103 Mahatma Gandhi Quotes about Nonviolence, Truth and Love
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948) was born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat, India, and he was later trained in law at the Inner Temple, London. Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. After returning to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers, and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Gandhi assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and he led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for achieving Swaraj or self-rule. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and political protest. Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 250 mi (400 km) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942.
Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism, however, was challenged in the early 1940s by a new Muslim nationalism which was demanding a separate Muslim homeland carved out of India. Eventually, in August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out. Eschewing the official celebration of independence in Delhi, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to provide solace. In the months following, he undertook several fasts unto death to stop religious violence. Some Indians thought Gandhi was too accommodating. Among them was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948 by firing three bullets into his chest. Captured along with many of his co-conspirators and collaborators, Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were tried, convicted and executed while many of their other accomplices were given prison sentences.
Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
Short Gandhi Quotes
- Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
- My life is my message.
- God has no religion.
- Where there is love there is life.
- To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.
- Hate the sin, love the sinner.
- Truth never damages a cause that is just.
- Action expresses priorities.
- Nothing is so aggravating as calmness.
- There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
- In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
- Truth is one, paths are many.
- Poverty is the worst form of violence.
- The good man is the friend of all living things.
- Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.
- Peace is its own reward.
- There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Inspirational Gandhi Quotes
- Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- The future depends on what you do today.
- Nobody can hurt me without my permission.
- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.
- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
- You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
- It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.
- A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
- We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.
- Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.
- In doing something, do it with love or never do it at all.
- Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.
- The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.
- Seek not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity.
- Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
- If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children.
- Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.
- A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
- Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
- If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.
- We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.
Witty Gandhi Quotes
- An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
- Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
- The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.
- Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.
- Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
- Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.
- There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.
- In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
Insightful Gandhi Quotes
- I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
- A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
- To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
- It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
- The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
- Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
- There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
- I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.
- Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
- They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.
- A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
- It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.
- A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
- Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.
- As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.
Wise Gandhi Quotes
- Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.
- I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.
- Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.
- It is easier to build a boy than to mend a man.
- No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.
- Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
- I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.
- Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.
- Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.
- It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.
- Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.
- Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.
- It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings.
Cynical Gandhi Quotes
- Speak only if it improves upon the silence.
- There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
- I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
- There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.
- If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.
- Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.
Poetic Gandhi Quotes
- Live simply so that others may simply live.
- I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
- The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.
- You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
- An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
- Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.
- Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
- My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.
Romantic Gandhi Quotes
- You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.
- I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.
- Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.
- What barrier is there that love cannot break?
- It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?
- When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.
Long Gandhi Quotes
- Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
- When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it ― always.
- Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.
- It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results.
- What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?
- Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.
- The seeker after truth should be humbler than the dust. The world crushes the dust under its feet, but the seeker after truth should so humble himself that even the dust could crush him. Only then, and not till then, will he have a glimpse of truth.