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Sources / Glossary


  • Daridranarayana is insatiable and there is room enough in his belly for all the money and the 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 God, 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 gifts you give for Daridranarayana.

  •    T-2-354


  • 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 deathbed brought about by an assailant. It is only with that ahimsa that we can defined 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

  • No amount of casuistry can defend the penalty of stoning to death in any event or that of death, whether by stoning or otherwise, for apostasy.    

  • XXVI-415

  • Where death without resistance or death after resistance is the only way, neither party should think of resorting to law-courts or help from 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

  • Slow and inglorious self-imposed starvation among the starving masses is every time more heroic than the death of the scaffold under false exaltation.

  •     XXVI-141


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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 necessarily means a conflict of will and ideas, involving sometimes a war to 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 the 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 society and are surely contrary to the spirit of democracy.    

  • MM-342

  • The line of demarcation between democracy and monocracy is a 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 the heart.

  •     MM-338

  • People in a democracy should be satisfied with drawing the Government’s attention to mistake, if any.

  • MM-341

  • You have to uphold democracy, and 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 was 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

  • If fighting for the legislatures meant a sacrifice of truth and non-violence, democracy would not be worth a moment'’ purchase.   

  • T-4-156

  • Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.   

  • T-3-301


  • No nation being under another nation can accept gifts, and kick at the responsibility attaching to those gifts imposed by the conquering nation.

  •    T-2-13


  • By means of a desire for enjoyment we have created and continue to maintain this encumbrance in the shape of the body.

  •     TIG-132

  • When there is no desire for fruit, there is also no temptation for untruth or himsa.

  •     T-2-311


  • "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


  • 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 this 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 devote may use, if he likes, rosaries, forehead marks, make offerings, but these things are not test of his devotion.    

  • T-2-309

  • A devote of Rama may be said to be the same as the steadfast onesthitaprajnya) 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, round which devotion, knowledge and the rest revolve like planets.

  •     TIG-99

  • Knowledge and devotion, to be true, have to stand the rest of renunciation of the fruits of action.

  •         T-2-309

  • One rupee can purchase for us poison or nectar, but knowledge or devotion cannot buy us either salvation or bondage.

  •    T-2-309

  • 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


  • A correct diagnosis is three-fourths the remedy.

  •     T-5-129


  • The truest test of civilization, culture and dignity is character and not c1othing.    

  • XXVI-258


  • I know no diplomacy save that of truth.    

  • XXV-423


  • 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


  • 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, times without number, 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 the 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 the spiritual discipline.     

  • MOG-13

  • Chastity is one of the greatest disciplines without which the mind cannot attain requisite firmness.         

  • X-52

  • No general ever won a victory by following the principle of ‘being vigilant so long as he could’.

  • T-2-365

  • 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 opposite views.

  •    T-2-12


  • We are like the nurses who may not leave their patients because they are reported to have an incurable disease.    

  • T-4-73


  • A businessman who lies and cheats his simple minded and ignorant customers cannot hope to be saved.

  •    T-7-124


  • Labour was a great levelers of all distinctions.

  •     T-8-97


  • 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


  • Divine knowledge is not borrowed from books. It has to be realized on 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 a 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


  • 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


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

  •     TIG-43


  • 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


  • 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 or 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 the 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 teetotaller 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