Teachings Of Mahatma Gandhi That Have Stood The Test Of Time!

When it comes to real-life heroes, we in India are fortunate not to have to look very far. The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi are timeless and need to find a place in all our lives, especially since he led by example.

By embracing these principles at an early stage, students can significantly enhance their lives. These principles must extend their influence beyond the pages of history textbooks. At Pragyanam, we are committed to integrating these teachings into our life skills-driven curriculum.

“Ahimsa Satya Asteya” begins a chant that goes on to enumerate the 11 vows that Gandhi Ji considered imperative for the Ashram’s inmates. These 11 principles of Mahatma Gandhi are:

  1. Satya – Truth
  2. Ahimsa – Nonviolence
  3. Brahmacharya – Celibacy
  4. Asteya – Non-Stealing
  5. Aparigraha – Non-Possession
  6. Sharira-Shrama or Physical Labor
  7. Asvada – Control of Palate
  8. Abhaya – Fearlessness
  9. Sarva Dharma-Samantava – Equal Respect for all Religions
  10. Swadeshi – Self-Reliance
  11. Asprishyatanivarana – Removal of Untouchability

Let’s explore some of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi that hold particular significance in student life and have the potential to enrich it greatly.

1. Truth

In a world where lies and falsehood abound, Mahatma Gandhi’s principle is more relevant than ever before. It is by following the path of truth that students can lay the foundation of a new world, one built on mutual trust. It’s time we all realized that while lies may bring short-term gains, truth alone leads to the long-term well-being of individuals and society at large.

2. Non-Violence

History has shown the detrimental effects of violence through the many wars we’ve witnessed. These conflicts brought disaster not only to those directly involved but also to future generations. The recent Russia-Ukraine war and its horrifying images are likely to haunt the current generation. By following Mahatma Gandhi’s path of non-violence, we can transform the world into the global family it’s meant to be. In India, we have cherished the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam since time immemorial and must stay committed to its path.

3. Change begins with you

You need to be the change you want to see in the world” isn’t just an adage but a lived reality in Mahatma Gandhi’s life. The way he embraced the path of Satyagraha to free India from British rule holds lessons for all of us. Complaining about the world isn’t sufficient; we must rise to the occasion and make a positive difference.

4. Non-Possession

When you think of Gandhiji, you picture minimalism. While the world is now awakening to the joys of minimalism, Gandhi Ji embodied it in his life. It’s time to move away from a consumerist world that hoards possessions and embraces good values. Gandhi ji’s minimalism extended beyond material possessions to Aparigraha and Asvada – consuming food for sustenance, not just the palate. These vital lessons can free us from the rat race and shift our focus to larger issues.

5. Fearlessness

One value that Mahatma Gandhi embodied, leading him to great success, is sheer fearlessness. It was this fearlessness that allowed him to challenge the powerful British Raj and lead the country to freedom. However, it’s important to note that fearlessness isn’t necessarily an innate trait; it can be developed by facing and overcoming one’s fears.

6. Inclusiveness

While we often refer to inclusion and diversity as buzzwords today, who is better than Mahatma Gandhi to demonstrate their intrinsic importance in his life? His efforts to eradicate untouchability are commendable, as is his resolve to eliminate this practice, which he considered a stain on Hinduism.

7. Forgiveness

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” This quote by Gandhi Ji imparts a significant lesson in the art of forgiveness. Clearly, it emphasizes that forgiveness is the key to preventing one’s bitter past from weighing them down; instead, it empowers individuals to move forward. In a world where wars are often waged not solely for ideological reasons but out of vengeance, this lesson cannot be overstated. It is high time that we broke the vicious cycle of hatred and revenge. What could be more powerful than Gandhi Ji reminding us that an eye for an eye can render the entire world blind?

8. Perseverance

Most of us can agree, based on our personal experiences, that when we embark on something new, it initially appears challenging. At times, we may have come very close to giving up. However, it’s the value of perseverance that can ultimately guide us to success. This is a value that Gandhi Ji embodied, as evident in his strenuous efforts to secure India’s independence. It was sheer perseverance and unwavering determination that enabled him to lead the country to freedom and success. The teachings of Mahatma Gandhi Ji’s emphasis on physical labor are particularly significant, as it underscores the need for hard work to bring about the changes we aspire to see.

To Sum Up

Although numerous Gandhian principles have found their place within the Directive Principles of State Policy, genuine transformation will only commence when we actively integrate them into our everyday lives.

Here’s to bringing about positive change in our lives and in our nation.

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May 2024