Be the change that you wish to see in this world.
Bharatmata is writhing in anguish and pain over the loss. No man loved Bharatmata and Indians more than Mahatma Gandhi. Let the tragedy that was enacted in Delhi give the people of India the tune, reason, rhyme and melody for the history of their future. I pray that the history of India might be written with the rhythm and tune of the grief that Bharatmata had felt when Mahatma Gandhi fell.
No one could die a more glorious death than Mahatma Gandhi. He was going to the seat of his prayer to speak to his Rama. He did not die in the bed calling for hot water, doctors or nurses. He did not die after mumbling incoherent words in the sick bed. He died standing, not even sitting down, Rama was too eager to take him even before he could reach the seat of his prayer.
When Socrates died for his views and Christ for his faith, they believed that they would not get another example like that.
"The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere and I do not quite know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved dear, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will not see him again as we have seen him for these many years. We will not run to him for advice and seek solace from him and that is a terrible blow not to me only but to millions and millions in this country. And it is a little difficult to soften the blow by any advice that I or anyone else can give you. The light has gone out, I said and yet I was wrong. For the light that shown in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years and thousand years later, the light will still be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will solace to innumerable hearts. it represented the living truth and the eternal man was with us with his eternal truth reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking his ancient country to freedom. All his life he fought against evil and falsehood. He was constructive fighter and not a destructive one. The aim before him was never to destroy or annihilate the enemy but to bring about change in him and to win him over to his side. He was a great unifier in India who taught us not only a bare tolerance of others but a willing acceptance of them as our friends and comrades in common undertaking."
Great men and eminent men have monuments in bronze and marble set up for them, but this man of divine fire managed in his life-time to become enmeshed in millions and millions of hearts so that all of us became somewhat of the stuff that he was made of, though to an infinitely lesser degree. He spread out over India not in places only, or in select places, or in assemblies, but in every hamlet and hurt of the lowly and those who suffer. He lives in the hearts of millions of and he will live for immortal ages....
He has gone, an all over India there is a feeling of having been left desolate and forlorn. All of sense that feeling, and I do not know when we shall be able to get rid of it, and yet together with that feeling there is also a feeling of proud thanksgiving that it has been given to us of this generation to be associated with this mighty person. In ages to come, centuries and many millenniums after us, people will think of this generation when this man of God trod the earth and will think of is who, however small, could also follow his path and probably tread on that holy ground where his feet had been. Let us be worthy of him. Let us always be so.
For even though his mortal frame will turn in to ashes tomorrow, at 4.00 pm, Gandhiji's imperishable teachings will abide with us. I even feel that Gandhiji's immortal spirit is still hovering over us and will continue to watch over the nation's destiny in future also. The mad youth who killed him was wrong if he thought thereby he was destroying his noble mission. Perhaps God wanted Gandhiji's mission to fulfill and prosper through his death.
I am sure Gandhiji's supreme sacrifice will wake up the conscience of our countrymen and evoke a higher response in the heart of every Indian. I hope and pray that it may be given to us to complete Gandhiji's mission. At this solemn moment, no one of us can afford to waver or lose his or her heart. Let us all stand united and bravely face the national disaster that has overtaken us. Let us all solemnly pledge ourselves afresh to Gandhiji's teachings and ideals.
Mahatma Gandhi has carried on his frail shoulders a great deal of burden of humanity and now it was for them to stand together and share it. If millions of Indians could divide that burden and carry it successfully, it would be nothing short of a miracle.
We know him as our General, our Guide and a Father of our Nation. To the world at large, he was a teacher, seer and prophet. He gave to mankind a lesson which was as unique as it was sublime. In a world torn asunder by wars, hatred, suspicion and fear, Gandhiji came with his message of love for fellowman. To him to conquest was not the conquest of the battle field but not the conquest of self.
The light that illuminated our motherland and indeed the world amidst darkness and sorrow has suddenly gone out. The passing away of Mahatma Gandhi is the most stunning blow to that could fall on India. That he who made India free and self-reliant, a friend of and enemy of none, loved and respected by millions, should fall at the hands of an assassin, one of his own community and countrymen, is a matter of deepest shame and tragedy. He is of those whose influence never dies and indeed shines more and more with the passage of time.
The shot of the assessing not only vitally pierced through his mortal body but has grievously struck the very heart of Humanism and India, which could survive only if people resolutely decide to make the pursuit of such methods impossible.
Mahatma Gandhi, whose frail body was committed to the flames yesterday, is not dead. It was right that the cremation took place in the midst of the dead kings who were buried in Delhi, for he was the kingliest of all kings. It is right also that he who was the Apostle of Peace should have been taken to the cremation ground with all the honours of a great warrior. Far greater than all the warriors who led the armies to battle was this little man, the bravest, the most tried friend of all. Delhi has become the centre and sanctuary of the great revolutionary who emancipated his enslave country from foreign bondage and gave it to its freedom and its flag.
It is impossible to estimate his loss at this critical juncture in our history. I am sure that we shall miss his wise counsel more and more as the days pass by. He has led us faultlessly to our goal of political independence. The communal strife that almost immediately after August 15 wounded him to the depths. An India wedded to violence he could not tolerate. He saw the moral deterioration in us and, as a loving father, he again unwearyingly pointed out to us the right way. With his infinite love he was trying to quench the anger that raised in many breasts. He was the only thing that stood between us and disaster, for lawlessness and disorder and hate and violence can lead nowhere else.
Can we ever dream that Gandhiji was bringing harm to the Hindus or to their religion? Was it ever possible that this liberator of the Hindu community and emancipator of the low and downtrodden could even think of doing so? But men with narrow minds and limited vision who do not understand the core of Hindu Dharma thought it otherwise and the present calamity is a direct result of such an out look.
His death only proves that the world is not yet ready for his doctrine of truth and ahimsa as applied by him to individual and group life. The way of truth and nonviolence is yet the way of martyrdom as it has been throughout history. His faith in the moral law was more seriously tried by recent events, yet he stood the test. His faith did not falter in the darkest hour of his life. Gandhiji always held that the rigour of the moral law required that one must magnify one's own faults and those of one's community and minimize the false of others and of other communities. It is only thus that the moral law can be truly fulfilled, and when so fulfilled the result must be good. The man and the nation that work in the light of this moral law can never come to grief. Where there is dharma ultimate victory is a sure.
I am shocked beyond words at this fatal attack on Gandhiji. The incredible, the inconceivable, has happened. That this purest, most elevating, most inspiring man of our age should have suffered by a madman's anger shows that we have not improved since the days of Socrates, who had to drink hemlock, of Jesus, who was put on the cross.
Mahatma Gandhi, the lonely symbol of vanishing past, is no more. We have killed his body but the light in him, which is from the divine flame of Truth and Love, cannot be put out.
When will the world be safe for saints? May the Dominions, may the whole world, learn that if we are not to slide into abyss of violence, cruelty and chaos, there is no other way than that for which Mahatma Gandhi has lived and died.
I would have preferred silence in the face of these circumstances that surround us. For, any words we can find fall flat on amid such happenings.
This much, however, I will say, that the light which led us to freedom, though not yet to unity, still burns and will burn on, till it conquers. I believe firmly that a great and united future is the destiny of the nation and its people.
The power that brought us through so much struggle and suffering to freedom will achieve also, through whatever strife or trouble, the aim which so poignantly occupied the thoughts of the fallen leader at the time of his tragic ending : as it brought us freedom, it will bring us unity.
A free and united India will be there, and the mother will gather around her sons and weld them into a single national strength in the life of a great and united people.
It is not the time to speak as it is an occasion of mourning. Let us weep. Let the nation weep and wipe off from its soul the stain of the innocent blood of the greatest man the world has ever produced. We must follow the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi. He came to Delhi with a specific mission, either to do or die. He did a lot and in the end he laid down his life for what he wished to do. Let us now accomplish the sacred task that has been left undone by him.
Seldom, I think, human history records of one individual was at once a warrior, a prophet and a saint and yet deeply humble and intensely human.
It is this quality of all-embracing human warmth which stands out most prominent in his character.
Bapu lived and died for us all-every man, woman and child. He lived working unceasingly, and died a martyr's death, that we might be turn from the evil path of hatred, greed, violence and untruth. Bapu was full of love and gentleness, but in his fight with evil he was relentless. Bapu could fight evil without, because he had mastered the evil within.
May God give us the strength to love up to the teachings of the great master, at whose feet we had come together and sat due to some punya of our previous births! Tears rush to the eye at the thought that never more shall we hear that loving, soothing voice; never more shall we fill that magic touch of his pat, which always made one feel strong and lightened one's burden whether physical or mental. But we must not allow our emotion to be depleted by them. The agony that we all feel at our loss must be transmuted into action. We followed him with halting footsteps during his lifetime. Let us all pray that we may be able to do so now with firmness and determination. Within my heart I hear an acho say : "No, he is not dead. He lives and watches our fumbling efforts with same old, sweet, sad smile."
During the past few months that he was in Delhi it was the privilege of my three year old boy to be lovingly fondled by Bapu. I was a complete back number and once recently had told me that he missed Bapu more than me whenever he failed to turn up at Birla house. The little urchin now draws renewed tears from our eyes when he pouts his lips in imitation of the way his grandfather greeted him. And yet Gandhiji's interest in the narrow domestic circle was of the meagerest, and I had long ceased to look upon him as my father in any possessive sense. He was to me a saint as much as to any of you and I feel and see the void exactly as you do.
I, therefore, view the disaster with the detachment of one living in the north pole and having ties neither of blood nor of race with the Great One of whose loss we are as yet but dimly aware.
No man in recorded history ever lived a life more daring in its conception, more eventful in its import and more human in its urges and impulses. Here is a tragic occasion when one can say truthfully that the world is poorer today, poorer not merely by the passing of this greatest man of the age but by the circumstances in which a life of selfless dedication has been so cruelly and so wantonly cut short...
In life Gandhiji was a mighty rebel, in death Gandhiji is humanity's beacon light.
He stood for humanitarian principles Mahatma Gandhi did not belong to India alone; he stood for elemental principles essential to the welfare of humanity as a whole.
Here was a man whose eyes were opened to the tribulations of his people generations ago in a far-off land; who from that day onwards gave his mind-and now literally his body-to their salvation. How far Mahatma Gandhi's devotion to things of the spirit in the greatest and most influential tradition of the East will prove of lasting and immortal consequence must largely depend on the extent to which those of this generation and others immediately following are inspired by his precepts and his memory.
He provided alternative to atomic warfare Mahatma Gandhi was not merely a great nationalist but perhaps a greater internationalist, proving by action that the two are not incompatible. He was unique in evolving, and in rendering world-famous, a weapon novel in modern times with which to fight, the weapon of non-violence. The world may soon find it has no alternative, because of the horrifying new means of slaughter now developed.
Whether the nations come to their senses in time, or are engulfed in atomic war, Mahatma Gandhi will stand pre-eminent in this century as the man who not only saw, before most others, the calamitous objectives to which violence of its nature tends, but who made practical efforts on an unprecedentedly large scale to provide an alternative.
Born to refashion a new civiIisation Mahatma Gandhi was born to refashion a new civilisation and make the people of India the vehicle of that civilization. No span of individual mortal life-long as it was by the mercy of Providence-could suffice for anything more than laying the foundations. With the disappearance of his physical body it has become the glorious destiny of his country and his people to build upon the foundations he has laid a structure of which he as well as humanity may be proud.
He was the only ray of light to help us through these darkest days.
I associate myself with the tributes that have been paid to this great man.
He died in the discharge of the duty in which he believed. His tragic death, however much we may deplore it and however much we may condemn the murderer, was a noble death, for he died in the discharge of his duty.
His removal from the stage of Indian politics at this juncture is an irreparable loss.
His great effort for the restoration of communal harmony will be remembered with gratitude by all lovers of peace and goodwill. We earnestly hope that his efforts for communal harmony which he had foremost in his heart just before his tragic death will be crowned with success.
Mahatma Gandhi is dead. The world has been deprived of the sight and sound of his frail body and aged voice - the body and voice that had in the last few months almost lost, for a large section of mankind, their personal and ephemeral character and become timeless symbols of compassionate love and fearless attitude. In his last momentous days Gandhi, the politician, give place to the infinitely greater Gandhi, the man.
The best love and most venerated political leader and moral evangelist of a near subcontinent, and idol of millions, has been publicly murdered. In India and Pakistan today every heart and every conscience should be search to assess how far every heart and every conscience is answerable for this most fearful of tragedies. The people of India and indirectly the people of Pakistan for he was trying to befriend both, have added their other losses. The most grievous loss of all - the loss of Gandhiji.
The Queen and I are deeply shocked by the death of Mr. Gandhi. Will you please convey to the people of India our sincere sympathy in the irreparable loss which they, and indeed mankind, have suffered.
Gandhiji's death is truly a loss to mankind which sorely needs the living light of those ideals of love and tolerance for which he strove and died. In her hour of deep sorrow India is proud to have given to the world a man of his imperishable renown and is confident that his example will be a source of inspiration and strength in the fulfillment of her destiny...
India, indeed the world, will not see the like of him again, perhaps, for centuries.
Our one consolation in this hour of unparalleled grief is that his life of truth, tolerance and love towards his fellows may inspire our troubled world to save itself by following his noble example.
The death of Mahatma Gandhi is not only a national disaster, but an international tragedy. My heart is so full that I am unable to find words. Gandhiji's death is world loss. He was a great leader. The utmost we can do now is to try and carry on and live up to the principles which Gandhiji taught us.
It shows how dangerous it is to be too good.
The long struggle against British power never led to alienation from the English people. Not only did he count several viceroys, and other British rulers as his friends, but even among those who are his close intimates, among those who ran to him with all their problems and difficulties, among those who love to call him 'Bapu', not a few were Englishmen and women.
The Mahatma did not teach a soft doctrine of complacence but he did, like Jesus Christ, convince millions of people that the only alternative to an endless succession of hates and wars was to realise that truth and love were the supreme methods of warfare, for the only true victory is to turn your enemy into your friend...I was present when Mahatma Gandhi held his prayer meeting at Mehrauli Tomb, as part of his brave and beneficent campaign to end hatred and bitterness between Hindus and Muslims. People sometimes speak as if the western world is incapable of appreciation of such a life as Gandhi's...But they sometimes forget what Gandhi always remembered that Christ himself taught a doctrine that was closely akin to ahimsa...
The darkness which is over the earth today is but the deepening of a shadow which has fallen across all generations of men. The murder of Mahatma Gandhi is something far more terrible than any political crime. It belongs to the supernatural realm of high religious tragedy.
The hand that killed the Mahatma is the same hand that nailed the Cross. It is the hand that fired the faggots. It is the hand that through the ages has been growing ever more mighty in war and less sure in the pursuit of peace. It is your hand and mine....
Yet after the work of the Mahatma, it is not too presumptuous to hope for a miracle. It may be that the death of this leader, who was held in so much reverence by so many millions, will raise men to heights they have not hitherto attained. It may be that love against which the gun has no power will evoke out of this great tragedy the beginnings of peace and unity for India.
Now in the pain of Mahatma Gandhi's death it is possible to realise how lasting and how strong is the faith which he preached. Now we can see that the light which was kindled in the East has not been put out, but is made one with the white radiance of eternity.
Mahatma Gandhi will rightly take his place alone in Indian history as a leader who embodied far more than his own religious community's ideas of human brotherhood, of respect for individual conscience, and of supreme self-sacrifice in support of right.
To the West he is, above all, the man who revived and refreshed the meaning and value of religion.
Mahatma Gandhi has lost his life truly as a martyr in the fight against communal conflict...The solemnity of the moment calls for renewed efforts to find the path of co-operation and democratic unity.
The assassination is not only a calamity for India but for the world. Mahatma Gandhi was one of the great teachers of mankind.
He gave to Indians a new sense of power and responsibility and the value of political agitation.
His death has plunged in a personal mourning all men who have not ceased to believe in the power of the spirit and the radiance of godliness. Let this tragic death continue to serve his noble dream of human fraternity.
The representative of your independence and freedom.
May the memory of the Apostle of India inspire men of all races in their march towards liberty and justice and may the idea of mutual understanding prevail over violence and fatalism.
Mr. Gandhi will on with us as an example of humanity...his influence will be stronger than ever before...
The great man was the spiritual leader of millions of Indians and had always struggled for peace.
Mahatma Gandhi exceptionally personified the Prince of Peace whose loss affects all humanity.
Everyone concerned in the better future of mankind must be deeply moved by the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi. He died as the victim of his own principles, the principle of non-violence. He died because in time of disorder and general irritation in his country, he refused armed protection for himself. It was his unshakable belief that the use of force is an evil in itself, that therefore it must be avoided by those who are striving for supreme justice to his belief. With his belief in his heart and mind, he has led a great nation on to its liberation. He has demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled no only through the cunning game of the usual political manoeuvres and trickeries but through the cogent example of morally superior conduct of life.
The admiration for Mahatma Gandhi in all countries of the world rests on recognition, mostly sub-conscious, recognition of the fact that in our time of utter moral decadence, he was the only statesman to stand for a higher level of human relationship in political sphere. This level we must, with all our forces, attempt to reach. We must learn the difficult lesson that an endurable future of humanity will be possible only if, also in international relations, decisions are based on law and justice and not on self-righteous power, as they have been upto now.
Gandhi was great Indian nationalist, but at the same time he was a leader of international stature. His teachings and actions have left a deep impression on millions of people. As a teacher and leader, his influence made itself felt not only in India, but everywhere in the world and his death brings great sorrow to all peace loving people. Another giant among men has fallen in the cause of brotherhood and peace. I know that the people of Asia will be inspired by his tragic death to strive with increased determination to achieve the goals of cooperation and mutual trust for which the Mahatma has now given his life.
There is no doubt Gandhi had great spiritual qualities and the one only hope, even though he is not with his people, is that his influence had much of value to give to the rest of the world and one hopes the very violence of his death will turn people away from violence.
Nothing more revolting has occurred in history of modern world than the senseless assassination of this venerable man. That he should die by violence is one of those bitter anachronisms that seems to refute all logic.
In the evolution of civilization, if it is to survive, all men can not fail eventually to adopt his belief that the process of mass application of force to resolve contentious issues is fundamentally not only wrong but contains within itself the germs of self-destruction.
Gandhiji, however, was one of those prophets who lived far ahead of the times.
"He was right, he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. However long the follies of the violent continue, they but prove that Gandhi was right. 'Resist to the very end', he said, 'but without violence' Of violence the world is sick. Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi."
"Gandhi was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force on a large scale. The intellectual and moral satisfaction that I failed to gain from the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, the revolutionary methods of Marx and Lenin, the social contract theory of Hobbes, the 'back to nature' optimism of Rousseau, and the superman philosophy of Nietzsche, I found in the non-violent resistance philosophy of Gandhi."
"If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore him at our own risk."
"Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate. True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love."
"Then rose the star of Gandhi. He showed that a doctrine of nonviolence was possible."
"Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live."
"The name Mahatma Gandhi has become synonymous with right and justice; towards this end it has become an inspiration to millions of oppressed people and has kindled the light of liberty."
"Today, when world peace is threatened with atomic and nuclear weapons capable of annihilating the human race, Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of love and truth and of respect for others' rights have become even more meaningful than at any other time."
"I and others may be revolutionaries but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly. Nothing more, nothing less."
"Mahatma Gandhi came and stood at the door of India's destitute millions, clad as one of themselves, speaking to them in their own language...who else has so unreservedly accepted the vast masses of the Indian people as his flesh and blood...Truth awakened Truth."
"Gandhi is not only for India a hero of national history, whose legendary memory will be enshrined in the millennial epoch.Gandhi has renewed, for all the peoples of the West, the message of their Christ, forgotten or betrayed."
"For many, he was like a return of Christ. For others, for independent thinkers, Gandhi was a new incarnation of Jean-Jaques Rosseau and of Tolstoy, denouncing the illusions and the crimes of civilization, and preaching to men the return to nature, to the simple life, to health."
"I have seen here, in Switzerland, the pious love that he [Gandhi] inspired in humble peasants of the country side and the mountains.”
"Many of his principles have universal application and eternal validity, and I hope the passing years will show that his faith in the efficacy of nonviolent pressure as an agent for peaceful change is as justified today all over the world as it was in his time in India."
"Gandhi's way of thinking can lead directly into the political structure of the future world, in which a nation might be much better protected by not possessing atomic weapons than by having them, or might pursue its own interests much more efficiently by participating in the interests of other nations than by ignoring them. It was the unique example given by Gandhi which demonstrated that the most sincere personal engagement combined with complete renunciation of violence can lead to great political success.We are all indebted to him for this example."
"Not since Buddha has India so revered any man. Not since St. Francis of Assissi has any life known to history been so marked by gentleness, disinterestedness, simplicity of soul and forgiveness of enemies. We have the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led by a saint."
"When asked what attribute he most admired in human nature, Mahatma Gandhi replied, simply and immediately, 'Courage'. 'Nonviolence', he said, 'is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave."
"I have the greatest admiration and respect for Mahatma Gandhi. He was a great human being with a deep understanding of human nature. He made every effort to encourage the full development of the positive aspects of the human potential and to reduce or restrain the negative. His life has inspired me ever since I was a small boy. Ahimsa or nonviolence is the powerful idea that Mahatma Gandhi made familiar throughout the world. But nonviolence does not mean the mere absence of violence. It is something more positive, more meaningful than that, for it depends wholly on the power of truth. The true expression of nonviolence is compassion. Some people seem to think that compassion is just a passive emotional response instead of a rational stimulus to action. To experience genuine compassion is to develop a feeling of closeness to others combined with a sense of responsibility for their welfare. This develops when we accept that other people are just like ourselves in wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. What is the relevance of nonviolence and compassion to the future of humanity? As Mahatma Gandhi showed by his own example, nonviolence can be implemented not only in politics but also in day-to-day life. That was his great achievement. He showed that nonviolence should be active in helping others. Nonviolence means that if you can help and serve others you should do so. If you cannot, you must at least restrain yourself from harming others. I believe that it is very important that we find positive ways in which children and adults can be educated in the path of compassion, kindness and nonviolence. If we can actively do this I believe we will be fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi's legacy to us. It is my prayer that, as we enter this new century, nonviolence and dialogue will increasingly come to govern all human relations."
"Just an old man in a loin cloth in distant India. Yet when he died, humanity wept."
True to its spiritual heritage, India has contributed in the personality of Mahatma Gandhi the greatest truth, the truth of God. No other nation in this century has contributed anything of such eternal value. But India has. And this I must say; that for another thousand years the world must look towards the idealism of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was an avatar. I don't mean a mythological figure or a personality. Who is an avatar? one who manifests in his life to the utmost the attributes of God on earth; he is an avatar. Who has done this in this twentieth century of ours? Mahatma Gandhi. He is an avatar. India has contributed something to the United States: idealism, the truth by living example rather than theory, not in words, not not from the pulpit, but from among the people. Not in words but in action. India has contributed Mahatma Gandhi's life, his ideals. There is no other way for mankind to establish the kingdom of God on earth, no other way except the path which Mahatma Gandhi has revealed unto us."