Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi: 70 Messages of Peace

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Today, on the International Day of Non-Violence in honour of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, we take a look at some of his most profound quotes and teachings.

Nearly 70 years after his assassination he remains a source of strength, not only to people throughout South Africa and India, but around the world. Gandhi was famed for his belief in a nonviolent approach to conflict, and he lives on through his writing, teachings and the sage advice he imparted on the world throughout his life.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

“A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ uttered merely to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

“An ounce of patience is worth more than a tonne of preaching.”

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

“A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”

“See the good in people and help them.”

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

“The good man is the friend of all living things.”

“Civilization is the encouragement of differences.”

“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”

“That service is the noblest which is rendered for its own sake.”

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

“Those who cannot renounce attachment to the results of their work are far from the path.”

“Action expresses priorities.”

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”

“To lose patience is to lose the battle.”

“The future depends on what you do today.”

“An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.”

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.”

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

“Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

“First they ignore you, then laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”

“God has no religion.”

“The one religion is beyond all speech.”

“Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”

“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”

“Faith is put to the test when the situation is most difficult.”

“As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.”

“Faith becomes lame, when it ventures into matters pertaining to reason!”

“I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.”

“A leader is useless when he acts against the promptings of his own conscience.”

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends but to befriend one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion.”

“To retaliate against the relatives of the co-religionists of the wrong-doer is a cowardly act.”

“Ashram means a community of men of religion. I feel that an ashram was a necessity of life for me.”

“Religion is a matter of the heart. No physical inconvenience can warrant abandonment of one’s own religion.”

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

“If you want real peace in the world, start with children.”

“Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

“It is unwise to be too sure of ones own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

“God has given me no control over the following moment. I am concerned about taking care of the present.”

“A leader is useless when he acts against the promptings of his own conscience.”

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

“I have no disciples, being myself an aspirant after discipleship and in search of a guru.”

3rd November 1931: Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869 - 1948) arriving at No 10 Downing Street, London, for a conference with Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald. (Photo by J. Gaiger/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

“The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.”

“I believe that there is no prayer without fasting and there is no real fast without prayer.”

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

“I wish to change there minds, not kill them for weaknesses we all poses.”

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not even one man’s greed.”

“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”

“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.”

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed, always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”