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PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > The Gospel of Love
The Gospel Of Love
Scientists tell us that, without the presence of the cohesive force amongst the atoms that comprise this globe of ours, it would crumble to pieces and we would cease to exist; and even as there is cohesive force in blind matter, so must there be in all things animate, and the name for that cohesive force among animate beings is love. We notice it between father and son, between brother and sister, friend and friend. But we have to learn to use that force among all that lives, and in the use of it consists our knowledge of God. Where there is love there is love there is life; hatred leads to destruction.
I believe that the sum total of the energy of mankind is not to bring us down but to lift us up, and that is the result of the definite, if unconscious, working of the law of love. The fact that mankind persists shows that the cohesive force is greater than the disruptive force, centripetal force greater than centrifugal.
Law Of Our Being
I have found that life persists in the midst of destruction and, therefore, there must be a higher law than that of destruction. Only under that law would a well-ordered society be intelligible and life worth living. And if that is the law of life, we have to work it out in daily life. Wherever there are jars, wherever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. In this crude manner, I have worked it out in my life. That does not mean that all my difficulties are solved. Only, I have found that this law of love has answered as the law of destruction has never done. (YI, 1-10-1931, p.286)
If love or non-violence be not the law of our being,
.there is no escape from a periodical recrudescence of war, each succeeding one outdoing the preceding one in ferocity
History is a record of perpetual wars, but we are trying to make new history, and I say this as I represent the national mind so far as non-violence is concerned. I have reasoned out the doctrine of the sword, I have worked out its possibilities and come to the conclusion that men's destiny is to replace the law of the jungle with the law of conscious love. (H, 3-7-1937, p.165)
Where love is, there God is also. (SSA, p.360)
Love never claims, it ever gives. Love ever suffers, never resents, never revenges itself.
Rule Of Service
For, though they [men] are not all of the same age, the same height, the same skin, and the same intellect, these inequalities are temporary and superficial, the soul that is hidden beneath this earthly crust is one and the same for all men and women belonging to all climes. . . There is a real and substantial unity in all the variety that we see around us. The word 'inequality' has a bad dour about it, and it has led to arrogance and inhumanities, both in the East and the West. What is true about men is also true about nations, which are but groups of men. The false and rigid doctrine of inequality has led to the insolent exploitation of the nations of Asia and Africa. Who knows that the present ability of the West to prey upon the East is a sign of Western superiority and Eastern inferiority? (YI, 11-8-1927, p. 253)
The forms are many, but the informing spirit is one. How can there be room for distinctions of high and low where there is this all-embracing fundamental unity underlying the outward diversity? For that is a fact meeting you at every step in daily life. The final goal of all religion is to realize this essential oneness?
I believe in the sovereign rule of the law of love which makes no distinctions. (H, 25-5-1947, p. 165)
I have known no distinction between relatives and strangers, countrymen and foreigners, white and coloured, Hindus and Indians of other faiths, whether Mussalmans, Paris, Christians or Jews. I may say that my heart has been incapable of making any such distinctions. I cannot claim this as a special virtue, as it is in my very nature, rather than a result of any effort on my part, whereas in the case of AHIMSA (non-violence), BRAHMACHARYA (celibacy), APARIGRAHA (non-possession) and other cardinal virtues, I am fully conscious of a continuous striving for their cultivation. (A, p. 204)
We must widen the circle of our love till it embraces the whole village; the village in its turn must take into its fold the district, the district the province, and so on till the scope of our love becomes co-terminus with the world. (YI, 27-6-1929, p. 214)
We are living in times when values are undergoing quick changes. We are not satisfied with slow results. We are not satisfied with the welfare merely of our own caste-fellows, not even of our own country. We feel or want to feel for the whole of humanity. All this is a tremendous gain in humanity's search towards its goal. (H, 30-5-1936, p. 126)
My appeal to you.. is to cleanse your hearts and to have charity. Make your hearts as broad as the ocean. Do not judge others lest you be judged. There is that Supreme Judge who can hang you, but He leaves you alive. There are so may enemies within you and around you, but He protects and looks upon you with a kindly eye. (YI, 1-1-1925, p. 8)
Forgiveness is a quality of the soul, and therefore, a positive quality. It is not negative. 'Conquer anger', says Lord Buddha, 'by non-anger'. But what is that 'non-anger'? it is a positive quality and means the supreme virtue of charity or love. You must be roused to this supreme virtue which must express itself in your going to the angry man, ascertaining from him the cause of his anger, making amends if you have given and cause for offence and then bringing home to him to error of his way and convincing him that it is wrong to be provoked, this consciousness of the quality of the soul, and deliberate exercise of it. Elevate not only the man but the surrounding atmosphere. Of course, only he who has that love will exercise it. This love can certainly be cultivated by incessant striving. (YI, 12-1-1928, p. 11)
What is true of individuals is true of nations. One cannot forgive too much. The weak can never forgive too much. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. (YI, 2-4-1931, p.59)
There is no distrust of men and mankind in me. They will answer before God, so why should I worry? But where my own mission is concerned, my thought is active, and I try to wish everyone well in spite of doubts and mistrust. I will suffer the agony if that is to be my lot. But I may not unnerve myself while I can struggle against evil. (Sp. 6-3-1942)
Mutual trust and mutual love are no trust and no love. The real love is to love them that hate you, to love your neighbour even though you distrust him. I have sound reasons for distrusting the English official world. If my love is sincere, I must love the Englishman in spite of my distrust. Of what avail is my love, if it be only so long as I trust my friend? Even thieves do that. They become enemies immediately the trust is gone. (H, 3-3-1946, p. 28)
From Mouths Of Babes
..If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we wont have to struggle, we won't have to pass fruitless, idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering. (YI, 19-11-1931, p. 361)
If I could popularize the use of soul-force, which is but another name for love-force, in place of brute-force, I know I could present you with an India that could defy the whole world to do its worst. In season and out of season, therefore, I shall discipline myself to express in my life this eternal law of suffering, and present it for acceptance to those who care, and if I take part in any other activity, the motive is to show the matchless superiority of that law. (ibid, p. 331)
Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. It is by offering that cup that cup that I except to draw them close to me. I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth, I live in the hope that, if not in this birth, in some other birth, I shall be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace.
Mission Of Love
I do not propose to describe to you the several phases through which this stormy life of mine has passed; but I can only, in truth and in perfect humility, bear witness to the fact that to the extent that I have represented Love in my life, in thought, word, and deed, I have realized the 'Peace that passed understanding' I have baffled many of my friends when they have noticed in me peace that they have envied, and they have asked me for the cause of that priceless possession. I have not been able to explain the cause save by saying that, if my friends found that peace in me, it was due to an attempt to obey this, the greatest law of our being. (YI, 19-11-1931, p. 361)
I am trying every moment of my life to be guided by AHIMSA, by love. I am essentially a lover of peace. I do not want to create dissensions. And I assure those who oppose me that I shall not do a single thing which I know may be contrary to truth and love. (H, 12-1-1934, p. 8)
I have no weapon but love to wield authority over anyone. (BC, 9-9-1942)
My goal is friendship with the world and I can combine the greatest opposition to wrong.
I have that implicit faith in my mission that, if it succeeds-as it will succeed, it is bound to succeed-history will record it as a movement designed to knit all people in the world together, not as hostile to one another but as parts of one whole. (H, 26-1-1934, p. 8)