All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as Told in His Own Words

By Mahatma Gandhi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
MEANS AND ENDS

Means and end are convertible terms in my philosophy of life.1

They say 'means are after all means'. I would say 'means are after all everything'. As the means so the end. There is no wall of separation between means and end. Indeed the Creator has given us control (and that too very limited) over means, none over the end. Realization of the goal is in exact proportion to that of the means. This is a proposition that admits of no exception.2

Ahiṃsā and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of a coin, or rather a smooth unstamped metallic disc. Who can say, which is the obverse, and which the reverse? Nevertheless, ahiṃsā is the means; Truth is the end. Means to be means must always be within our reach, and so ahiṃsā is our supreme duty. If we take care of the means, we are bound to reach the end sooner or later. When once we have grasped this point final victory is beyond question. Whatever difficulties we encounter, whatever apparent reverses we sustain, we may not give up the quest for Truth which alone is, being God Himself.3

I do not believe in short-violent-cuts to success.... However much I may sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes. There is, therefore, really no meeting-ground between the school of violence and myself.

-81-

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All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi as Told in His Own Words
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Selections 1
  • Chapter I - Autobiographical 3
  • Chapter II - Religion and Truth 56
  • Chapter III - Means and Ends 81
  • Chapter IV - AhiṃsĀ or the Way of Non-Violence 85
  • Chapter V - Self-Discipline 108
  • Chapter VI - International Peace 118
  • Chapter VII - Man and Machine 124
  • Chapter VIII - Poverty in the Midst of Plenty 129
  • Chapter IX - Democracy and the People 138
  • Chapter X - Education 151
  • Chapter XI - Women 160
  • Chapter XII - Miscellaneous 168
  • Glossary 181
  • Sources 184
  • A Selected Bibliography 191
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