As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, what are the incredible lessons that we can learn from his life ?
1. A deep connection with one’s roots: The Mahatma who eventually became a global icon was deeply connected to his religious, spiritual and national roots. Drawing inspiration and life-lessons from the Bhagvad Geeta, Sanatana Dharma, the principles of Jainism and other facets of the ancient indian ethos and way of life, the Mahatma shaped his potent movement against the mighty British empire.
2. Symbolism with a purpose: Gandhiji was well aware of the importance and weight of symbols that would draw people together to rally around a common cause which was the freedom movement at that time. Khadi, the Salt Satyagraha, the Charkha( spinning wheel) and others were not just mere symbols used as a marketing device but had a robust thought process. Spinning our own cloth, making our own salt would eventually break the economic back of the British Empire whose wealth had come to depend to a great extent on the Indian Market.
3. Authenticity and Naturalness: Mahatma Gandhi met with Heads of State and eminent dignitaries in his loin cloth and shawl no matter what the occasion he was himself and authentic. No matter what the criticism or the mockery, there was firm conviction in his own ideals.
4. The Power of Prayer: Mahatma Gandhi was a firm believer in the power of prayer, meditation and a collective intention to bring change in oneself and in society. Everyday, the Mahatma gathered thousands in prayer and chanting. It was this spiritual force that finally brought India her freedom.
5. Relevance of Ideology across geographies and different time periods: Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology eventually became relevant and was applied in different ways in so many parts of the world. By Martin Luther King, Mandela to just name a couple.
These powerful lessons can serve as a guide map for people everywhere.
Happy Gandhi Jayanti!