Gandhi's 11 Vows

Ahimsa Nonviolence
Satya Truth
Asetya Non Stealing
Brahmacharya Self Discipline
Aparigraha Non Possession
Sharirshrama Bread Labour
Aswada Control of the Palate
Sarvatra Bhayavarjana Fearlessness
Sarva Dharma Samantva Equality of all Religions
Swadeshi Use Locally Made Goods
Sparshbhavana Remove Untouchability
Ahimsa (Nonviolence)

Ahimsa is not merely a negative state of harmlessness , but it is positive state of love, of doing good even to the evil-doer. -Young India,August 25, 1920

Ahimsa is a weapon of matchless potency. It is the summum bonum of life. It is an attribute of the brave, in fact, it is their all. It does not come within the reach of coward. It is no wooden or lifeless dogma, but a living and life giving force. -Young India, Sept 6, 1926.

Ahimsa is not the way of the timid or cowardly. It is the way of the brave ready to face death. He who perishes sword in hand is no doubt brave; but he who faces death without raising his little finger and without flinching, is braver. -Young India, Oct. 11, 1928

Satya (Truth)

Truth has no form. Therefore everyone one will form such an idea or image of Truth as appeals to him, and there will be as many images of Truth as there are men. These will be true as long as they last. For they enable a man to obtain everything he wants. -Diary of Mahadevbhai, p. 120 .

Truth should be Truth in thought, Truth in speech, and Truth in action. To the man who has realised this Truth in its fulness , nothing else remains to be known, because all knowledge is necessarily included in it. What is not included in it, is not truth and so not true knowledge. -From Yeravda Mandir, p. 2.

Asteya (Non-stealing)

Non-stealing does not mean merely not to steal. To keep or take anything which one does not is also stealing. And of course, stealing is fraught with violence.- Bapu-ke-Aashirvad, November 24, 1944.

We are not always aware of our real needs, and most of us improperly multiply our wants and thus , unconsciously, make thieves of ourselves. One who follows the observance of Non-stealing will bring about a progressive reduction of his own wants. Much of the distressing poverty in this world has risen out of the breaches of the principle of Non-stealing. -From Yeravda Mandir, p. 20.

Brahmacharya (Self Discipline)

Brahamchraya means control of all the organs of sense. He who attempts to control only one organ, and allows all the others free play is bound to find his effort futile .-Bapu's Letters to Mira. P.257.

To hear suggestive stories with the ears, to see suggestive sights with the eyes, to taste stimulating food with the tongue, to touch exciting things with the hands, and at the same time to expect to control the only remaining organ, is like putting one's hands in the fire and expecting to escape being hurt. Bapu's letters to Mira. P.257.

Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Non possession means that we should not hoard anything that we do not need today. Bapu-ke-Aashirvad, Nov. 25,1944.

The less you possess, the less you want , the better you are. And better for what ? Not for your enjoyment of this life but for enjoyment of personal service to your fellow beings; service to which you dedicate yourself ,body, soul and mind. -Mahatma Vol. 3, p.155.

When you dispossess yourself of everything you have, you really possess all the treasures of the world. In other words , you really get all that is in reality necessary for you., everything. If the food is necessary, food will come to you. -My Philosophy of Life, p. 138.

Sharirshrama (Bread Labour)

Earn thy bread by the sweat of the brow- says Bible. Bread labour means that everyone is expected to perform sufficient body-labour in order to entitle him to his living. It is not ,therefore, necessary to earn one's living by bread labour ,taking living' in its broader sense. But everyone must perform some useful body-labour. Young India, Nov. 5, 1925.

The economics of Bread labour are the living way of life . It means that every man has to labour with his body for his food and clothing. If I can convince the people of the value and necessity of bread-labour, there never will be any want of bread and cloth. - Harijan, Sept. 7, 1947.

The idea is that every healthy individual must labour enough for his food and his intellectual faculties must be exercised not in order to obtain a living or amass a fortune, but only in the service of mankind. If this principle is observed everywhere, all men would be equal, none would starve and world would be saved from a sin.-Harijan, Aug 3, 1935.

Aswada (Control of the Palate)

Unless we are satisfied with foods that are necessary for the proper maintenance of our physical health, and unless we are prepare to rid ourselves of stimulating heating and exciting condiments that we mixed with food. We will certainly not be able to control the over-abundant, unnecessary, and exciting stimulation that we may have. If we do not do that, the result naturally is that we abuse ourselves, and become less than animals and brutes. -Speeches & Writings of Mahatma Gandhi. p. 384

The diet should be healthy and well-balanced. The body was never meant to be treated as a refuse-bin. Food is meant to sustain the body. -My Philosophy of Life.p.111

Sarvatra Bhayavarjana (Fearlessness)

Fearlessness should connote absence of all kinds of fear - fear of death, fear of bodily injury, fear of hunger, fear of insults, fear of public disapprobation, fear of ghosts and evil spirits, fear of anyone's anger. Freedom from all these and other such fears constitute fearlessness. - Bapu - Ke Ashirwad. Nov 26, 1944

Fearlessness does not mean arrogance and aggressiveness. That in itself is a sign of fear. Fearlessness presupposes calmness and peace of mind. For that it is necessary to have a living faith in God. - Harijan, Nov. 3, 1946.

Sarva Dharma Samantva (Equality of the religions)

Religions have been interwoven . One sees a special quality in every one of them . But no one religion is higher than another. All are complimentary to one another .Since this is my belief, the speciality of any one religion cannot run counter to another, cannot be at variance with universally accepted principles. - Harijanbandhu, March 19, 1933.

For I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given, and I believe that they
were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that, if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of those faiths we should find that they were at bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.- Harijan, Feb. 16, 1934 .

Just as men have different names and faces, these religions also are different. But just as men are all human in spite of their different names and forms, just as leaves of a tree though different as leaves are the same as the leaves of the same tree , all religions though different are the same. We must treat all religions as equals. - Harijanbandhu, July 22, 1934.

Swadeshi (Use Locally Made Goods)

Swadeshi is that sprit in us which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours before others , and to use things produced in our neighbourhood in preference to those more remote. So doing, we cannot serve humanity to the best of our capacity, we cannot serve humanity by neglecting our neigbours. - Young India, April 20 1919.

It is sinful to buy and use articles made by sweated labour. It is sinful to eat American wheat & and let my neighbour, the grain dealer starve for want of custom. Similarly, it is sinful for to wear the latest finery of Regent Street when I know that if I had but worn the things woven by the neighbouring spinners and weavers, that would have clothed me, and fed and clothed them. - Young India, Oct. 13, 1921.

My definition of Swadeshi is well known . I must not serve my distant neighbour at the expense of the nearest. It is never vindictive or punitive. It is in no sense narrow , for I buy from every part of the world what is needed for my growth. I refuse to buy from anybody anything, however nice or beautiful, if it interferes with my growth or injures those whom Nature has made my first care. - Young India, March 12, 1925.

Swadeshi is that spirit in us which restricts us to the use and service of our immediate surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote & I should use only things that are produced by my immediate neighbours and serve those industries by making them efficient and complete where they might be found wanting. It is suggested that such Swadeshi , if reduced to practice, will lead to the millennium. - Speeches and Writings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sparshbhavna (Untouchability)

Untouchability means pollution by the touch of certain persons in reason of their birth in a particular state or family. It is an excrescence. In the guise of religion, it is always in the way, and erupts religion. - From Yeravda Mandir, p. 31

Removal of untouchability means love for, and service of, the whole world and thus merges into Ahimsa. Removal of untouchability spells the breaking down of barriers between man and man and between the various orders of Being. -From Yeravda Mandir, p.33

I consider untouchability to be a heinous crime against humanity. It is not a sign of self-restraint, but an arrogant assumption of superiority. - Young India, Dec. 8, 1920