Friday, October 1, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi

The Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,popularly known as 'The Father of the nation',is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti with reeverence all over the Country.He was the man who played a significant role for achieving Independence for India from the British Empire with his simplicity and strong willpower.Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi,better known as "Bapu"or Gandhiji  ,was born in Porbandar,Gujarat,India on October 2,1869.His Father was a Prime Minister in the prince's court.His mother was a devout woman who taught her Children about their religion,Jainism.Gandhi grew up believing in Karma --the idea that to keep a soul clean,one should pray,be disciplined,honest,have few possessions,and harm no one.Gandhiji was a preacher of truth ( Satyagraha) and 'ahimsa' (Non-violence).

When Gandhi was thirteenyears old,he was married according to Jain tradition.His wife was Kasturibai Makanji,a beautiful  thirteen-year-old girl who possessed qualities of patience,strength and courage.Gandhi was a small,shy boy,afraid of many things,including ghosts,serpents,and the dark.His wife laughed lovingly at her husband,who had to sleepp with the lights on.Gandhi felt different from other people,and was a weak student.He barely graduated from high school and failed classes in college.Gandhi left his wife at home and went to London to study the Law.For a Longtime he felt completely,alone,a foreigner in a strange country.To make himself more Secure,Gandhi transformed himself in to an English Gentleman.He lived in fancy rooms and wore fancy clothes.He learned to speak perfect English,took Violin lessons,and even learned to dance the Fox-trot.

But Gandhi was not happy.He felt a wide gap between his inner and outer selves and ,recalling his Jain upbringing,he tried to live a Simpler life.He gave up his fancy rooms,cooked his ownmeals,walked everywhere instead of taking public transportation,and joined the Vegetarian society of London.His self-reliance made him much happier,although he was still awkward and shy.He believed in living a simple life and in 'Swadeshi'.He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of Non-Violence -- a true symbol of peace and truth.

Gandhi created the theory of Satyagraha,or the force of love.He wrote,"The Force of Love by peace always wins over Violence."He determined to root out the disease of prejudice,but never to yield to violence and never to use violence against others.He vowed to bring the peace of Heaven to earth.At the turn of the twentienth century,South Africa was ruled by the Dutch.On August 22,1906,the Dutch Government passed the Black Act,which deprived black and Indian People of their Civil rights.In response,Gandhi formed his first nonviolent mass resistance movement.Over 500 people participated in this movement of Civil disobedience.Gandhi & his followers worked for the rights of black and Indian People.They also worked for the rights of women.Gandhi did Legal work for free and helped people in desperate living conditions.He nursed sick people abandoned during a plague,bandaged lepers,and comforted the dying.Gandhi said "These people are my brothers and Sisters" & "Their suffering is my suffering.The whole world is my family".

Gandhi believed deeply in the words of India's holy book,"The Bhagavad-Gita".He meditated several times a day and diminished his selfish desires for loving others and loving the "Lord of Love".He tried to avoid any feelings so as not to cloud his judgement.By believing in the power of Love and treating everyone as his family,Gandhi discoverd he was no longer shy and no longer afraid of anything.Gandhi and his followers worked to accept the good and bad in life,to meet challenges with humility and calm,and to bring harmony to the world.

Gandhi struggled for India's Independence.He want to rid India of its hierarchical and prejudiced caste system that placed priests at the highest social level,princes and soldiers at the nextlevel,laborers at a third level,and the poor-the "Untouchables"- at the fourth and lowest level.Gandhi called those people at the lowest level the"Children of God" and was determined to liberate them.Gandhi also worked to rid India of British oppression.For 300 years,several thousand British people ruled over 300 million Indian people.Gandhi spoke to millions of peopel,asking them to practice the selfless lov eof Satyagraha.Indians ceased to cooperate with the British and many were Jailed.Many spun their own cloth so they wouldn't have to purchase British-made cloth,called "KADHI", was worn by millions of people and became the symbol of Indian Independence.
"Takli and Charka " Used for Spinning Clothes.

Gandhi lead a HARTAL,or nationwide strike,and the entire country of India was essentially shut down.Gandhi's nonviolent Satyagraha campaign marched on,encouraged by Gandhi's words:"Non-Violence acts Continuously,silently,and Ceasely till it has transformed the diseased mass into a healthy one."
Walking From Sabarmati to Dandi.

 In 1922,the British imprisoned Gandhi for preaching non-violence,defying British rule,and writing anti-British pamphlets.He was in prison for two years,but the Satyagraha movement was secure.In hot,tropical countries like India,"Salt" is an essential part of everyone's diet.British law in India forbade Indians making their own Salt,forcing them to buy salt from the British.In 1930,Gandhi led the Salt March.Accompanied by seventy-eight people,Gandhi began to walk from Sabarmati to Dandi, a town on the ocean over 200 miles away.By the time Gandhi reached Dandi and picked up a pinch of sea salt in symbolic defiance of British rule,he had been joined by hundreds of thousands of people.The British Government was forced to acknowledge that it was beginning to lose its stronghold on India.

  After leading the Salt March and other defiant acts,Gandhi felt the imperial British chains weakening from around the Indian people and there was much rejoicing.Gandhi's folowers named  him "Mahatma".which means "great soul".The British government did not give up their hold on easily,however,and Gandhi was imprisoned after his Salt March.To put more pressure on the British,he decided to stop eating,or to "Fast".It was a powerful and non-violent way of threatening the British government.The British did not want to be responsible for Gandhi's death,so after six days the Government agreed to a pact to protect the civil rights of the "Untouchables".This kind of social change,brought about by peaceful means, was Gandhi's great Victory.In 1944,Gandhi's wife died.Not only had she been a steadfast supporter of her husband,but she was his beloved soul mate.Gandhi mourned her loss deeply.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

During World War II,Indians of Hindu faith and Indians of Muslim faith began to fight a civil war over differences of culture and religion.Massacres,bloodshed,and destruction tore at the country side.During this time of great chaos and suffering,Gandhi walked barefoot through remote ravaged villages,preaching his message of non-violence.On August 12,1947,India finally won its Independence from British rule.But the country was divided in to two separate countries:Hindu India to the South,led by Prime Minister "Jawarharlal Nehru",and Muslim Pakistan to the North,led by President "Muhammad Ali Jinnah"Gandhi did not celebrate India's Independence.He went on a fast to remind Hindus and muslims of the importance of showing patience,understanding,and forgiveness in the face of opposition.He yearned for his people to overcome hatred with love.Just as the Satyagraha movement enabled India to overcome British rule,Gandhi trusted the movement would unify the factions that now divided India.But such unification was not to be.
The seventy-eight year old Gandhi almost died during his fast.he was weak,but he continued to speak to his followers.Because Gandhi taught and expressed the brotherhood of people of all religions,he was hated by thouse Hindus and Muslims who believed their own religion was the only true religion.On the evening of January 30,1948,as Gandhi walked to a prayer meeting where thousands of people awaited him,a Hindu man named "Nathuram Godse" fired a gun at his heart.Gandhi fell.His last words were those of compassion and love:
"RAMA,RAMA,RAMA"{"I forgive You,I Love You,I Bless you."}Gandhi's World  was from 1869 to  till 1948.

Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in New Delhi.Milions of people in India and around the world grieved for this great messenger of peace.At this death Gandhi owned only a few possessions:two spoons,two pots,three monkeys,three books,one pocket watch,one pair of eyeglasses,one tin bowl (A souvenir from prison),one desk set,two pairs of sandals ,and his KADHI.Gandhi's ashes were mixed with rose petals and scattered by his family at the junction of three great Indian rivers-the Ganges,the Jumna, and the Saravati.
It is written in Gandhi's beloved Bhagavad -Gita that"to be united with the Lord of the supreme state.[ If one ] attain [s] to this,[ one will] pass from death to immortality". Mahatma Gandhi's insatiable love of humankind guided his life,changed the lives of millions,and surely made him mortal.Gandhi was greatly admired by World leaders and people from many nations.after Gandhi's assassination,the brilliant German-born American physicist "Albert Einstein" :said of him"Generations to come,it may be,will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon the Earth."

"Raj Ghat"
On this day of Gandhi Jayanti,the President and Prime Minister ,along with other eminent political leaders pay homage at RajGhat,the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated.Gandhi Jayanti is a National holiday and hence, all offices and schools,through out the country ,remain closed.Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions.Gandhi's favourite song:"Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram",is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him.Prayer meetings are held in various state capitals as well.Gandhi Jayanti is observed all over the country,both in Government and Non-Government Forums.In India,this day ,Liquor & Meat are nor consumed or taken.We find Gandhi photo in every Indian Currency (Coins & Rupee notes) and in Every Schools and Police stations ,the Photo of Mahatma Gandhi is found.Everyone should own great hope that we will all try to live our lives in Gandhi's honor-- in truth,peace and love.

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