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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. V - THE VOICE OF TRUTH > Part II- Section I: Truth, World and Man > Life and God


Life and God

I am an Adavaitist1 and yet I can support Dvaitism (dualism). The world is changing every moment, and is therefore unreal, it has no permanent existence. But though it is constantly changing, it has something about it which persists and it is therefore to that extent real. I have therefore no objection to calling it real and unreal, and thus being called an Anekantavadi2 or a Syadvadi3. But my Syadvad is not the Syadvad of the learned, it is peculiarly my own. I cannot engage in a debate with them. It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. And this knowledge saves me from attributing motives to my opponents or critics. The seven blind men who gave seven different descriptions of the elephant were all right from their respective points of view, and wrong from the point of view of one another, and right and wrong from the point of view of the man who knew the elephant. I very much like this doctrine of the manyness of reality. It is this doctrine that has taught me to judge a Musalman from his standpoint and a Christian from his. Formerly I used to resent the ignorance of my opponents. Today I can love them because I am gifted with the eye to see myself as others see me and vice versa. I want to take the whole world in the embrace of my love. My Anekantavad is the result of the twin doctrine of Satya and Ahimsa.

Young India, 21-1-‘26, p. 30


Life for me is real as I believe it to be a spark of the Divine.

Art of Living (1961), p. 53


The world is the playground of God and a reflection of His glory.

An Autobiography (1966), p. 153


I recognize, that God manifests Himself in innumerable forms in this universe, and every such manifestation commands my spontaneous reverence.

Young India, 26-9-29, p. 320


He who knows the Atman4 inhabiting the body and realizes Him to be a part of the supreme Atman will dedicate everything to Him.

The Gita According to Gandhi 91956), p. 186


From the Imperishable Unmanifest down to the perishable atom everything in the universe is the Supreme and an expression of the Supreme.

The Gita According to Gandhi (1956), p. 254


The world of sense… is every moment in a state of Flux. But even though it is perpetually changing, as its root is Brahman or the Supreme, it is imperishable.

The Gita According to Gandhi (1956), p. 337


I believe in the immorality of the soul. I would like to give you the analogy of the ocean. The ocean is composed of drops of water; each drop is an entity and yet it is the part of the whole, ‘the one and the many’. In this ocean of life, we are little drops. My doctrine means that I must identify myself with life, with everything that lives, that I must share the majesty of life in the presence of God. The sum-total of this life is God.

Harijan, 15-2-‘48, p. 33


1. A believer in non-duality

2 & 3. A believer in manyness of reality

4. Soul