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Kiouni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 01:33 AM
Original message
Learning from Gandhi
I'm reading the Autobiography of Gandhi and this section really stuck out at me. It's from the beginning chapters where he is reflecting on his childhood:

Only Christianity was at the time an exception. I developed a sort of dislike for it. And for a reason. In those days Christian missionaries used to stand in a corner near the high school and hold forth, pouring abuse on Hindus and their gods. I could no endure this. I must have stood there to hear them once only, but that was enough to dissuade me from repeating the experiment. About the same time, I heard of a well known Hindu having been converted to Christianity. It was the Town that, when he was baptized, he had t eat beef and drink liquor, that he also had to change his clothes, and that thenceforth he began to go about in European costume including a hat. These things got on my nerves. Surely, thought I, a religion that compelled one to eat beef, drink liquor, and change one's own clothes did not deserve the name.

----

About the same time Mohandas had doubts about his own faith and his brother responded, "When you grow up, you will be able to solve these doubts yourself."
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 06:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Gandhi as an adult
called himself a Christian, among other things. One of his sayings that I think shows his mature insight on Christianity is: "Living Christ is a living cross; life without Christ is living death." Smart man, that Gandhi.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I doubt he said that.
Where did you get that idea?

The only references I find are at unsourced Christian web sites like this: sojo.net
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I don't really
care if you believe it or not.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Do you care if anyone believes it? nt
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. I don't understand that quote. Can you explain it to me?
Edited on Thu Nov-23-06 02:45 PM by Evoman
What is "Living Christ is a living cross" supposed to mean?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. It is simple
It is a corollary of the woo woo credo.

http://www.skepticreport.com/funnies/woowoocredo.htm

See #36, substitute Gandhi for Einstein.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Beware of any enterprise that requires new clothes."
That's a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. I believe he may have stolen it, but I'm not sure where.
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jpwhite Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. Gandhi was awesome
I wish the shias and sunnis would follow Gandhi's example of non-violence. It would drive the US out of Iraq within 3 months because it would make us look so bad that the president would have to pull out the troops.

James
jpwhite@okstatealumni.org

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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-28-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. He supported violence in certain circumstances.
"Mohandas Gandhi, like many other modern Hindus who revere the Gita, regarded its warfare as allegorical, representing the conflict between good and evil. Gandhi, who ordinarily subscribed to nonviolence, allowed for an exception to this general rule when a small, strategic act of violence would defuse a greater violence.
Most exponents of Hindu nationalism have differed with Gandhi on the religious necessity for nonviolence, however. The Hindu Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Patriotism Organization) began training paramilitary cadres for the defense of Hindu culture in the 1920s. A former member of the RSS was Gandhi's assassin, and followers of the RSS stormed an ancient mosque in Ayodhya in 1992, setting of riots between Muslims and Hindus throughout India in which thousands were killed.

from Terror in the Mind of God- Mark Juergensmeyer
see also Fighting Gandhi - Mark Juergensmeyer
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. I really think that Gandhi has become more myth than man by this point.
I suppose he was a man of his times, but I don't know if there is really at THAT much to learn from Gandhi. To be honest, I think the most impressive thing about Gandhi was not his pacifism, but his methods of spreading his influence.

I think Gandhi, like mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama, are highly overrated.
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. No Doubt
People like their heroes virtuous and their villains rotten.

There's no place for shades of grey.
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WritingIsMyReligion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. I love Gandhi.
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

How sadly true. :(
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Kiouni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Got to love the man
there are some posts above that call Gandhi more myth then man and similarly i read a post a while ago that stated that jesus was not really a man. I think your quote captures the idea of what a religious person is in life, everything we are not.
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-24-06 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Nonsense
I hate this kind of hero worship.

Why you ask?

It reminds me of the scene in Life of Brian where he's trying to get people to think for themselves but they keep parroting back what he said. In my opinion it is a poor reflection of humanity that we need so desperately to emulate people we consider embodying particular attributes that we create unrealistic charactures of them. And that goes for the villains as well - woe betide anyone who attempts to say anything about Hitler that is positive.

Nobody is perfect. Ghandi had some dodgy sexual issues. Mother Theresa was big on telling the poor they were lucky for suffering like Jesus. And for that matter I have a few issues with the what Jesus is supposed to have said as well.

Life is messy. Get used to it.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-28-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Mohandas Gandhi was extraordinary, but not supernatural or paranormal.
I'm guessing you're balking at the phrase: "the idea of what a religious person is in life, everything we are not", and I agree with you.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
13. "a religion that compelled one to eat beef..."
Christianity compels people to eat beef? Did Jesus hand around a hamburger patty and say "this is my flesh"? I heard that there was some kind of bread-like food involved.
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Kiouni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-23-06 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I believe he was
referring directly too western culture. Gandhi would always refer to his people as the indian small when speaking of sizes. He even ate meat early on in his life so that one day he could become big and take back his country from the giant westerners. Meat eating, drinking and smoking are pretty much staples of westerners in the eyes of Indians regardless of what JC said.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-24-06 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. So what you're saying is that he didn't understand Christianity when he was a child
Probably true, but so what, really? We all have misunderstandings when we're children.
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