Thoughts on life
My life for freedom
The values of life - spiritual maxims
Gandhi gave up having sex at the age of 36 and became totally chaste although married. He made the vows of brahmacharya, according to an ideal of spiritual awareness and harmony, which provides (in addition to chastity) purity of aspirations and thoughts, self-control of the palate and self-discipline. Gandhi said that the importance he gave to chastity was not linked to a contempt for sexuality, but, on the contrary, to a profound respect for the generative power of the sexual act: "God gave man the blessing of the semen which has the highest power and to woman that of a field richer than the richest land that can be found anywhere in the globe. IS
certainly a criminal madness that man allows himself to send his most precious good wasted. He must keep it with greater care than it lends to the richest pearls in his possession. »
Still from the point of view of the deltaparigraha Gandhi tried to spread the use of the spun and hand-woven cloth made at home in the lil khada. With his supporters he practiced weaving his clothes using a charkal manual spinning machine.
Weaving was also put into practice as a form of struggle against the British empire from which they came
imported western-style clothes, produced in England (which therefore suffered an economic loss from their failure to sell). In this way, moreover, India could make its economy independent (expanding the internal production of goods to other sectors) from that of the English Empire.
Gandhi was always dressed in the peasant dress, dhoti, white, woven in khadi thanks to the teachings received by the women of the Ashram of Ahmedabad. The simple white dress in khadi, in addition to the reasons for economic independence, became a symbol of the Indian non-violent struggle, so much so that it became the official uniform of the Indian Congress Party. It represented both the freedom from English imperialism and the purity of the struggle which the satyagrahis waged. The adoption of a single habit for all Indians, regardless of their economic or religious differences, also went in open contrast with the caste system against which Gandhi threw himself several times and in the name of real social equality. By dressing that dress, the Indians would have made a kind of act of poverty and equality between them, renouncing pomp and addressing a simple and sober lifestyle. The charka assumed such importance that when in 194 7 India obtained / independence the design of the spinning wheel became part of the flag of India (which was that of the Indian Congress Party) .. "
Gandhi was a strict vegetarian (we would say vegan today) and during his life he experimented with various diets in search of a minimum sufficient diet to satisfy body needs in order to exercise the least possible violence on nature. Gandhi's great respect for animals is essentially due to the belief that men and animals are equally creatures of God sensitive to joy and pain and that man's moral progress therefore consists in loving and protecting other creatures: Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be assessed by the way in which its animals are treated »Gandhi also expressed, for these reasons, a severe condemnation of vivisection, comparing it for his desire for unscrupulous omnipotence to black magic:
«My love for natural care and indigenous systems does not blind me to the progress made by Western medicine, despite having stigmatized it as black magic. I used that harsh expression and did not withdraw it because it contemplated vivisection and all the horror connected, because it does not stop in front of any practice, however malignant it may be, just to prolong the life of the body and because it ignores the soul immortal who resides in the body. »
Gandhi often practiced long periods of fasting, which he placed essentially in the field
spiritual as a means of detaching oneself more and more from the earthly reality of the body, similarly to chastity and simplicity of life. In fact, he believed that fasting, but more generally control over food intake, brought
the increase in sense control, indispensable
for a spiritual asceticism. Fasting was also used as a political weapon. As such it was also included among the means that the non-violent revolutionary could use to pursue his cause.
«Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also / last article of my creed. »
"If love and non-violence are not the law of our being, my whole argument falls apart" Ahimsa is love for one's neighbor, a selfless feeling of doing the good of others, even at the cost of personal sacrifices: according to Gandhi all living beings, as creatures of God, are linked together and must be united by brotherly love.
Following the teaching of Christ of "Love your neighbor as yourself" Gandhi preaches fraternal friendship between all human beings, Muslims and Hindus, men and women, pariahs and brahmins, in the name of love and equality: "You and I are one thing: I cannot hurt you without hurting myself" Everyone must also be willing to die for the other, to fight for injustices to the end, provided that truth and justice triumph.
According to Gandhi, justice lies in the reduction of the rate of violence present in society. If violence is used, albeit for a short time, to inevitably lead to an increase in the rate of violence. The means must be consistent with the end; a means cannot be adopted which leads to the denial of the end. If the aim of the struggle for justice is ahimsa, that is, the denial of violence in human relations, it cannot be achieved by resorting to violence.
In this regard, addressing the Bolsheviks, Gandhi wrote: «I do not believe in the victories obtained quickly, with violence. The Bolshevik friends who look with interest at my teaching must understand that as much as I can share and admire noble aspirations and feelings, I am inflexible against violent methods, even when they are placed at the service of the noblest cause ... The experience in fact it teaches me that lasting false positive results cannot come from falsehood and violence »