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GANDHI QUOTES > EPIGRAMS FROM GANDHIJI
KEY TO SOURCES GLOSSARY - SOURCES

Labour
  • Capital exploits the labour of a few to multiply itself.MM-339
  • Every labourer is worthy of his hire. No country can produce thousands of unpaid whole-time workers. XXV-485
  • Is not labour, like learning, its own reward? T-3-300
  • Labour has its unique place in a cultured human family. MM-373
  • Labour is priceless, not gold. T-8-97
  • Labour is a great leveler of all distinctions. T-8-97
  • No labour is too mean for one who wants to earn an honest penny. MM-204
  • There is a world-wide conflict between capital and labour, and the poor envy the rich. MM-199
  • The saving of labour of the individual should be the object and honest humanitarian considerations, and not greed, the motive. XXV-252
  • Unless our hands go hand in hand with our heads, we will be able to do nothing whatsoever. XXVI-302
  • Useful manual labour, intelligently performed, is the means par excellence for developing the intellect. MM-379
  • I do not regard capital to be the enemy of labour. T-2-257
  • I call myself a labourer because I take pride in calling myself a spinner, weaver, farmer and scavenger. XXVI-379
  • A labourer cannot sit at the table and write, but a man who has worked at the table all his life can certainly take to physical labour. T-2-63
  • A plea of the spinning wheel is a plea for recognizing the dignity of labour. T-2-63
  • A scavenger who works in His service shares equal distinction with a king who uses his gifts in His name and is a mere trustee. MM-202
  • A true and nonviolent combination of labour would act like a magnet attracting to it all the needed capital. T-8-97
  • A worker’s capital is inexhaustible, incapable of being stolen, and bound to pay him a generous dividend all the time. XIV-217
  • Each and every one of you should consider himself to be a trustee for the welfare of the rest of his fellow labourers and not be self-seeking. T-2-297
  • If everybody lives by the sweat of his brow, the earth will become a paradise. MM-200
  • It is a sad thing that our schoolboys look upon manual labour with disfavour, if not contempt. EWE-20
  • Labour, because it chose to remain unintelligent, either became subservient, or insolently believed in damaging the capitalists’ goods and machinery or even in killing the capitalists. T-8-97
  • Mere mental, that is, intellectual labour, is for the soul and has its own satisfaction. T-4-36
  • Nothing will demoralize the nation so much as that we should learn to despise labour. EWE-25
  • Our children should not be so taught as to despise labour. EWE-20
  • Obedience to the law of bread labour will bring about a silent revolution in the structure of society. MM-200
  • Employers ganging up against workers is like raising an army of elephants against ants. XX-333
  • The rich cannot accumulate wealth without the co-operation of the poor in society. MM-271
  • This mad rush for wealth must cease and the labourer must be assured not only of a living wage but, also a daily task that is not mere drudgery. T-2-161
  • What the two hands of the labourer can achieve, the capitalist will never get with all his gold and silver. T-7-33
  • Where there are millions upon millions of units of idle labour, it is no use thinking of labour-saving devices. T-4-24

Language
  • A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers. EWE-13
  • Language is at best an imperfect medium of expression. No man can fully express in words what he feels or thinks. T-7-145
  • The language of a people who produce hard workers, literary experts, businessmen and enterprising persons, spreads and is enriched. T-7-51
  • It is rarely that language succeeds as a vehicle of thought. More often than not it conceals thought. Always language circumscribes thought. XX-5
  • There never was a greater superstition, than, that a particular language can be incapable of expansion or expressing abstruse or scientific ideas. EWE-12
  • Man can only describe God in his own poor language. TIG-45
  • If we have listening ears, God speaks to us in our own language, whatever that language be.
    T-7-110
  • What we start receiving education through our own language, our relations in the home will take on a different character. XIV-20

Law
  • The law which governs all life is God. T-2-313
  • The law is God. Anything attributed to Him is not a mere attribute. He is Truth, Love, Law and a million things that human ingenuity can name. T-3-250
  • The Law and the Lawgiver are one. T-2-313
  • Affection cannot be manufactured or regulated by law. T-2-100
  • The laws of nature are changeless, unchangeable, and there are no miracles in the sense of infringement or interruption of Nature’s law. MM-77
  • A satyagrahi cannot go to law for a personal wrong. XXV-163
  • 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
  • The recognition of the golden rule of never taking the law into one’s own hands has no exceptions.T-8-103
  • Independence means voluntary restraint and discipline, voluntary acceptance of the rule of law.
    T-8-100
  • When there is war, the poet lays down the lyre, the lawyer his law reports, the schoolboy his books. T-2-62

Leaders
  • An institution that suffers from a plethora of leaders is surely in a bad way. T-7-218

Learning
  • Learning takes us through many stages in life but it fails us utterly in the hours of danger and temptation. XXVI-28
  • Persistent questioning and healthy inquisitiveness are the first requisites for acquiring learning of any kind. MM-377
  • In a democratic scheme, money invested in the promotion of learning gives a ten-fold return to the people, even as a seed sown in good soil returns a luxuriant crop. T-8-165

Legislatures
  • Truth and nonviolence are both the means and the end, and given the right type of men, legislatures can be the means of achieving concrete pursuit of truth and nonviolence. T-4-161

Liberty
  • Liberty is a dearly bought commodity and prisons are factories where it is manufactured. XXV-212
  • Liberty never meant the license to do anything at will. T-8-100
  • A rose will smell as sweet by any other name, but it must be the rose of liberty that I want and not the artificial product.T-3-129
  • We dare not enter the kingdom of liberty with mere lip homage to truth and non-violence. T-2-85
  • No power on earth can resist the lovers of liberty who are ready not to kill opponents, but be killed by them. T-7-326
  • Individual liberty is allowed to man only to a certain extent. He cannot forget that he is a social being and his individual liberty has to be curtailed at every step. T-5-120
  • Individual liberty and interdependence are both essential for life in society. T-7-37
  • The one condition for fighting for peace and liberty is to acquire self-restraint. XXVI-45
  • In my dream, in my sleep, while eating, I think of the spinning wheel. The spinning wheel is my sword. To me it is the symbol of India’s liberty.XXV-351

Life
  • A life without vows is like a ship without an anchor or like an edifice that is built on sand instead of a solid rock. T-2-364
  • Life is greater than all art. MM-56
  • Life becomes livable only to the extent that death is treated as a friend, never as an enemy.
    T-8-205
  • Life is an aspiration. Its mission is to strive after perfection which is self-realization. T-4-33
  • A life of sacrifice is the pinnacle of art, and is full of true joy. MOG-21
  • Human life is a series of compromises, and it is not always easy to achieve in practice what one has found to be true in theory. MM-39
  • Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth, and the soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height. TIG-61
  • The music of life is in danger of being lost in the music of the voice. T-7-27
  • A true life lived amongst the people is in itself an object-lesson that must produce its own effect upon immediate surroundings. MM-366
  • What is life worth without trials and tribulations which are the salt of life. T-3-4
  • The Enlightened one has told you in never-to-be-forgotten words that this little span of life is but a passing shadow, a fleeting thing. T-2-295
  • I believe in God, not as a theory but as a fact more real than that of life itself. XXVI-233
  • I want to realize brotherhood and identify not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such beings that crawl on earth. T-2-253
  • If I were over full of pity for the cow, I should sacrifice my life to save her but not take my brother’s. X-30
  • My dharma teaches me to give my life for the sake of others without even attempting to kill. XXV-437
  • 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-4-154
  • My religion and my patriotism derived from my religion, embrace all life. T-2-353
  • Let the Gita be to you a mine of diamonds, as it has been to me, let it be your constant guide and friend in life’s way. T-2-307
  • Domestic matters are trifles for us. But they occupy the principal part of my life. They teach me to know my limitations. XXV-302
  • The only praise I would like and treasure is the promotion of the activities to which my life is dedicated. T-5-176
  • The first condition of nonviolence is justice all round, in every department of life. T-5-278
  • Absolute calm is not the law of ocean. And it is the same with the ocean of life. T-7-190
  • Healthy, well-informed, balanced criticism is the ozone of public life. T-4-206
  • If love was not the law of life, life would not have persisted in the midst of death. TIG-18
  • 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
  • Every single act of one who would lead a life of purity should be in the nature of yajna. MOG-19
  • The secret of a happy life lies in renunciation. Renunciation is life. MM-192
  • Man is sent into the world to perform his duty even at the cost of his life. T-7-155
  • To know music is to transfer it to life. T-2-230
  • The whole existence of man is a ceaseless duel between the forces of life and death. T-7-143
  • Every calamity should lead to a thorough cleansing of individual as well as social life. T-3-258
  • 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
  • This earthly existence of ours is more brittle that the glass bangles that ladies wear. TIG-23
  • Let us give today first the vital things of life and all the grace and ornaments of life will follow. T-2-162
  • Dignity of human nature requires that we must face the storms of life. T-3-130
  • Individual liberty and interdependence are both essential for life in society. T-7-37
  • Every reform means awakening. Once truly awakened, the nation will not be satisfied with reform only in one department of life. T-2-227
  • The truth is that God is the force. He is the essence of life. He is pure and undefiled consciousness. He is eternal. TIG-84
  • Ahimsa is no mere theory with me, but it is a fact of life based on extensive experience. T-7-402
  • Celibacy is a great help inasmuch as it enables one to lead a life of full surrender to God. XXV-2
  • That Law which governs all life is God. TIG-7
  • One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole.MM-440

Lions
  • Can it be ever dangerous for a lion to tell a number of other lions, who in their ignorance, consider themselves to be merely lambs, that they, too, are not lambs but lions? X-249

Literacy
  • Literacy in itself is no education. MM-379
  • Literacy is not the end of education, nor even the beginning. EWE-22
  • Literacy must be one of the many means for intellectual development, but we have had in the past intellectual giants who were unlettered. T-4-145

Literature
  • Literature, full of the virus of self-indulgence, served out in attractive forms, is flooding this country from the West, and there is the greatest need for our youth to be on their guard. T-2-319

Lokamanya Tilak
  • The Lokmanya spoke more eloquently from the Mandalay fortress than through the columns of the printed Kesari. T-2-77
  • With Lokmanya (Tilak) alive, I had only him to convert or to be converted by him. T-2-145
  • I am but the heir of Lokmanya and if I do not add to the patrimony he has left me, I would not be a worthy son of a worthy father. T-2-263
  • Ram Mohan Roy would have been a greater reformer, and Lokmanya Tilak would have been a greater scholar, if they had not to start with the handicap of having to think in English and transmit their thoughts chiefly in English. EWE-9

Love
  • Love and ahimsa are matchless in their effect. TIG-57
  • Love and exclusive possession can never go together. T-4-11
  • Love based upon indulgence of animal passion, is at best a selfish affair, and likely to snap under the slightest strain. T-2-225
  • Love can never express itself by imposing sufferings on others. It can only express itself by self-suffering, by self-purification. T-3-221
  • Love in the sense of ahimsa has only a limited number of votaries in the world. T-3-144
  • Love is a rare herb that makes a friend even of a sworn enemy and this herb grows out of nonviolence. XIV-209
  • Love is no love which asks for a return. XIV-402
  • Love is the basis of our friendship as it is of religion. MM-404
  • The law of love knows no bounds of space or time. MM-398
  • Love is the subtlest force in the world. XXV-392
  • The law of love will work, just as the law of gravitation will work, whether we accept it or not. T-3-112
  • Love is needed to strengthen the weak; love becomes tyrannical when it exacts obedience from an unbeliever. T-2-62
  • Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering. MM-295
  • Ahimsa and love are one and the same thing. TIG-19
  • If love was not the law of life, life would not have persisted in the midst of death. TIG-18
  • Where love is, there God is also. MM-418
  • Where there is love, there is life; hatred leads to destruction. MM-417
  • The only way love punishes is by suffering. T-2-87
  • Whenever there are wars, whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. MM-417
  • Though God may be Love, God is Truth, above all. T-3-144
  • Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment. MM-344
  • If light can come out of darkness, then alone can love emerge from hatred. MM-417
  • My fast is, among other things, meant to qualify me for achieving that equal and selfless love.
    T-2-151
  • 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-2-199
  • My goal is friendship with the world and I can combine the greatest love with the greatest opposition to wrong. MM-424
  • My love of nationalism is that my country may become free, and if need be, the whole of the country die, so that the human race may live. T-2-200
  • My nonviolence demands universal love, and you are not a small part of it. T-5-295
  • My only sanction is the love and affection in which you hold me. But it has its weaknesses, as it has its strengths. T-5-260
  • My religion teaches me to love all equally. XXV-202
  • I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man. MM-422
  • True ahimsa should wear a smile even in a death-bed state brought about by an assailant. It is only with that ahimsa that we can befriend our opponents and win their love. T-5-243
  • 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
  • Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. MM-422
  • It is my great misfortune that I have to measure your love by the money gifts you give for Daridranarayana. T-2-354
  • For me the only certain means of knowing God is non-violence, ahimsa, love. T-2-126
  • Free, open love I have looked upon as dog’s love. Secret love is, besides, cowardly. T-5-196
  • The path of bhakti, karma and love, as expounded in the Gita, leaves no room for the despising of man by man. T-2-278
  • Of what avail is my love if it be only so long as I trust my friend? MM-421
  • The Law is God. Anything attributed to Him is not a mere attribute. He is Truth, Love, Law and million things that human ingenuity can name. T-3-250
  • 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
  • God is Light, not darkness. God is love, not hate. God is Truth, not untruth. God alone is Great. XXV-479
  • Hatred can be overcome only be love. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred. T-7-144
  • True ahimsa should mean a complete freedom from ill-will and anger and hate and an overflowing love for all. T-2-318
  • It is a heavy downpour of rain which drenches the soil to fullness; likewise only a profuse shower of love can overcome hatred. XIV-402
  • Jesus lived and died in vain if He did not teach us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal Law of Love. T-5-18
  • When you want to find Truth as God, the only inevitable means is love, that is nonviolence. T-3-144
  • One who hooks his fortune to ahimsa, the law of love, daily lessens the circle of destruction and to that extent promotes life and love. T-4-33
  • Our peaceful non-co-operation must be constructive, non-destructive. Poison should not emerge from the throes of love. XXV-139
  • Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment. XXV-563
  • Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. XXV-563
  • Retaliation is counter-poison, and poison breeds more poison. The nectar of love alone can destroy the poison of hate. T-5-241
  • A seeker after truth, a follower of the law of Love, cannot hold anything against tomorrow.MM-188
  • The call of the spinning wheel is the noblest of all. Because it is the call of love. And love is Swaraj. T-2-63