1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

How Leo Tolstoy influenced Gandhi’s passisve resistance fight against the British September 11, 2014

Leo Tostoy is widely known as a great writer, Mahatma Gandhi is widely known as a great freedom fighter, the only one so far who could inspire people for the non-violence fights and made them win.

Little is known however about the connection between the two. Let me show you the missing link!

leo-tolstoy-painting-1  Gandhi

A couple of years before the death of Leo Tostoy, there was a highly interesting letter exchange between the two, please read here.

Gandhi mentioned several times in his life that Tolstoy was his true inspiration for the nonviolence fight.

A detailed text on relationship between Tostoy and Gandhi is here.

Further quoting the article “Tolstoy and Gandhi’s Law of Love” By Thomas Weber

When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi started to practice law in South Africa as a young barrister in the 1890s, he was confronted with glaring racial discrimination as well as various other injustices. It was then that he began to develop his satyagraha philosophy of nonviolence, through which he would later lead India to independence. Perhaps the most profound influence on Gandhi at this time were the ideas and living example of the Russian author Leo Tolstoy who, in the last year of his life, became Gandhi’s mentor on nonviolence.

During an interview in London with Evelyn Wrench, the editor of The Spectator, Gandhi was asked, “Did any book ever affect you supremely and was there any turning point in your life?” Gandhi replied that he changed the whole plan of his life after reading Ruskin’s Unto This Last, adding that “Tolstoy I had read much earlier. He affected the inner being.” Gandhi’s chief biographer and secretary in later life, Pyarelal, claims that so deeply was Gandhi’s thinking “impregnated with Tolstoy’s that the changes that took place in his way of life and thinking in the years that followed [his reading of Tolstoy] can be correctly understood and appreciated only in the context of the master’s life and philosophy.”

When, late in his life, his inner conflicts became unbearable, Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, the great Russian novelist, gave his estate to his family, disposed of much of his personal belongings and attempted to live the life of a poor and celibate peasant. In this attempt to put his personal philosophy into practice, he denounced authority and all violence, and became a vegetarian. His Christian anarchist life and moral and religious writings were to influence many people–not least of whom was the young Gandhi. (more…)

 

An interesting Mahatma Gandhi saying May 20, 2011

“To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the
meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any
field of life.

That is why my devotion to Truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say
without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing
to do with politics do not know what religion means.”

– Mahatma Gandiji, autobiography.

I find it very interesting, especially in connection with my earlier post on Daneel Andreev’s quote about love to evil which is only a highly enlightened soul is able to:In the distant future even more spiritual possibilities will arise. Even love for demons will become viable and necessary. History has already seen some saints who grew to such a love. ”

LOVE, axinia

 

 
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