Mahatma Gandhi Notes:
I am Andy the HoboTraveler.com. This is my collection of notes on
Gandhi as I explored and traveled through India. I opportune to pick up an
English copy of his Autobiography in Hampi, Karnataka, India. January 2004.
I decided to travel North from Hampi to to Sevagram. They spell the word in
may ways, but is I believe a Hindi word. It is spelled Sevagram or maybe as they
spell it at the actual Ashram, Sewagram. It is also spelled Segaon. The word
means "Village of Service."
I arrived in Sewagram on January 19, 2004. My travelogue has the day to day
noise I made about coming to Sewagram and my rambled thoughts.
The newsletter will have links to all the photos of Gandhi and this place as I
publish the letter weekly. So if you are interested key in on the Travelogue and
Newsletter around the date of January, 2004 in India.
How to find a word on this
PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED GANDHI
BOOKS THAT INFLUENCED GANDHI
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Brooks Farm near Boston
Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau
1 - formally The Brook Farm Institute of Agriculture and Education,
short-lived utopian experiment in communal living (1841–47). The 175-acre farm
was located in West Roxbury, Mass. (now in Boston). It was organized and
virtually directed by George Ripley, a former Unitarian minister, editor of The
Dial (a critical literary monthly), and a leader in the Transcendental Club, an
informal gathering of intellectuals of the Boston area. He was aided by his
wife, Sophia Dana Ripley, a woman of wide culture and academic experience.
According to the articles of agreement, Brook Farm was to combine the thinker
and the worker, to guarantee the greatest mental freedom, and to prepare a
society of liberal, cultivated persons, whose relations with each other would
permit a more wholesome and simpler life than could be led amid the pressure of
The project was financed by the sale of stock, a purchaser of one share
automatically becoming a member of the institute, which was governed by a board
of directors. The profits, if any, were divided into a number of shares
corresponding to the total number of man-days of labour, every member entitled
to one share for each day's labour performed. Among the original shareholders
were journalist Charles A. Dana and author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who served
together as the first directors of agriculture. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson
Alcott, Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Peabody, Theodore Parker, and Orestes A.
Brown son were among its interested visitors.
Brook Farm attracted not only intellectuals—though teachers were always in
preponderance among the 70 or 80 members—but farmers and craftsmen as well. It
paid $1 a day for work (physical or mental) to men and women and provided
housing, clothing, and food at approximately actual cost to all members and
their dependents. For four years the commune published The Harbinger, a weekly
magazine devoted to social and political problems, to which James Russell
Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Horace Greeley occasionally contributed.
Brook Farm was noted particularly for the modern educational theory of its
excellent school, which sought to establish “perfect freedom of relations
between students and teaching body.” Discipline at the school was never
punitive; rather, it consisted of a gentle attempt to instill in the student a
sense of personal responsibility and to communicate a passion for intellectual
work. There were no prescribed study hours, and each student was required to
give a few hours a day to manual labour. There was an infant school, a primary
school, and a college preparatory course covering six years. Although communal
living proved to have disadvantages (Hawthorne found that he was unable to write
there and left after six months), for a while it seemed that the ideal of the
founders would be realized. Within three years the community—or “Phalanx,” as it
was called after 1844, when Brook Farm adopted some of the theories of the
French Socialist Charles Fourier—had added four houses, workrooms, and
dormitories. It then put all available funds into the construction of a large
central building to be known as the Phalanstery, which burned to the ground as
its completion was being celebrated. Though the colony struggled on for a while,
the enterprise gradually failed; the land and buildings were sold in 1849.
Ripley worked as the literary critic on Greeley's New York Tribune until his
death in 1880.
Brook Farm was one of many experiments in communal living that took place in the
United States during the first half of the 19th century; it is better known than
most and has a secure place in U.S. social history because of the distinguished
literary figures and intellectual leaders associated with it. Hawthorne's
Blithedale Romance (1852) is a fictional treatment of some aspects of the Brook
PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED GANDHI
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Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand a.k.a. Mahatma Gandi
born Oct. 2, 1869, Porbandar, India
died Jan. 30, 1948, Delhi
Henry David Thoreau
born July 12, 1817, Concord, Mass., U.S.
died May 6, 1862, Concord
born Aug. 28 [Sept. 9, New Style], 1828, Yasnaya Polyana, Tula province,
died Nov. 7 [Nov. 20], 1910, Astapovo, Ryazan province
PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED THESE PEOPLE ABOVE
Ralph Waldo Emerson
born May 25, 1803, Boston, Mass., U.S.
died April 27, 1882, Concord, Mass.
BOOKS THAT INFLUENCED GANDHI
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I am reading his book still and the best I can surmise is that he adhere to a
"Ahimsa." His autobiography is written in a presumptive manner that assume you
already understand why he holds beliefs, and you also know his life story, so
these notes are for me to interpret and paraphrase what is needed to understand
his autobiography and maybe understand why he is famous.
1 "In Jainism, ahimsa is the standard by which all actions are judged.
For a householder observing the small vows (apuvrata), the practice of ahimsa
requires that he not kill any animal life, but for an ascetic observing the
great vows (mah(vrata), ahimsa entails the greatest care to prevent him from
knowingly or unknowingly being the cause of injury to any living substance.
Living matter (jiva) includes not only human beings and animals but insects,
plants, and atoms as well, and the same law governs the entire cosmos. The
interruption of another jiva's spiritual progress increases one's own karma and
delays one's liberation from the cycle of rebirths. Many common Jainist
practices, such as not eating or drinking after dark or the wearing of cloth
mouth covers (mukhavastrik() by monks, are based on the principle of ahimsa."
Ahimsa is one of the first disciplines learned by the student of yoga
and is required to be mastered in the preparatory stage (yama), the first of the
eight stages that lead to perfect concentration. In the early 20th century
Gandhi extended ahimsa into the political sphere as satyagraha, nonviolent
resistance to a specific evil.
1 The name Jainism derives from the Sanskrit verb ji, “to conquer.” It
refers to the ascetic battle that it is believed Jain renunciants (monks and
nuns) must fight against the passions and bodily senses to gain omniscience and
purity of soul or enlightenment. The most illustrious of those few individuals
who have achieved enlightenment are called Jina (literally, “Conqueror”), and
the tradition's monastic and lay adherents are called Jain (“Follower of the
Conquerors”), or Jaina. This term came to replace a more ancient designation,
Nirgrantha (“Bondless”), originally applied to renunciants only.
2 He is looking or having an experiment with truth in the
book, and I believe he is trying to prove or validate that these principals will
lead him to truth and God. At page 356 of 464 pages I would say he is still
confused and looking. I question that maybe he is a name dropper and looking
more towards being famous than to renunciate. He is blunt and honest about his
view of the India People.
2 I found this book in the Gopi restaurant and thought I
would give it a try. I am not much on reading slow books, so I say try because I
was not sure if the guy was going to blather or be interesting. I have found the
book very interesting and an easy read. I am almost finished and am looking
forward to the ending because he must surely wrap up his thoughts.
3 “What was an apology for a bath room was unbearably dirty,
the latrines were stinking sinks. To use the latrines one had to wade through
urine and excreta or jump over them.”
2 I am fortunate to have an encyclopedia in my computer to
explain the factual background.
2 The book delved deeply in his experiment or changes in diet,
and as it is related in different types of vegetarianism. The big problem in his
diet is "Milk." While saying it is an almost perfect food, he also believe he
should not drink it, but accidentally drinks on various occasions when in
extreme need of nourishment.
1 may be translated from Hindi as “the devotion to truth,” or as
“truth force.” A satyagrahi—a person practicing satyagrahi—achieves correct
insight into the real nature of an evil situation by observing a nonviolence of
the mind, by seeking truth in a spirit of peace and love. In so doing, the
satyagrahi encounters truth in the absolute. By his refusal to submit to the
wrong or to cooperate with it in any way, the satyagrahi asserts this truth.
Throughout his confrontation with the evil, he must adhere to nonviolence, for
to employ violence would be to lose correct insight. A satyagrahi always warns
his opponents of his intentions; satyagrahi forbids any tactic suggesting the
use of secrecy to one's advantage. satyagrahi includes more than civil
disobedience; its full range of application extends from the details of correct
daily living to the construction of alternative political and economic
institutions. satyagrahi seeks to conquer through conversion; in the end, there
is no defeat and no victory but rather a new harmony.
Gandhi drew from the writings of Leo Tolstoy and Henry David Thoreau, from the
Christian Bible, and from the Bhagavadgita and other Hindu writings in his
formulation of the concept of satyagrahi. satyagrahi is also rooted in ahiis(,
the Hindu concept of nonviolence. Gandhi first conceived satyagrahi in 1906 in
response to a law discriminating against Asians that was passed by the colonial
government of the Transvaal in South Africa. In 1917 the first satyagrahi
campaign in India was mounted in the indigo-growing district of Champaran. Over
the following years, fasting and economic boycotts were employed as methods of
2 Satyagraha: This is his word or claimed method of
1 Gandhi drew from the writings of Leo Tolstoy and Henry David
Thoreau, from the Christian Bible, and from the Bhagavadgita.
1 (Sanskrit: “Song of God”), one of the greatest and most beautiful of the
Hindu scriptures. It forms part of Book VI of the Indian epic the Mah(bh(rata
(“Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”) and is written in the form of a dialogue
between the warrior Prince Arjuna and his friend and charioteer, Krishna, who is
also an earthly incarnation of the god Vishnu. The Bhagavadgita is of a later
date than the major parts of the Mah(bh(rata and was probably written in the 1st
or 2nd century AD. The poem consists of 700 Sanskrit verses divided into 18
The dialogue takes place on the field of battle, just as the great war between
the P(p;avas and the Kauravas is about to begin. The two armies stand opposing
each other, and, on seeing many of his friends and kinsmen among those lined up
on the other side, Prince Arjuna hesitates. He considers whether it would not be
better to throw down his arms and allow himself to be slain by the enemy rather
than to engage in a just, but cruel, war. He is recalled to his sense of duty as
a warrior by Krishna, who points out to him that the higher way is the
dispassionate discharge of his duty, performed with faith in God, and without
selfish concern for personal triumph or gain.
The Bhagavadgita goes far beyond the ethical question with which it begins, to
consider broadly the nature of God and the means by which man can know him. The
greatness of the scripture lies in its description of both the end and the
means. It gives a synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India
through the ages. Because it is a predominantly theistic work, it often
describes the ultimate reality as a personal god, identified with Krishna.
However, it also quite frequently refers to the supreme as the immanent spirit,
as the transcendent absolute, and, finally, as the state of one's own awakened
soul. The three paths of the Hindu religious tradition leading to mystic union
with God are all described as different aspects of a single way of approach.
2 I have finished the book and still at lengths on how to explain, or
what to think of the book. It is obvious that Gandhi was trying very hard to
seek truth in the realm of helping the people of India and this is good. I
suppose for me the truth is somewhere around an idea that maybe all religions
are both correct and incorrect at the same time, and there is a need to devout
to your energy to a path that is correct in your mind, but is surely incorrect
in the other persons mind. This dualism or acceptance that two ways are correct
and that the truth lies in listening to your personal voice and following the
advice of that voice. The delusional person will think their voice is telling
them to do selfish behaviors and will forever be shown or demonstrated by their
guilt. A person that looks or seems guilty is not listening to their voice.
SEWAGRAM - 1
town, eastern Maharashtra state, western India. Originally called Segaon,
the village was given its present name aHindY: Village of Service) by Mohandas
Gandhi, the Indian nationalist leader. In 1936 he left his ashram (hermitage) on
the Sabarmati River, near Ahmadabad, and settled at Sevagram. There he founded
another ashram and directed the independence movement. Within this he created a
model community that still flourishes, in which the inhabitants live a simple
The town is also the site of the Nai Talimi Sangh, the educational centre
established by Gandhi. He gave it the tasks of building a self-sufficient
community by providing its own food, clothing, shelter, and tools and of
establishing a society able to fulfill its aesthetic, spiritual, and
intellectual needs by creating its own art, music, literature, and drama.
1. From Encyclopedia Britannica
2. My words of Andy HoboTraveler.com
3 Page 356 of the Autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi - Navajivan