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Mahátma Gándhí

Geburtstag: 2. Oktober 1869
Todesdatum: 30. Januar 1948
Andere Namen: Móhandás Karamčand Gándhí

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi war ein indischer Rechtsanwalt, Widerstandskämpfer, Revolutionär, Publizist, Morallehrer, Asket und Pazifist.

Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts setzte sich Gandhi in Südafrika gegen die Rassentrennung und für die Gleichberechtigung der Inder ein. Danach entwickelte er sich ab Ende der 1910er Jahre in Indien zum politischen und geistigen Anführer der indischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung. Gandhi forderte die Menschenrechte für Unberührbare und Frauen, er trat für die Versöhnung zwischen Hindus und Muslimen ein, kämpfte gegen die koloniale Ausbeutung und für ein neues, autarkes, von der bäuerlichen Lebensweise geprägtes Wirtschaftssystem. Die Unabhängigkeitsbewegung führte mit gewaltfreiem Widerstand, zivilem Ungehorsam und Hungerstreiks schließlich das Ende der britischen Kolonialherrschaft über Indien herbei , verbunden mit der Teilung Indiens. Ein halbes Jahr danach fiel Gandhi einem Attentat zum Opfer.

Gandhi musste in Südafrika und Indien insgesamt acht Jahre in Gefängnissen verbringen. Seine Grundhaltung Satyagraha, das beharrliche Festhalten an der Wahrheit, umfasst neben Ahimsa, der Gewaltlosigkeit, noch weitere ethische Forderungen wie etwa Swaraj, was sowohl individuelle als auch politische Selbstkontrolle und Selbstbestimmung bedeutet.

Schon zu Lebzeiten war Gandhi weltberühmt, für viele ein Vorbild und so anerkannt, dass er mehrmals für den Friedensnobelpreis nominiert wurde. In seinem Todesjahr wurde dieser Nobelpreis symbolisch nicht vergeben.

„Dem Verstand Allwissenheit zuzuschreiben, ist die gleiche Art von Götzendienst, wie die Anbetung von Stock und Stein. Ich plädiere nicht für eine Abwertung der Vernunft, aber für die gebührende Anerkennung der Instanz in uns, die die Vernunft heiligt.“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

Young India, 14.10.1924; zitiert in: The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations; Timothy R. Jennings, Ein gesunder Geist: Wie erlangen wir ihn, Advent-Verlag, S. 22
"Attribution of omnipotence to reason is as bad a piece of idolatry as is worship of stock and stone believing it to be God. [...] I plead not for the suppression of reason, but for a due recognition of that in us which sanctifies reason itself." - in: Young India Oct. 14, 1926 http://books.google.de/books?id=ZHjjAAAAMAAJ&q=despising. p. 359 http://books.google.de/books?id=ZHjjAAAAMAAJ&q=idolatry

„Die Ehrfurcht vor dem "universalen und alles durchdringenden Geist der Wahrheit […] hat mich in die Politik geführt; und ich kann ohne Zögern und doch in aller Demut sagen, dass ein Mensch, der behauptet, Religion habe nichts mit Politik zu tun, nicht weiß, was Religion bedeutet."“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

nach Hubertus Mynarek, „Gedanken zur Logik der Macht“, aus: „Aufklärung und Kritik“ 1/1998 http://www.gkpn.de/id142.htm, S. 27 ff.
("To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life. That is why my devotion to Truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means." - An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Originaltitel: Sathiya Sodhani. Übersetzung aus dem Gujarati von Mahadev Desai. Schlusskapitel: Farewell .mkgandhi.org http://www.mkgandhi.org/autobio/chap168.htm

„Gewaltlosigkeit bedeutet keineswegs Ablehnung jeglicher Konfrontation mit dem Bösen. Sie ist meiner Auffassung nach im Gegenteil eine Form eines sehr aktiven Kampfes - echter als der gewalttätige Gegenschlag, dessen Wesen im Grunde die Vermehrung der Boshaftigkeit ist.“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

Ausgewählte Texte, Hrsg. von Richard Attenborough, Goldmann Verlag, 1989, ISBN 3442065771
("Nonviolence is ‘not a resignation from all real fighting against wickedness’. On the contrary, the nonviolence of my conception is a more active and real fight against wickedness than retaliation whose very nature is to increase wickedness." - Young India October 8, 1925 http://books.google.de/books?id=dstUBU3bo4gC&pg=PA33, http://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/gstruggle.htm

„Zuerst ignorieren sie dich, dann lachen sie über dich, dann bekämpfen sie dich und dann gewinnst du.“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

Dieser als Ausspruch Gandhis verbreitete Satz geht zurück auf eine Rede des US-Gewerkschafters Nicholas Klein auf dem Gewerkschaftstag 1918 der Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America:
„Und, liebe Freunde, in dieser Geschichte findet ihr die Historie unserer gesamten Bewegung wieder: Zuerst ignorieren sie dich. Dann machen sie dich lächerlich. Dann greifen sie dich an und wollen dich verbrennen. Und dann errichten sie dir Denkmäler. Und das ist genau das, was den vereinigten Arbeitern der Bekleidungsindustrie Amerikas passieren wird.“ - Jungle World, 20. Oktober 2011 https://jungle.world/artikel/2011/42/gandhi-ist-immer-gut.
"And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America." - Proceedings of the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (1918) p. 53 http://books.google.de/books?id=QrcpAAAAYAAJ&dq=ignore
Fälschlich zugeschrieben

„Wenn du im Recht bist, kannst du es dir leisten, Ruhe zu bewahren; und wenn du im Unrecht bist, kannst du es dir nicht leisten, sie zu verlieren.“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

In Sevagram - Gandhiji's ashram and other institutions in Wardha (1969) von R.V. Rao heißt es, Gandhi habe in seinen dortigen Räumen neben einem Zitat von John Ruskin über die Lüge ein weiteres von "G.C. Larimer" ausgestellt: "When you are in the right you can afford to keep your temper and when you are in the wrong, you can't afford to lose it", p. 6 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=Djw2AAAAIAAJ&q=larimer.
Tatsächlich findet sich das Zitat in George Horace Lorimers ab 1901/02 in zahlreichen Auflagen veröffentlichten Letters from A Self-Made Merchant To His Son, Being the Letters written by John Graham, Head of the House of Graham & Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago, [...] to his Son, Pierrepont [...], No. 7: Omaha September 1st, 189-, en.wikisource https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Letters_from_a_Self-Made_Merchant_to_His_Son/Letter_7#81, gutenberg.org http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21959/21959-h/21959-h.htm & p. 83 archive.org https://archive.org/stream/lettersfromasel01lorigoog#page/n106/mode/2up.
Schon am 1. März 1958 hatte The Saturday Evening Post den Artikel What Negroes Can Learn From Gandhi von Chester Bowles veröffentlicht, in dem es ohne Bezug auf Lorimer, den früheren Chefredakteur und Herausgeber der Post, heißt: "On the wall over Gandhi's simple bed hung a sign: 'When you are in the right you can afford to keep your temper; and when you are wrong you cannot afford to lose it'", http://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/negroes&g.htm.
Fälschlich zugeschrieben

„Das Volk ergreift man nicht mit dem Verstand, sondern mit dem Herzen.“

—  Mahátma Gándhí

zitiert in: „Denkverbot, was Religion bedeutet.“, zitiert nach Hubertus Mynarek, „Gedanken zur Logik der Macht“, aus: „Aufklärung und Kritik“ 1/1998, S. 27 ff.

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Citát „Wo Liebe wächst, gedeiht Leben - wo Hass aufkommt droht Untergang.“

„The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others“

—  Махатма Ганди

Attributed to Gandhi in Stone, The Full Spectrum Synthesis Bible, iUniverse, 2001. link to Google Books https://books.google.com/books?id=K6NiilgGaqMC&pg=PA168&dq=%22lose+yourself+in+the+service+of+others%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMI9pbPuNK_yAIVVMxjCh0RxgLp#v=onepage&q=%22lose%20yourself%20in%20the%20service%20of%20others%22&f=false. However, very similar quotes are found in the nineteenth century:
"Have you sorrows or trials that seem very heavy to bear? Then let me tell you that one of the best ways in the world to lighten and sweeten them is to lose yourself in the service of others ..." from Trine, What All The World's A-Seeking (1896) Google Books link https://books.google.com/books?id=9oM7AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA78&dq=%22lose+yourself+in+the+service+of+others%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAWoVChMIrZvI7tG_yAIVEcVjCh0WsgJW#v=onepage&q=%22lose%20yourself%20in%20the%20service%20of%20others%22&f=false;
"To lose yourself in the service of others may be to truly find yourself" from Usher, Protestantism (1897) Googe Books link https://books.google.com/books?id=kftDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA43&dq=%22lose+yourself+in+the+service+of+others&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAGoVChMI4_Ls6NG_yAIVQsdjCh1iSAL7#v=onepage&q=%22lose%20yourself%20in%20the%20service%20of%20others&f=false.
Disputed

„I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature. Only I want to use India's and my strength for better purpose.“

—  Махатма Ганди

1920s, The Doctrine Of The Sword (1920)
Kontext: I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.
But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment, forgiveness adorns a soldier. But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish, it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature. A mouse hardly forgives cat when it allows itself to be torn to pieces by her. … I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature. Only I want to use India's and my strength for better purpose.
Let me not be misunderstood. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

„My life is dedicated to service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believed to be the root of Hinduism.“

—  Махатма Ганди

1920s, The Doctrine Of The Sword (1920)
Kontext: I am wedded to India because I owe my all to her. I believe absolutely that she has a mission for the world. She is not to copy Europe blindly, India's acceptance of the doctrine of the sword will be the hour of my trial. I hope I shall not be found wanting. My religion has no geographical limits. If I have a living faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself. My life is dedicated to service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believed to be the root of Hinduism.
Meanwhile I urge those who distrust me, not to disturb the even working of the struggle that has just commenced, by inciting to violence in the belief that I want violence I detest secrecy as a sin. Let them give nonviolence non co-operation a trial and they will find that I had no mental reservation whatsoever.

„You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.“

—  Махатма Ганди

1940s, To Every Briton (1940)
Kontext: I do not want Britain to be defeated, nor do I want her to be victorious in a trial of brute strength, whether expressed through the muscle or the brain. Your muscular bravery is an established fact. Need you demonstrate that your brain is also as unrivaled in destructive power as your muscle? I hope you do not wish to enter into such an undignified competition with the Nazis. I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldier. I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.
This process or method, which I have called non-violent non-co-operation, is not without considerable success in its use in India. Your representatives in India may deny my claim. If they do, I shall feel sorry for them. <!-- They may tell you that our non-co-operation was not wholly non-violent, that it was born of hatred. If they give that testimony, I won’t deny it. Had it been wholly non-violent, if all the non-co-operators had been filled with goodwill towards you, I make bold to say that you who are India’s masters would have become her pupils and, with much greater skill than we have, perfected this matchless weapon and met the German and Italian friends’ menace with it. Indeed the history of Europe during the past few months would then have been written differently. Europe would have been spared seas of innocent blood, the rape of so many small nations, and the orgy of hatred.

„Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not means meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means the putting of one's whole soul against the will of the tyrant.“

—  Махатма Ганди

1920s, The Doctrine Of The Sword (1920)
Kontext: Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not means meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means the putting of one's whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honor, his religion, his soul and lay the foundation for the empire's fall or its regeneration.
And so I am not pleading for India to practice nonviolence because it is weak. I want her to practice nonviolence being conscious of her strength and power. No training in arms is required for realization of her strength. We seem to need it because we seem to think that we are but a lump of flesh. I want India to recognize that she has a soul that cannot perish and that can rise triumphant above every physical weakness and defy the physical combination of a whole world.

„In this age of the rule of brute force, it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that anyone else could possibly reject the law of final supremacy of brute force.“

—  Махатма Ганди

1920s, The Doctrine Of The Sword (1920)
Kontext: In this age of the rule of brute force, it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that anyone else could possibly reject the law of final supremacy of brute force. And so I receive anonymous letters advising me that I must not interfere with the progress of non-co-operation even though popular violence may break out. Others come to me and assuming that secretly I must be plotting violence, inquire when the happy moment for declaring open violence to arrive. They assure me that English never yield to anything but violence secret or open. Yet others I am informed, believe that I am the most rascally person living in India because I never give out my real intention and that they have not a shadow of a doubt that I believe in violence just as much as most people do.
Such being the hold that the doctrine of the sword has on the majority of mankind, and as success of non-co-operation depends principally on absence of violence during its pendency and as my views in this matter affect the conduct of large number of people. I am anxious to state them as clearly as possible.
I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence.

„I must reduce myself to zero. So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him. Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility.“

—  Махатма Ганди

Farewell, p. 454
1920s, An Autobiography (1927)
Kontext: To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life. That is why my devotion to Truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.
Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification; without self-purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream; God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. Self-purification therefore must mean purification in all the walks of life. And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to the purification of one's surroundings.
But the path of self-purification is hard and steep. To attain to perfect purity one has to become absolutely passion-free in thought, speech and action; to rise above the opposing currents of love and hatred, attachment and repulsion. I know that I have not in me as yet that triple purity, in spite of constant ceaseless striving for it. That is why the world's praise fails to move me, indeed it very often stings me. To conquer the subtle passions seems to me to be far harder than the physical conquest of the world by the force of arms. Ever since my return to India I have had experiences of the dormant passions lying hidden within me. The knowledge of them has made me feel humiliated though not defeated. The experiences and experiments have sustained me and given me great joy. But I know that I have still before me a difficult path to traverse. I must reduce myself to zero. So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him. Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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