Gandhi's Pilgrimage of Faith
From Darkness to Light
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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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, Gandhiâs life in all its dilemmas, ironies, and challenges. An instructive portrait could well result. But it is a differ ...
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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 listenersâ
young and old, men, women, and children!
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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 ...
Introduction: The Mystique and the Myth of the Mahatma
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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 ...
1. Victorian Colonial India
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The British colonial Indian environment preceding Gandhiâs 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 ...
2. Gandhiâs Roots
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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 processâa visible proof of Godâs miracle at work. ...
3. The Seed and the Soil
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When the Reverend Joseph Doke remarked that those who listened to Gandhi speak about his parents felt like they were on âholy groundâ (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 ...
4. The Sprouting of Mohanâs Faith
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Little Moniyaâs 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 ...
5. A Crisis of Identity and Faith
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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 âsignificant alterations in the structures of knowing and valuing,â said Fowler, ...
6. A Law Student in London
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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 fatherâs 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 fatherâs shrÄddh (death ...
7. A Barrister in South Africa, Phase I
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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 fatherâs 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 âLondon-returned Barrister.â The bar-at-law degree from England ...
8. A Leader in South Africa, Phase II
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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 ...
9. A Satyagrahi in South Africa, Phase III
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In this last act of Gandhiâs 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 ...
10. India Welcomes Home Her Mahatma
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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 ...
11. From Death to Immortality
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We now approach the grand finale of Gandhiâs faith journey, the death of his ego self as well as his physical death by assassinationâhis 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 ...
12. Conclusion: From Darkness to Light
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The multifaceted Mahatma Gandhi played many a role in his life. The âFather of Indiaâs Independenceâ 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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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2005