Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Gandhian Virtues: The Mantra for Peaceful Co-Existence and Spiritual Growth

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Gandhian Virtues: The Mantra for Peaceful Co-Existence and Spiritual Growth

Article excerpt

The concept of Peaceful Co-existence is one of the principles of Panchsheel Treaty (from Sanskrit Panch-five, Sheet-Virtues) to govern and guide International relations .The obligation to refrain from every form of violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another state. The elimination of the very threat of war or competition without war ; a policy of peace between nations of different ideologies to promote peace and harmony.(Richardson ,2009). The concept of positive and peaceful Co-existence can be achieved by following Gandhian Virtues and principles. Gandhi's commitments to non-violence, human freedom, equality and justice arose from his personal examination. Gandhism consists of the ideas, which Mahatma Gandhi put forth before human world. Gandhism is more about the spirit of Gandhi's journey to discover the truth, than what he finally considered to be the truth. It is the foundation of Gandhi's teachings, and the spirit of his whole life to examine and understand for oneself, and not take anybody or any ideology for granted.

Gandhi described his religious beliefs as being rooted in Hinduism and, in particular, the Bhagavad Gita: He professed the philosophy of Hindu Universalism, which maintains that all religions contain truth, and therefore worthy of toleration and respect. It was articulated by Gandhi:

"After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that all religions are true; all religions have some error in them; all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one's own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible. "(UNESCO, 1958)

As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side"(Rao, 1990)

Gandhi believed that at the core of every religion was truth (satya), non-violence (ahimsa) and the Golden Rule. Despite his belief in Hinduism, Gandhi was also critical of many of the social practices of Hindus and sought to reform the religion. Gandhi was critical of the hypocrisy in organized religion, rather than the principles on which they were based.

The concept of Islamic jihad can also be taken to mean a nonviolent struggle or Satyagraha, in the way Gandhi practised it. On Islam he said:

"The sayings of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom, not only for Muslims but for all of mankind"

Later in his life when he was asked whether he was a Hindu, he replied:

"Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew" (Gupta, 2008)

Gandhi's religious views are reflected in the hymns his group often sang:

* Vaishnav Jan to Call them Vishnava, those who understand the sufferings of others...

* Raghupati Raghava RajaRam Call him Rama or God or Allah...

* Mohandas Gandhi's early life was a series of personal struggles to decipher the truth about life's important issues and discover the true way of living. He admitted in his autobiography to hitting his wife when he was young, and indulging in camal pleasures out of lust, jealousy and possessiveness, not genuine love. He had eaten meat, smoked a cigarette, and almost visited a prostitute. It was only after much personal turmoil and repeated failures that Gandhi developed his philosophy.

* Gandhi disliked having a cult following, and was averse to being addressed as Mahatma, claiming that he was not a perfect human being.


There have been Muslim Gandhians, such as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as the "Frontier Gandhi"; under the influence of Gandhi, he organized the Pathans of the Northwest Frontier as early as 1919. Christian Gandhian includes Horace Alexander and King. Jewish Gandhians include Gandhi's close associate Herman Kallenbach. …

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