Mahatma Gandhi : Quest for Freedom

Submitted by on Wednesday, March 14, 200710 Comments

GandhiBorn October 02 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, would become the most influential political and spiritual leader in the modern world who never would garner an official title. It seems this slightly built man,recognized as the Father of India, wouldn’t need one either.

People don’t follow titles; They follow greatness. And Mahatma Gandhi’s revolutionary approach at achieving freedom was greatness in that it worked by way of peace.

Gandhi, a practicing Hindu, studied other religions as well, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism. In learning about other religions and spiritual approaches he could communicate, in peace, with members of those religions. Gandhi knew something, then, it seems that most people of today still cannot grasp with much ease; That most of our apparent differences come from lack of unity as the starting point.

Before Gandhi’s life was brought to a tragic end, by violence paradoxically enough, he was able to inspire hundreds of thousands of Indians of varying faiths, religions, and castes to engage in acts of courage aligned with non-violence. Imagine knowing that, no way around it, you were going to jail and/or get beaten because you decided to stand unwavering in your truth. You decided that you may be scared but you were going to do it anyway simply because you make the decision to not hand over your integrity.

That’s a beautiful thing about integrity. No one can take it. No one can ever take it. Many of us reluctantly give it away; bits and pieces at a time. The seemingly small compromise I make today may have me enslaved by next year. And so when I have no integrity left, what’s my soul to do? The who I Am has been bought for either a shilling of convenience, or immediate peace, or for a pound of safety or money. Shilling, pound, euro…What is the going rate for integrity?

  • Every person in S. Africa who witnessed Gandhi take a beating because he wanted to do away with Indian ID cards and refused to yield when the British enforcers of the Empire told him to not burn them, would have understood if Gandhi had yielded. But he did not yield.
  • When the British opened fire in Peshawar, killing hundreds of non-violent Khudai Khitmatgar and other non-violent demonstrators, according to a source that explains Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha, “One British Indian Army regiment refused to fire at the crowds.” Integrity did not yield here either.

Satyagraha: “Satya,” Sanskrit for “Truth” with “Agraha,” the Sanskrit equivalent to the English “Firmness.” It’s the philosophy of non-violent resistance with three important components. In the words of Gandhi, “Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatever; and it ever insists upon truth.

The Quest for Truth and Integrity

Gandhi's AutobiographyI am saddened to think that Gandhi was a revolutionary; a visionary. The world is usually not ready for such conscientious change when these sorts of people arrive during their time. However there are the rare individuals who continue to speckle history and the world with the same visions. And for that, there continues to be hope.

If we make the mistake in thinking that it’s always someone else’s duty to lead the way or light the path we’ll stay in the dark forever. If we mistakenly think we’re a civilized nation and nothing need more be done then we are already dead because perfection has been achieved. If we think that another person may have the “right” or the “ability” or “talent” but that we’re lacking any such gifts and therefore couldn’t possibly be one for any higher calling, then we have allowed the world to enslave our minds already.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi

Metaphysically speaking, to change a perception of the outside requires a change of us from the inside and I believe this to be a truth. Many people can accumulate wealth, success, and friendships so that on the outside everything looks well with the world. But will that wealth, success, and social notoriety keep the individual’s spirit well-nourished? If the stocks crash, the job is lost and the friendships perish, what will be the sustaining force to continue moving that spirit into truth and integrity?

Namaste. Your Light Does Shine.

Namaste: ‘The God in me greets the God in you.’

The light. The light inside of us. Our spirit. Our integrity. Our truth. It is my belief we must strive for our spiritual fulfillment and with the goal being to synchronize it with our physical manifestation. Gandhi prayed and fasted. I pray, meditate and carry the message by writing and working with others. Martin Luther King Jr. was an excellent speaker and he spoke his message as well as invocating Gandhi-like non-violent resistance. Mother Theresa, not one to tarry, fed the hungry. Melody Beattie shares her experience, strength, and hope with her books on recovering from dysfunctional relationships. Don Miguel Ruiz asks us to challenge our former agreements that have never seemed to work. [Like violence or unhealthy relationships perhaps?] Jesus of Nazareth spoke and spread HIS message of love, peace, and spiritual nourishment through words and actions. What will your legacy be?

Not one of these people mentioned are known or will have as their legacy that they spread hate, violence, or corruption. People who allow their lights to shine are beloved not for what they have but for what they give. The trick of this, however, is to have something worth giving. If you have a contrary nature, you will spread contempt wherever you go and your light will be but a dull hard-to-see-for-the-black-vibes fizzle. No one desiring a brighter light will pick you up! The people you encounter would be running to someone else in order to “get treatment” for having been around you! I hope my readers are blessed today in that you haven’t anyone like that surrounding you at present!

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” ~ Spiritual Song


Gandhi - The MovieHeroes scattered throughout history continue to show us that to live with integrity does not mean we have to be famous or recognized or prestigious. Who better for God to use and manifest the light through than a humble one of us?

Rosa Parks made the decision from her truth that to move to the back of the bus wasn’t truth inspired. The truth, being made in the likeness of God as well, is that she deserved to sit where she could find a seat.

William Wallace decided that the truth of English lords to have sex with Scottish women on their marriage day was not God inspired. He refused to yield his integrity as he went after the English.

I doubt either of these two woke up on any pivotal morning and said, “Today I am going to alter history into a different direction.” It is my belief that as long as we do what it is our integrity would have us do, one at the time, then powerful God-inspired episodes can and will occur. Can you think of times in your life where doing the next right thing may have been harder than the path of least resistance, but you chose the direction of the Christ-Truth anyway? Can you think of events that you inspired?

War to Freedom

Thinking about freedom and how entire nations have been guided there; How laws have changed to free people; And thinking about freedom as a living ideal, I cannot help but to think of America in Iraq. It doesn’t matter what one person’s mind says to my mind; Being in Iraq is not of integrity. Maybe pride or greed or some other vice, but not for truth or integrity.

The principles I have written about in my articles apply to communities and larger scale conflicts too. If I say something to you that’s less than impeccable and you respond in kind, the original issue that I had becomes delineated as I now fight you with my tongue to either defend a lie you just threw at me or to one up you on an insult. You respond again and it degrades several more degrees. Before we’re done we’ve bounced so much ego driven junk at each other that we’re in an all out war or total breakdown of communication. In the meantime, we’ve hurt each other and do not trust. We’re also confident that God, too, is now dead. Effectually God is dead. We killed our Divine Spark in the middle of our conflict when neither one of us had the sense to “Not Resist Evil.” We couldn’t resist so we participated in it, giving it more and more energy; Making it bigger and deadlier and guess what? Evil grew and won.

So now that evil has grown and is winning, how to end it is the problem to solve. The answer is to return to truth and integrity. What would Gandhi suggest? As the man named “Father of India” surely he could say it better than I.

Gandhi’s Words and Thoughts on Violence

“Violence breeds violence…Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action…They say the means are after all just means. I would say means are after all everything. As the means, so the end….If we take care of the means we are bound?to reach the end sooner or later.”

“The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non- violence alone can lead one to pure democracy…The states that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truly democratic, they must become courageously non-violent. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment and the other by arts of love. Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment.”

“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. The Attainment of freedom, whether for a person, a nation or a world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence for each.”

“Woman is more fitted than man to make exploration and take bolder action in nonviolence… There is no occasion for women to consider themselves subordinate or inferior to men….Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity….If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior….If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with women.”

It’s just politics. Just doing my my job.

How often people must utter these phrases to themselves as they try to make it okay to live with themselves. I have compassion for that. I know what it’s like to be violent; To be the victim of it and to be the villain of it. I don’t call myself a Dakini for naught…

Superficially the Dakini embodies the spirit of female wrath, she appears to dance in a wild frenzy, bent on destruction chaos and transformation. She is naked except for a necklace of skulls around her neck. The skulls are those of her slain victims. In her right hand she holds a vajra or knife. In the left she caries a skullcup, it is filled with blood which she drinks. In most images of the Dakini she is seen dancing on the corpse of a human.

Initially the images may appear repulsive and violent. For those beings who are not attracted to or excited by violence they may legitimately ask themselves what they are doing as a central part of one of the oldest world philosophies which takes very seriously the concept of compassion and loving kindness.For those beings who find violence and anger attractive and are attached to such states they may mistakenly see in the Dakini a glorification of wrathful violence, particularly as manifest in the female form. To view the Dakini on either level is to miss her teaching.The Dakini are not bent on mindless destruction or chaos for its own sake The wrath they embody is towards their own states of anger, greed and delusion, which they and their practitioners seek to cut out and transform. Great energy and determination is needed to achieve this and the violent imagery used shows the energy necessary to cut out the roots of ignorance, greed and delusion. Just as St George cuts the head of the dragon in icons throughout Christendom, so the Dakini severs the heads of beings who are none other than her own demons. To see the Dakini as a being who revels in anger or violence for its own sake is to misunderstand the imagery. Hers is not a glorification of anger and violence but a transformation of it.

[ Article on the Dakini along with Dakini images ]

So when I hear people speak of this war as a matter of “politics” or I hear the sad mothers of young boys wishing for their return as if no choice exists, as I am feeling compassion for their plight, the Dakini side of me emerges and becomes angry. I would certainly, if I had the power, not call on every U.S. soldier to drop their weapons and consequences be damned. I happen to not be Gandhi and understand that to live in constant integrity, in this world, often requires the kind of suffering that some people have not been spiritually trained to prepare for. However. With all that said: There is a choice.

There is a choice to start with an idea. This is not politics. This is not an easy “just doing my job.” People are dying. Lives are being destroyed. Unrest and enemies are being made every day in anger due to opposing each others ideas. Partisan lines are becoming bolder and more pronounced. Freedom is eeking away. People, mothers, soldiers have fear… Justification and why be damned. If I have to explain why I am eating a particular thing, for example, I don’t need to eat it. If I have to explain why I am doing a particular thing, I don’t need to do it.

Truth stands alone and does not need approval.

Untruths need believers in order to live.

“Truth alone will endure; all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time….What may appear as truth to one person will often appear as untruth to another person. But that need not worry the seeker..(…)..An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it….” ~ Gandhi


Browse Samsaras Compilation of Gandhi



  • SlowHand said:

    Thank you for sharing your thought form with this article Digits,

    Whenever I think of Mahatma (or the more irreverent; Handy Bendy Gandhi) I draw strength and positive energy. As far as I can perceive at present, we are all creating our own truths through our choices. The Mahatma created a powerful thought form and embodied a living truth, he became, and still is, an inspiration for many (including myself).

    We can all choose to be positive and learn from situations, or be negative and become victims, whatever else is taken away from us by others, our attitude remains.

    I am at one with you for much of your article, yet raise an eyebrow in your use of William Wallace alongside the Mahatma; the phrase ‘an eye for an eye’ comes to mind.

    Good and evil are part of the dance of duality, if we choose, we can transcend duality, free will and temptation are factors here…

    Thanks for pointing me here Digits,


  • samsara (author) said:

    Eye for an eye indeed. Yes, the opposite use of Wallace alongside Gandhi is exactly a reflection of *my* truth at present. ;)

    As far as violent heroes go – Is there one I am familiar with more violent than Wallace?

    I’m for freedom. The way to achieve it as an absolute I don’t know SH. It’s been gnawing at me though.

    {{Thank you for dropping by!}}

  • pinkfloyd85 said:

    Thanks Digits, I appreciate you leading me here.

    I really enjoyed reading it all. Gandhi will always remain in my mind an example of how significant each and every one of us, maybe not *is*, but *can* be. The more such ‘road signs’ pointing the ‘right way’, the bigger the chance for more people to recollect on their lives and the creation of a better, more peaceful world.



    (Namaste indeed :)

  • SlowHand said:

    Achieving freedom as an absolute..hmmm, I can only voice my own thoughts, this may not connect with others;

    Small practical steps, that practice idealism, when often I would prefer to take giant ones. It is not enough to meditate, or imagine in the mind some desired goal being accomplished, if we are afraid to act upon the impulses to which our meditations and imaginings give rise.

    When we do not take active steps forward toward an ideal position, our lives can lack excitement and there is a shift towards depression. A reverse position can manifest, in that we turn into reverse idealists, contemplating the occurrence of earthquakes and tsunami’s. These thoughts can be propelled by a sense of personal frustration, I have dwelt in this place.

    My truth reflects and connects with the ‘Ronin’ rather than William Wallace, I respect and honour your path :o)

    Again we go back to Gandhi, if we want to change our world, we first change our thoughts, our expectations and our beliefs. If enough of us do this, our world will change, freedom can blossom.

  • samsara (author) said:

    Thanks Matt [my friend]… Yes, we all have that light within. Will we let it shine? Gandhi calls upon us to take this action. I call upon us to take this action. Small as it may be, make the choice: We can start with a change in our ideas :-)

    SlowHand, I was PMing with another SU friend yesterday. I said “Inspiration is more viral than anger though anger a close second” and your thoughts were what I was conveying insofar as “negative idealism.”

    That quality of contemplating the negative occurrences…as well as the dwelling in that place – I have dwelled there too. I drank much, dwelling in that place.

    Yes! …and that is the choice! To change our thoughts. To start with that step.

    We may not be able, from residing in the negative space inclined to these thoughts, control or fix the tsunami or hurricane katrina…So we turn our frustration inside and it feeds. We cannot change that so we dwell. We dwell as “proof” and then depression. But this can change and that’s the good news.

    How to change. As in the spirit of Gandhi…We cannot fix the tsunami but we *can* clean our kitchen, feed a homeless animal, smile at a sad person… A small step maybe but can we manage that change?

    If we can shift the way we think in this small degree [and with the faith of a mustard seed perhaps] and subsequently take the small actions wouldn’t it make sense this, too, grows bigger and can begin to feed itself?

    We must be the light…the change, [the God] we wish to see in the world. If enough of us do this, as you say SH, yes, the world cannot help but change. A shift in conciousness would naturally yield a shift in our world. It starts with me and I am glad this doesn’t end with me.

  • Heather Fougnier said:

    Hi Samsara, I just found your blog and I like your focus on spirituality and recovery. I’m looking forward to reading your blog more often!

    I totally agree with your comments about shining your light — if you shine your light within, you get more light back in your life. It’s easy to forget that sometimes when life gets hard or you start to feel pain. Often, going inside, hiding and feeling the darkness of that pain is the first reaction…until we learn that this not only harms us, but the people around us who feel the vibes of our fear and darkness.

    Thanks for creating content to remind us to go inside and take care of what’s there.

    With love,

  • ayesha said:

    i can not find the information that i am looking for!

  • hello said:

    nice post. gandhi was inspired greatly by the gita. you can read about it at

  • Ciao said:

    Gandhi has influnced many on “the way to the turth” by using nonviolance method, many has follow his teaching include other leaders in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi was truely a great man ev en though he is no longer here his teaching will alway remain for centuries to come.

  • Ciao said:

    Gandhi has influnced many on “the way to the turth” by using nonviolance methods, many has follow his teaching including other civil rights leaders in history such as Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi was truely a great man even though he is no longer here but his teaching will alway remain for centuries to come.

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