty to associate with his drunkard brother for the purpose of weaning him from the evil habit. XXVI-65
  • If leaving duties unperformed we run after rights, they will escape us like a will-o’-the-wisp. TIG-152
  • If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek. XXV-564
  • A wretched parent who claims obedience from his children, without first doing his duty by them, excites nothing but contempt. T-8-31
  • He who is ever brooding over result often loses nerve in the performance of his duty. T-2-310
  • No people have risen who thought only of rights. Only those did so who thought of duties. XXV-573
  • You cannot neglect the nearer duty for the sake of a remote. XXV-160
  • Violence becomes imperative when an attempt is made to assert rights without any reference to duties. T-4-13
  • In my humble opinion, non-co-operation with evil is as much a duty as is co-operation with good. T-2-100
  • I know, too, that performance of one’s duty should be independent of public opinion. T-2-320
  • I know that not only is Swaraj our birthright, but it is our sacred duty to win it. T-2-26222
  • No displeasure, even of the dearest friends, can put me off the duty I see clearly in front of me. T-5-296