The Way to God: Selected Writings from Mahatma Gandhi
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Mahatma Gandhi became famous as the leader of the Indian independence movement, but he called himself “a man of God disguised as a politician.” The Way to God demonstrates his enduring significance as a spiritual leader whose ideas offer insight and solace to seekers of every practice and persuasion. Collecting many of his most significant writings, the book explores the deep religious roots of Gandhi’s worldly accomplishments and reveals—in his own words—his intellectual, moral, and spiritual approaches to the divine. First published in India in 1971, the book is based on Gandhi’s lifetime experiments with truth and reveals the heart of his teachings. Gandhi’s aphoristic power, his ability to sum up complex ideas in a few authoritative strokes, shines through these pages. Individual chapters cover such topics as moral discipline, spiritual practice, spiritual experience, and much more. Gandhi’s guiding principles of selflessness, humility, service, active yet nonviolent resistance, and vegetarianism make his writings as timely today as when these writings first appeared. A foreword by Gandhi’s grandson Arun and an introduction by Michael Nagler add useful context.
design by Paula Morrison The Way to God is sponsored by the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, a nonprofit educational corporation whose goals are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective linking various scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature. North Atlantic Books’ publications are available through
found throughout the world claiming to speak for the inner voice. But no harm has yet overtaken the world through their short-lived activities. Before one is able to listen to that voice, one has to go through a long and severe course of training, and when it is the inner voice that speaks, it is unmistakable. The world cannot successfully be fooled for all time. There is, therefore, no danger of anarchy setting in because an humble man like me will not be suppressed, and will dare to claim the
vocabulary he would use if, by some miracle, he were able to address turn-of-the-century America. For them he said, “The palate is the chief sinner.” For us he might say, as he did elsewhere, “The control of the palate is a valuable aid in the control of the mind.” It is in this framework that we should approach the struggle to come to grips with all the vagaries of our mind, and that struggle is most acute where the life-force is most intimately involved—in the power given to man and woman to
One, Without a Second God is certainly one. He has no second. He is unfathomable, unknowable and unknown to the vast majority of mankind. He is everywhere. He sees without eyes and hears without ears. He is formless and indivisible. He is uncreate, has no father, mother, or child; and yet he allows himself to be worshipped as father, mother, wife, and child. He allows himself even to be worshipped as stock and stone, although he is none of these things. He is the most elusive. He is the
insolently to deny him, wrangle about him, and cut the throats of his fellow men. How can we measure the greatness of God, who is so forgiving, so divine? He allows us freedom and yet his compassion commands obedience to his will. But if anyone of us disdains to bow to his will, he says, “So be it. My sun will shine no less for thee. My clouds will rain no less for thee. I need not force thee to accept my sway.” Of such a God let the ignorant dispute the existence. I am one of the millions of