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Gandhi's Pilgrimage of Faith

From Darkness to Light

Uma Majmudar, Rajmohan Gandhi

Publication Year: 2005

Millions around the world revere Mahatma Gandhi, yet only a few know the man Mohandas Gandhi and the internal journey of his soul. This pioneering book fills the spiritual void in Gandhian literature by focusing on the soul and the substance of the man. Uma Majmudar shows that, contrary to popular belief, Gandhi’s rise to greatness was not meteoric; it was, rather, a continuous process of faith development, punctuated by conflicts, crises, and turning points. Using James W. Fowler’s theory of “Stages of Faith” as a guide, Majmudar undertakes the first developmental study to analyze the fundamental role of faith in transforming Gandhi’s life. She proposes that the power that nourished Gandhi’s soul was his ever-growing faith in the ultimate triumph of Truth and in the innate Godliness of the human soul. Along with making an invaluable contribution to numerous cross-cultural disciplines, the book also offers something special to those wishing to embark on their own faith developmental journey, guided by Gandhi’s example.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

Let me explain why I welcome and commend this study. First, and here the study is quite distinctive, it theorizes Gandhi. It sets his life against a theory of a life of faith. It is one thing yet again to examine, if possible from a fresh angle, Gandhi’s life in all its dilemmas, ironies, and challenges. An instructive portrait could well result. But it is a differ ...

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pp. xi-xiii

I have never seen Mahatma Gandhi, nor have I met him in person. I have only heard his voice on All India Radio in the mid-forties, a voice so feeble it was hardly audible. But what a magical effect it had on all its listeners— young and old, men, women, and children! (Bapu: father) was the voice that stirred souls, that inspired the people and spurred the whole ...

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pp. xv

It takes not one person to write a book but an entire community-at-large. I am deeply indebted to my family, friends, and mentors for their invaluable contributions. First, I am enormously thankful to my husband and lifelong friend, Dr. Bhagirath Majmudar, for being as committed to my personal goals and growth as to his own. Sangini, my younger daughter, proved to be my ...

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Introduction: The Mystique and the Myth of the Mahatma

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pp. 1-18

His words could not have proved more prophetic, although Gandhi never claimed to be a prophet or a saint. Out of one Gandhi who freed India from the foreign British bondage rose an American Gandhi (Martin Luther King Jr.), who fought and died for the civil rights of his fellow African Americans; a South African Gandhi (Nelson ...

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1. Victorian Colonial India

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pp. 19-24

The British colonial Indian environment preceding Gandhi’s birth was disturbing yet promising at the same time. The Indian Mutiny of 1857 against the oppressive British regime was suppressed; as a result, Indian spirit was crushed, their self-esteem wounded, the economy ruined, and the whole country submerged in deep despair. Although the British now ...

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2. Gandhi’s Roots

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pp. 25-32

The idea is not only that the seed and the tree are contained in each other, but that both symbolize one of the greatest principles of the universe, namely, that the phenomenon of the rooting of the seed and its gradual growth, blossoming, expansion (and eventually extinction) is all part of an organic process—a visible proof of God’s miracle at work. ...

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3. The Seed and the Soil

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pp. 33-46

When the Reverend Joseph Doke remarked that those who listened to Gandhi speak about his parents felt like they were on “holy ground” (1909, 22), he was neither exaggerating nor using a figure of speech. Like most Indian children brought up in the Hindu tradition, child Gandhi learned early in life to revere his parents as human personifications of the ...

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4. The Sprouting of Mohan’s Faith

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pp. 47-56

Little Moniya’s childhood utopia in Porbandar ended abruptly at age seven, when Kaba accepted his new position as the prime minister of Rajkot and moved the family there in 1876. In addition to being prime minister of Rajkot, Kaba Gandhi was on the Rajasthanik Court of Appeals, set up by the British to settle revenue disputes between landlords and the ...

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5. A Crisis of Identity and Faith

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pp. 57-72

Come adolescence, Mohandas Gandhi began to show certain changes, not only in his physical appearance but also in the patterns of his thinking and relating to others. A new spirit of inquiry, a defiance of authority, and a desire for self-autonomy began to surface. The appearance of these traits suggests “significant alterations in the structures of knowing and valuing,” said Fowler, ...

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6. A Law Student in London

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pp. 73-90

While not yet eighteen years of age, Mohandas Gandhi came face-to-face with the harsh realities of life. In addition to his intense grief, trauma, guilt, and shame related to his father’s death, he had to carry on his young shoulders the extraordinary financial burden of his family. In the Indian cultural context, the eldest son usually performs not only his father’s shrāddh (death ...

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7. A Barrister in South Africa, Phase I

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pp. 91-112

At the age of eighteen, in the spring of his youth and in the spring of 1888, Gandhi had gone to London to fulfill his father’s dream as well as his own of becoming a barrister. When he returned home at the age of twenty-two in the summer of 1891, he had already become what the Indians proudly called a “London-returned Barrister.” The bar-at-law degree from England ...

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8. A Leader in South Africa, Phase II

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pp. 113-132

Having now accomplished his mission of educating the public about the Indian situation in South Africa, and having also served the poor and the afflicted, Gandhi set sail again for South Africa in November 1896 with his family. During his second phase in South Africa, Gandhi reaches the pinnacle of his professional practice, prosperity, and prestige, and earns ...

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9. A Satyagrahi in South Africa, Phase III

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pp. 133-156

In this last act of Gandhi’s South African drama, satyagraha occupies center stage. Gandhi remains in the limelight, though, not because others do not matter, but because he is the main character as well as the director. Gandhi is the spiritual genius who masterminded satyagraha, the first mass-scale nonviolent revolution in human history, considered to be the ...

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10. India Welcomes Home Her Mahatma

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pp. 157-196

The Gandhi who had gone to South Africa in 1893 was an awkward, unsure, unsuccessful young man in search of career, money, success, name, and fame. The Gandhi who was heading home in 1914 was a middle-aged man of forty-five, self-confident, successful, affluent, and a famous leader of Indians in South Africa. Material fulfillments, however, left him unfulfilled ...

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11. From Death to Immortality

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pp. 197-232

We now approach the grand finale of Gandhi’s faith journey, the death of his ego self as well as his physical death by assassination—his ultimate self-sacrifice for nonviolence and the brotherhood of mankind. The world admires Gandhi as a martyr for peace, whose death was the very affirmation of his life and faith in the ultimate triumph of Truth. Of more interest ...

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12. Conclusion: From Darkness to Light

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pp. 233-242

The multifaceted Mahatma Gandhi played many a role in his life. The “Father of India’s Independence” was also the beloved father (Bapu) to all his ashram residents, close colleagues, and followers around the world. Gandhi, the charismatic leader and wielder of satyagraha, was not only an astute politician but also a bold social reformer, religious visionary, and a ...


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pp. 243-254


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pp. 255-262


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pp. 263-280

E-ISBN-13: 9780791483510
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791464052
Print-ISBN-10: 0791464059

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2005