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Mahatma Gandhi - Lisbon, Portugal
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
N 38° 42.162 W 009° 13.032
29S E 481113 N 4283808
Quick Description: Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Belem, Lisbon.
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Date Posted: 12/21/2011 2:19:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMDBTR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 14

Long Description:
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. A pioneer of satyagraha, or resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience—a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence—Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is often referred to as Mahatma or "Great Soul," an honorific first applied to him by Rabindranath Tagore). In India, he is also called Bapu or "Father" and officially honoured as the Father of the Nation. His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Gandhi was born a Hindu and practised Hinduism all his life. As a common Hindu, he believed all religions to be equal, and rejected all efforts to convert him to a different faith. He was an avid theologian and read extensively about all major religions. He had the following to say about Hinduism:

"Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being...When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita."

Gandhi wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita in Gujarati. The Gujarati manuscript was translated into English by Mahadev Desai, who provided an additional introduction and commentary. It was published with a Foreword by Gandhi in 1946.

Gandhi believed that at the core of every religion was truth and love (compassion, nonviolence and the Golden Rule). He also questioned what he saw as hypocrisy, malpractices, and dogma in all religions, including his own, and he was a tireless advocate for social reform in religion. Some of his comments on various religions are:

" Thus if I could not accept Christianity either as a perfect, or the greatest religion, neither was I then convinced of Hinduism being such. Hindu defects were pressingly visible to me. If untouchability could be a part of Hinduism, it could but be a rotten part or an excrescence. I could not understand the raison d'être of a multitude of sects and castes. What was the meaning of saying that the Vedas were the inspired Word of God? If they were inspired, why not also the Bible and the Koran? As Christian friends were endeavouring to convert me, so were Muslim friends. Abdullah Seth had kept on inducing me to study Islam, and of course he had always something to say regarding its beauty."
—Gandhi's autobiography

"As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side."

The sayings of Muhammad are a treasure of wisdom, not only for Muslims but for all of mankind.

Later in his life, when he was asked whether he was a Hindu, he replied, "Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew."

Gandhi met the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba aboard the S.S. Rajputana on his way to the second Round Table Conference in London in 1931, saying that he was very happy to meet Baba and asking him to break his silence.

In spite of their deep reverence to each other, Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore engaged in protracted debates more than once. These debates exemplify the philosophical differences between the two most famous Indians at the time. On 15 January 1934, an earthquake hit Bihar and caused extensive damage and loss of life. Gandhi maintained this was because of the sin committed by upper caste Hindus by not letting untouchables in their temples (Gandhi was committed to the cause of improving the fate of untouchables, referring to them as Harijans). Tagore vehemently opposed Gandhi's stance, maintaining that an earthquake can only be caused by natural forces, not moral reasons, however repugnant the practice of untouchability may be.

Gandhi took a keen interest in theosophy. He empathised with theosophy's message of "universal brotherhood and consequent toleration", as he put it in 1926.

From Wikipedia
Associated Religion(s): Hinduism but also Christianism and Islamism

Statue Location: Small garden in Belem

Entrance Fee: Free

Artist: unknown

Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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