A life of sacrifice is the pinnacle of art, and is full of
God accepts the sacrifice of the pure in heart.
The State is sum total of the sacrifice, on its behalf, of
its members. XXV-240
The willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful
retort to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God or man.
The stability of a State depends upon the readiness of
every citizen to subordinate his rights to those of the rest.
Non-co-operation means nothing less than training in
An ideal sanctified by the sacrifices of such
master-spirits as Lenin cannot go in vain; the noble example of their
renunciation will be emblazoned for ever and quicken and purify the idea as time
If I were overful of pity for the cow, I should sacrifice
my life to save her but not take my brother's.
A saint who considers himself superior to a sinner forfeits
his sainthood and becomes worse than the sinner, who unlike the proud saint,
knows not what he is doing.
If salt loses its savour, wherewith can it be salted?
There is no article like salt, outside water, by
taxing which the state can reach the starving millions, the sick, the maimed and
the utterly helpless.
Salvation is nothing more and nothing less than being well
in every way.
Salvation of the Gita is perfect peace.
The Brahmin's duty is to look after the sanitation of the
soul, the bhangi's that of the body of society.
Every one must be his own scavenger.
Conservation of national sanitation is Swaraj work and it
may not be postponed for a single day on any consideration whatsoever.
In the matter of outward sanitation we have to learn a
great deal from the West.
Satan's snares are most subtly laid and are the most
tempting when the dividing line between right and wrong is so thin as to be
Satan mostly employs comparatively moral instruments and
the language of ethics to give his aims an air of respectability.
Satan's successes are the greatest when he appears with the
name of God on his lips.
Since one Satan is one too many for me, I would not
The British Government in India constitutes a struggle
between the modern civilization, which is the kingdom of Satan, and the ancient
civilization, which is the Kingdom of God.
The eternal duel between Ormuzed and Ahriman, God
and Satan, is raging in my breast, which is one among their billion
Satyagraha is a process of educating public opinion, such
that it covers all the elements of the society and in the end makes itself
All satyagraha and fasting is a species of tyaga.
It depends for its effects upon an expression of wholesome public opinion shorn
of all bitterness.
The fight of satyagraha is for the strong in
spirit, not the doubter or the timid. Satyagraha teaches us the art of living as
well as dying.
The satyagrahi general has to obey his inner
voice, for over and above the situation outside he examines himself constantly
and listens to the dictates of the inner self.
Satyagraha does not depend on the outside help, it
derives all its strength from within.
My purpose is to describe experiments in the science of
satyagraha and not at all to describe how good I am.
In the dictionary of satyagraha, there is no enemy.
Even as satyagraha is a weapon unique of its kind
and not one of the ordinary weapons used by people, so is khadi a unique
article of commerce which will not, cannot, succeed on terms common to other
Since satyagraha is a method of conversion and
conviction, it seeks never to use the slightest coercion.
Jail-going is only the beginning, not the end of
satyagraha. The acme of satyagraha for us would be to lay down our
lives for the defence of India's just cause.
Satyagraha as conceived by me is a science in the
It is claimed for satyagraha that it is a complete
substitute for violence or war.
For a satyagrahi brigade only those are eligible who
believe in ahimsa and satya.
Satyagraha is a force that has come to stay. No
force in the world can kill it.
Satyagraha does not begin and end with civil
A clear victory of satyagraha is impossible so long
as there is illwill.
I regard the constituent assembly as the substitute of
satyagraha. It is constructive satyagraha.
Whatever may be true of the other modes of warfare, in
satyagraha it has been held that the causes for failure are to be sought
Seeming failure is not of the law of satyagraha
but of incompetence of the satyagrahi by whatever cause induced.
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.
Without satyagraha carried out in the proper spirit,
there is no victory, no Swaraj.
The word 'defeat' is not to be found in my dictionary, and
everyone who is selected as a recruit in my army may be certain that there is no
defeat for a satyagrahi.
Force that the performance of duty naturally generates is
the non-violent and invincible force that satyagraha brings into being.
Not those who shout 'satyagraha', 'satyagraha'
will do satyagraha, but those who will work for it.
There is a vital connection between satyagraha and
charkha, and the more I find that belief challenged, the more I am
confirmed in it.
There must be power in the word of a satyagraha
general, not the power that the possession of limitless arms gives, but the
power that purify of life, strict vigilance and the ceaseless application
A satyagrahi is sometimes bound to use language
which is capable of two meanings, provided both the meanings are obvious and
necessary and there is no intention to deceive anyone.
A satyagrahi should have a living faith in God.
A satyagrahi has infinite patience, abundant faith
in others, and ample hope.
A satyagrahi has no other stay but God, and he who
has any other stay or depends on any other help cannot offer satyagraha.
A satyagrahi must ceaselessly strive to realize and
live truth. And he must never contemplate hurting anyone by thought, word or
I have repeatedly stated that satyagraha never fails
and that one perfect satyagrahi is enough to vindicate Truth.
The satyagrahi strives to reach the reason through
the heart. The method of reaching the heart is to awaken the public opinion.
A satyagrahi has always his minimum and it is the
minimum that is wanted in connection with this struggle.
The satyagrahi should not have any hatred in his
heart against the opponent.
A satyagrahi is dead to his body even before the
enemy attempts to kill him.
A satyagrahi would neither retaliate nor would he
submit to the criminal, but seek to cure him by curing himself.
No confirmed satyagrahi is dismayed by the dangers,
seen or unseen, from his opponent's side.
To die without killing is the badge of a satyagrahi.
A satyagrahi is nothing if not instinctively
A satyagrahi exhausts all other means before he
resorts to satyagraha.
A satyagrahi, whilst he is ever ready to fight, must
be equally eager for peace.
In the code of the satyagrahi, there is no such
thing as surrender to brute force.
You are no Satyagrahi if you remain silent or
passive spectators while your enemy is being done to death.
A satyagrahi lays down his life, but never gives up.
That is the meaning of the 'do or die' slogan.
A scavenger who works in His service shares equal
distinction with a king who uses his gifts in His name and as a mere trustee.
A bhangi, if he is true to his salt, is a
I am not ashamed to call myself a bhangi, and I ask
every bhangi not to be ashamed of his calling.
My mother was certainly a scavenger inasmuch as she cleaned
me when I was a child.
Society is sustained by several services. The bhangi
constitutes the foundation of all services.
Science to be science must afford the fullest scope for
satisfying the hunger of body, mind and soul.
Science has not so far discovered any recipe for making the
To state the
limitation of science is not to belittle it.
Scientific knowledge requires constant probing into the why
and wherefore of every little process that you perform.
The Western science has made the discovery that society
that is indifferent to the welfare of its servants suffers a heavy material
Ahimsa is a science. The word 'failure' has no place
in the vocabulary of science.
I know nothing of the science of astrology and I
consider it to be a science, if it is a science, of doubtful value, to be
severely left alone by those who have any faith in Providence.
A man who would interpret the scriptures must have the
scripture only gains by criticism.
My belief in the Hindu scriptures does not require
me to accept every word and every verse as divinely inspired.
The self-realization is the subject of Gita,
as it is of all scriptures.
The history of the world is full of instances of men who
rose to leadership by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity.
It was unalloyed self-suffering which was the truest form
of self-defense which knew no surrender.
Individual civil disobedience was everybody's inherent
right, like the right of self-defence in normal life.
It is the function of God Rama to destroy evil wherever it
occurs, and it is equally the function of God Rama to give to his devotees like
Bibhishana a free charter of irrevocable self-government.
Literature, full of the virtues 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.
Life is an aspiration. Its mission to strive after
perfection which is self-realization.
There is no other way of self-realization except the way of
self-realization is the subject of the Gita, as it is to all scriptures.
To find Truth completely is to realize oneself and one's
destiny, i.e. to become perfect.
We must learn to be self-reliant and independent
of schools, courts, protection and patronage of a Government we seek to end, if
it will not mend.
In a self-respecting India, is not every woman's virtue as
much every man's concern as his own sister's?
Man does not live by bread alone. Many prefer self-respect
To yield to the threat of actual use of violence is a
surrender of one's self-respect and religious conviction.
If we were strong, self-respecting and not susceptible to
frightfulness, the foreign rulers would have been powerless for mischief.
Can it be ever dangerous for a lion to tell a number of
other lions who in their ignorance consider themselves to be mere lambs that
they, too, are not lambs but lions?
Self-respect and honour cannot be protected by
others. They are for each individual himself or herself to guard.
Self-restraint is the very keystone of the ethics of
Rule of all without the rule of oneself would prove to be
as deceptive and as disappointing as a painted toy mango, charming to look at
but hollow and empty within.
As every country is fit to eat, to drink and to
breathe, even so is every nation fit to manage its own affairs, no matter how
God will rule the lives of all those who will surrender
themselves without reservation to Him.
God demands nothing less than complete
self-surrender as the rice for the only real freedom that is worth having.
Service is not possible unless it is rooted in love or
Social service that savours of patronage is not service.
Voluntary service of others demands the best of which one
is capable, and must take precedence over service of self.
The platform of services is as big as the world. It is
Khadi service, village service and the Harijan
service are one in reality though three in name.
Human body is meant solely for service, never for
Charkha is an instrument of service.
That prince is acceptable to me who becomes a prince among
his people's servants.
God took and needed no personal service. He served His
creatures without demanding and service for Himself in return.
Man becomes not the lord and master of all creation but he
is its servant.
The time is fast coming when politicians will cease to fear
the religion of humanity and humanitarians will find entrance into political
life indispensable for full service.
The foundation of service and your real training lie in
My nonviolence bids me dedicate myself to the service of
Ahimsa must express itself through acts of selfless
service of the masses.
Cent per cent swadeshi gives sufficient scope for
the most insatiable ambition for service and an satisfy every kind of talent.
This belief in the necessity of English training has
enslaved us. It has unfitted us for true national service.
Renunciation made for the sake of service is an ineffable
joy of which none can deprive one, because that nectar springs from within and
Silence is a great help to a seeker after truth like
Experience has taught me that silence is a part of the
spiritual discipline of a votary of truth.
Modern civilization has taught us to convert night
into day and golden silence into brazen din and noise.
The Divine Radio is always singing if we could
only make ourselves ready to listen to it, but is impossible to listen without
Do not be lifted off your feet, do not be drawn away from
the simplicity of your ancestors.
To end slavery, you must overcome the mental and physical
inertia of the masses and quicken their intelligence and creative faculty.
Compulsory obedience to a master is a state of slavery,
willing obedience to one's father is the glory of sonship.
The way of mutual strife and exclusiveness was the only way
to perdition and slavery.
The mentality which made one section of the Indians look
upon another as enemies was suicidal; it could only serve to perpetuate their
No one chains a slave without chaining himself.
A slave has not the freedom even to do the right thing.
My business is not to throw overboard the slave-holder and
My interest in India's freedom will cease is she adopts
violent means for their fruit will be not freedom but slavery in disguise.
A slave-holder cannot hold a slave without putting himself
or his deputy in the cage for holding the slave.
When a slave begins to take pride in his fetters and hugs
them like precious ornaments, the triumph of the slave-owner is complete.
The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a
slave, his fetters fall.
Golden fetters are no less galling to a self-respecting man
than iron ones. The sting lies in the fetters, not in the metal.
If as a member of a slave nation I could deliver the
suppressed classes from their slavery without freeing myself from own, I would
do so today.
Freedom is like a birth. Till we are fully free, we are
I have looked up the dictionary meaning of socialism. It
takes me no further than where I was before I read the definition.
The socialism that India can assimilate is the socialism of
the spinning wheel.
My socialism was natural to me and not adopted from any
Public opinion alone can keep a society pure and healthy.
Society is sustained by several services. The bhangi
constitutes the foundation of all services.
Willing submission to social restraint for the sake of the
will-being of the whole society enriches both the individual and the society of
which he is a member.
Forgiveness adorns a soldier.
A soldier fights with an irresistible strength when he has
blown up his bridges and burnt his boats. Even so, it is with a soldier of
Soul-force comes only through God's grace and never
descends upon a man who is a slave to lust.
The use of soul-force for turning stones into bread would
have been considered, as it is still considered, as black magic.
History supplied numerous instances to prove that brute
force is as nothing before soul-force.
Great causes cannot be served by intellectual equipment
alone, they call for spiritual effort of soul-force.
The strength of the soul can defy a whole world in arms
Bravery is not a quality of the body; it is of the soul.
The force of spirit is ever progressive and endless. Its
full expression makes it unconquerable in the world.
Spiritual force is like any other force at the service of
Nonviolence or soul-force too does not need physical aids
for its propagation or effect.
Nonviolence is an active force of the highest order. It is
soul-force or the power of the godhead within us.
Nonviolence is the attribute of the soul, and, therefore,
to be practised by everybody in all the affairs of life.
Only living things bring living joy to the soul and must
Mere mental, that is, intellectual labour is for the soul
and is its own satisfaction.
Anything which is a hindrance to the fight of the soul is a
delusion and a snare, even like the body which often does hinder you in the path
A balanced intellect presupposes a harmonious growth of
body and soul.
Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul
needs the matchless and pure strength of faith.
The individual has a soul, but as the state is a soulless
machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very
All true are must help the soul to realize its inner self.
Man is neither mere intellect, nor the gross animal body,
nor the heart or soul alone.
Our life is a long and arduous quest for truth, and the
soul requires inward restfulness to attain its full height.
Fear is a worse disease than malaria or kalaazar; these
diseases kill the body, fear kills the soul.
The force of love is the same as the force of the soul or
The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law, to
the strength of the spirit.
My soul refuse to be satisfied so long as it is a helpless
witness of a single wrong or a single misery.
The sword was a rusty weapon. Its very effective
substitute was the force of the spirit which cost nothing and which was
A genuine fast cleanses the body, mind and soul.
It crucifies the flesh and to that extent sets the soul free.
Spiritual instruments suffer in their potency when their
use is taught through non-spiritual messages are self-propagating.
deepest spiritual truths are always unutterable.
God is the vital force or spirit which is all-pervading and therefore beyond
The human society is a ceaseless growth, an unfoldment in terms of
is an attribute of the spirit within.
is a purely spiritual weapon.
The temples were like spiritual hospitals, and the sinful, who were
spiritually diseased, had the first right to be ministered to by them.
Whatever else India may not be, she is at least one thing. She is the
greatest storehouse of spiritual knowledge.
Mortification of the flesh has been held all the world over as a condition
of spiritual progress.
everyday life was never capable of being separated from his spiritual being.
There is no yajna (Sacrifice) greater than spinning calculated to bring
peace to the troubled spirit, to soothe the distracted student's mind, to
spiritualize his life.
the spirit wander while the words of prayer run on out of our mouth.
believe that if one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him,
and if one man falls, the whole world falls to that extent.
does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
A person who has truly realised the principle of nonviolence has the
God-given strength for his weapon and the world has not yet known anything
that can match it.
Whatever strength the masses have is due entirely to ahimsa, however
imperfect or defective its practice might have been.
forgiveness would mean a definite recognition of our strength.
greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory.
dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law, to the strength of the
If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from
others without thinking evil of them.
A soldier fights with in irresistible strength when he has blown up his
bridges and burnt his boats.
If we were strong, self-respecting and not susceptible to frightfulness, the
foreign rulers would have been powerless for mischief.
truth is self-acting and possesses inherent strength.
disobedience can only lead to strength and purity.
does not depend on the outside help, it derives all its strength from
Nonviolence is not a weapon of the weak. It is a weapon of the strongest and
If God holds me to be a pure instrument for the spread of nonviolence in the
place of the awful violence now ruling the earth, He will give me the
strength and show me the way.
student is a searcher after truth.
A student is he who continuously uses his faculty of observation, puts two
and two together and carves out for himself a path in life.
Vacation is just the period when the students' minds should be free from the
routine work and be left free for self-help and original development.
Sorrow and suffering make for character if they are voluntarily borne, but
not they are imposed.
Success is the certain result of suffering of the extremist character
Passive resistance is a method of securing rights by personal suffering; it
is the reverse of resistance by arms.
suffering does no know itself and never calculates.
If a man voluntarily allows himself to be crushed, he yields the oil of
moral energy which sustains the world.
means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering.
India's freedom will no be won by violence but only by the purest suffering
way love punishes is by suffering.
There is no time limit for a satyagrahi nor is there is limit to his
capacity for suffering.
Civil disobedience means capacity for unlimited suffering, without the
intoxicating excitement of killing.
and its offshoots, non-co-operation and civil resistance, are nothing but
new names for the law of suffering.
The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the
rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.
toad under the harrow knows where it pinches him.
The quest of Truth involves tapas (self-suffering) sometimes even unto
I have not lost the hope that the masses will refuse to bow to the Moloch of
war but they will rely upon their own capacity for suffering to save their
Swadeshism is not a cult of hatred. It is a doctrine of selfless service
that has its roots in the purest ahimsa, i.e. love.
I swear by swadeshi as it affords occasion for an ample exercise of
all our faculties and as it tests every one of the millions of men and
women, young and old.
The wearer of khadi from a swadeshi standpoint is like a man
making use of his lungs.
is the only doctrine consistent with the law of humanity and love.
I must not
serve distant neighbour at the expense of the nearest.
I refuse to buy from anybody anything however nice or beautiful if it
interferes with my growth or injures those whom Nature has made my first
My modesty has prevented me from declaring from the house-top that the
message of non-co-operation, nonviolence and swadeshi is a message to
India must protect her primary industries even as a mother protects her
children against the whole world without being hostile to it.
If the people resolve and carry this programme of boycott and Swadeshi out,
they would not have to wait for Swaraj even for a year.
For a firm believer in swadeshi, there need be no Pharisaical
self-satisfaction in wearing khadi.
Even swadeshi, like any other good thing, can be ridden of death if it is
made a fetish.
a hardy tree of patient growth.
a people means the sum total of the Swaraj (self-rule) of individuals.
from its very nature, is not in the giving of anybody.
pilgrimage to Swaraj is a painful climb.
A Swaraj government means a government established by the free joint will of
Hindus, Mussalmans and others.
Swaraj means a state such that we can maintain our separate existence
without the presence of English.
Swaraj when we learn to rule ourselves.
Conservation of national sanitation is Swaraj work and it may not be
postponed for a single day on any consideration whatsoever.
Swaraj means ability to regard every inhabitant of India as our own brother
only be achieved through an all-round consciousness of the masses.
Swaraj is not meant for cowards, but for those who would mount smilingly to
the gallows and refuse even to allow their eyes to be bandaged.
Swaraj would be real Swaraj only when there would be no occasion for
safeguarding any rights.
Swaraj is to get rid of our helplessness.
Swaraj means even under dominion status a capacity to declare independence
Swaraj is not a product of excitement or intoxication. Swaraj will be the
natural and inevitable result of business like habits.
Let the content of Swaraj grow with the growth of national consciousness and
Swaraj does not depend on jail going. If it did, there are thousands of
prisoners in jail today. It depends on everyone doing his or her own task.
Swaraj without any qualifying clause includes that which is better than the
best one can conceive or have today.
So long as
we fear the outside world, we must cease to think of Swaraj.
Half-a-dozen or twenty cities of India alone working together cannot bring
No Swaraj government with any pretension to being a popular government can
possibly be organised and maintained on a war-footing.
Lovers of Swaraj cannot therefore rest till a solution is found which would
allay Mussalman apprehensions and yet not endanger Swaraj.
If Swaraj is to be had by peaceful methods, it will only be attained by
attention to every little detail of national life.
We are aware that the business of Swaraj will thrive only if the boycott of
foreign cloth is successful.
the Mussalman grievance as if it was not felt is to postpone Swaraj.
It only confirms me in my belief that there is no Swaraj without a
settlement with the Mussalmans.
If we want Swaraj to be built on non-violence, we will have to give the
villages their proper place.
Swaraj fails to appeal to us because we have no music in us.
be no Swaraj where there is no harmony, no music.
me means freedom for the meanest of countrymen.
My Swaraj will be not a result of murder of others but a voluntary act of
My Swaraj is to keep intact the genius of our civilization.
conceived by me does not mean the end of kingship.
of my dream is the poor man's Swaraj.
of my dream recognizes no race of religious distinctions.
My Swaraj takes note of bhangis, dheds, dublas and the
weakest of the weak, and except the spinning-wheel I know no other thing
which befriends all these.
our birthright. No one can deprive us of it unless we forfeit it ourselves.
that not only is Swaraj our birthright, but it is our sacred duty to win it.
The cryptic meaning of Swaraj I have often described to be within the
empire, if possible, without, if necessary.
If God gives me the privilege of dying for Hinduism of my conception, I
shall have sufficiently died for the unity of all and even for Swaraj.
India the hardihood to say that Swaraj could not be granted even by God.
I have had
the hardihood to say that Swaraj could not be granted even by God.
I declare that we cannot win Swaraj for our famishing millions, for our deaf
and dumb, for our lame and crippled, by the way of the sword.
With God as witness, I want to proclaim this truth, that the way of violence
cannot bring Swaraj, it can only lead to disaster.
When large numbers of wholly innocent men are in jail, we may take it that
Swaraj is at hand.
We shall make progress towards Swaraj only if we do everything thoughtfully
and with understanding.
Prosecution of the constructive programme means constructing structure of
Every moment of my existence is dedicated to the winning of Swaraj by means
of truth and nonviolence.
The restoration of free speech, free association and free press is almost
the whole Swaraj.
Destruction of the churches and the like is not the way to Swaraj as defined
by the Congress.
If it is by force that we wish to achieve Swaraj, let us drop nonviolence
and offer such violence as we may.
Non-co-operation and civil disobedience in terms of Swaraj were not to be
thought of without substantial constructive effort.
Let us by prayer purify ourselves and we shall not only remove
untouchability but shall also hasten the advent of Swaraj.
So long as the untouchability disfigures Hinduism, so long do I hold the
attainment of Swaraj to be an utter impossibility.
khadi work without the mastery of the science of khadi will
be love's labour lost in terms of Swaraj.
The call of the spinning wheel is the noblest of all. Because it is the call
of love. And love is Swaraj.
rid of the infatuation for English is one of the essentials of Swaraj.
Unless nonviolence of the strong is be no thought of civil disobedience for
Swaraj, whether within the states or in British India.
upon the sword is wholly inconsistent with reliance upon God.
The sword is too much in evidence among the Mussalmans. It must be sheathed
if Islam is to be what it means: peace.
Islam was born in an environment where the sword was and still remains the
acceptances of the doctrine of the sword will be the hour of my trial.
If India takes up the doctrine of the sword, she may gain momentary victory.
Then India will cease to be the pride of my heart.