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…)

 

Leo Tolstoy’s short stories – true pearls! December 6, 2009

Filed under: Russia,spirituality,writing — axinia @ 5:09 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

 

Leo Tolstoy is mostly known for this great works like “War & Peace” or “Anna Karenina”, however he has left many short stories of great wisdom. Let me share with you one here.

THREE HERMITS. 

 An OLD LEGEND CURRENT IN THE VOLGA DISTRICT

‘And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.’ — Matt. vi. 7, 8.
A BISHOP was sailing from Archangel to the Solovétsk Monastery; and on the same vessel were a number of pilgrims on their way to visit the shrines at that place. The voyage was a smooth one. The wind favourable, and the weather fair. The pilgrims lay on deck, eating, or sat in groups talking to one another. The Bishop, too, came on deck, and as he was pacing up and down, he noticed a group of men standing near the prow and listening to a fisherman who was pointing to the sea and telling them something. The Bishop stopped, and looked in the direction in which the man was pointing. He could see nothing however, but the sea glistening in the sunshine. He drew nearer to listen, but when the man saw him, he took off his cap and was silent. The rest of the people also took off their caps, and bowed.

‘Do not let me disturb you, friends,’ said the Bishop. ‘I came to hear what this good man was saying.’

‘The fisherman was telling us about the hermits,’ replied one, a tradesman, rather bolder than the rest.

‘What hermits?’ asked the Bishop, going to the side of the vessel and seating himself on a box. ‘Tell me about them. I should like to hear. What were you pointing at?’

‘Why, that little island you can just see over there,’ answered the man, pointing to a spot ahead and a little to the right. ‘That is the island where the hermits live for the salvation of their souls.’

‘Where is the island?’ asked the Bishop. ‘I see nothing.’

‘There, in the distance, if you will please look along my hand. Do you see that little cloud? Below it and a bit to the left, there is just a faint streak. That is the island.’

The Bishop looked carefully, but his unaccustomed eyes could make out nothing but the water shimmering in the sun. (more…)

 

 
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