Gandhi & ism's


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Gandhi & ism's

  1. 1. Gandhi A Post-Modern Man “ My life is my message”
  2. 2. <ul><li>Lets start at home where “The Great Soul” was introduced to a variety of ideologies, influences or ISM’S from a very young age. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Mother – a pious Hindu who fasted often. She is credited with developing Gandhi’s Ascetic self-discipline </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Friends – many were members of a religion known as Jainism . Some precepts of this faith later have great influence on his life. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Home – Western influence was very weak in his home region. When Gandhi left India to study he was very much a “traditional” Indian. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Wife – “My wife demonstrated that passive resistance to a wrong doer could shame him into repentance.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Jainism Many facets of Gandhi’s character are revealed when we look at Jainist philosophy. <ul><li>Very similar to Hindu philosophy, basic Jainist doctrine can be summed up in one sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>The phenomenal individual consists of a soul closely enmeshed in matter and his salvation is to be found by freeing the soul from matter so that it may regain its pristine purity and enjoy omniscient self-sufficient bliss for all eternity. (I did not say it’d be easy to grasp!!!) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Origins and History of the Jains <ul><li>Originated at the same time as Buddhism </li></ul><ul><li>However it never spread like Buddhism to become one of the great world religions. </li></ul><ul><li>It did remain strong in some regions of India, not disappearing from the sub-continent like Buddhism. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Significant Teachers <ul><li>Vardhamana </li></ul><ul><li>Mahavira </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Great Hero” </li></ul><ul><li>A contemporary of Buddha </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Schism. One of the most significant moments in the development of the Jains. Bhadrabahu (the Jain leader) foresaw a great famine coming to the North of India. <ul><li>He and a great following of Naked monks left for its duration. </li></ul><ul><li>These are the Digabaras who became known as the the Space-Clad. </li></ul><ul><li>The rest, taught by Stulabhoda, remained </li></ul><ul><li>On returning they were discovered to have adopted a range of dubious practices, including the wearing of white robes. </li></ul><ul><li>These became known as the White-Clad. </li></ul><ul><li>Gandhi wore much the same style of dress. </li></ul>
  11. 11. White-Clad Idealogy <ul><li>This branch of Jainism is a great supporter of the idea of: </li></ul><ul><li>AHIMSA </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Injury or Non-Violence to all creatures </li></ul><ul><li>Often expressed in the form of non-violent protest </li></ul><ul><li>One of Gandhi’s great political tools </li></ul>
  12. 12. Learning in Jainist communities. <ul><li>Much attention is paid to secular learning in Jain communities – much more so than in their contemporary Buddhist neighbours. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is placed on telling of stories with moral messages – India’s greatest poet “Kalidasa” was a Jain. </li></ul><ul><li>Also made significant contribution to Indian science, math, astronomy and linguistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Preserving of texts was one of their most sacred duties </li></ul>
  13. 13. Jain Learning and Gandhi??? <ul><li>Gandhi, as we have said already, was born in a region where Jain influence was great. </li></ul><ul><li>He himself admitted the role of Jain ascetics he met in his youth had on his professional life. </li></ul><ul><li>He went to England to gain a law degree – a very secular line of study and one which would be encouraged by the open minded Jain’s, but not the more conservative Hindu population of India which had little contact with groups like the Jainists. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Hindu Similar in many ways to Jainism, this religion was also a great influence on Gandhi <ul><li>Central to Hindu philosophy is the concept of Dharma which can mean the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation of the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>Highest good </li></ul><ul><li>What-ever is attached to non-violence </li></ul><ul><li>That from which results material gain and spiritual good (the most valued meaning) </li></ul><ul><li>When violated destroys, when preserved preserves. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Dharma in Significant Texts <ul><li>Two main texts: </li></ul><ul><li>Mahabharata </li></ul><ul><li>Ramayana </li></ul><ul><li>Rama – the hero of this text – was a role model for “The Great Soul” </li></ul><ul><li>He was the inspiring human symbol of Dharma </li></ul>
  16. 16. RAMA <ul><li>Was devoted to duty </li></ul><ul><li>Was devoted to his father </li></ul><ul><li>Was devoted to his people </li></ul><ul><li>Overcame vice in order that virtue & moral law might prevail in personal and public life </li></ul>
  17. 17. Gandhi sought: <ul><li>RAMA-RAJYA </li></ul><ul><li>A reign of truth and non-violence as the ideal. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Role of Hindu Teachers on the Development of “The Great Soul” <ul><li>The most influential Hindu teacher on the life of Gandhi was: </li></ul><ul><li>Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) </li></ul><ul><li>His basic philosophy was as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>Each man is potentially divine, and so should both work to unleash the infinite power within himself, and should help others to do the same. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Life of Swami Vivekananda There are many similarities in the growth, development and philosophies of Swami V. and Gandhi . <ul><li>He was a Calcutta born student </li></ul><ul><li>He came from a family of Lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>He possessed a good Western education </li></ul><ul><li>He gave up worldly pursuits – adopting a life of philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Began a life of service to others in his older age – working in Ramakrishna Mission </li></ul><ul><li>He fired others to help the poor </li></ul><ul><li>He burnt out. Dieing prematurely at age 39. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Swami V’s influence on The Big G Gandhi acknowledged a huge personal debt to this Swami for his personal growth both privately and publicly. Particularly with respect to the following points. <ul><li>His preaching of the greatness of Hinduism gave his countrymen a sense of pride and dignity in their own culture </li></ul><ul><li>His Zeal to serve downtrodden masses added a new facet to nationalist Indian leaders, which lead to greater popularity and political success in their campaigns. </li></ul><ul><li>Previously their Western education had served to isolate them. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Three Years in England On his return from England he said “ next to India, I would rather live in London than any other place in the world” <ul><li>Gandhi decided to study law in England. </li></ul><ul><li>When he left India he was a fairly typical example of the TRADITIONAL Indian. </li></ul><ul><li>It was here that he in part became Westernised </li></ul><ul><li>But he did not refute his heritage, for example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He was an active member of the London Vegetarian Society </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also it was here that he came into contact with another very important religious influence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Christian Experience <ul><li>While in England Gandhi studied the New Testament extensively – he really tried to understand those he was living with and around. </li></ul><ul><li>In particular Gandhi was attracted to the sentiments expressed in “The Sermon on the Mount”. (That’s the spot where the late great J.C. said “Blessed be the……) </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Sermon on the Mount <ul><li>Gandhi credited this source as being one of the most influential doctrines on his life. </li></ul><ul><li>It expressed: </li></ul><ul><li>that the ideal life was one of selfless action in the service of ones fellow man. </li></ul><ul><li>that the best method of righting wrongs was to protest non-violently, suffer lovingly rather than submit to injustice </li></ul>
  24. 24. Other Christian influenced sources Gandhi sighted as helping develop on his personal philosophy. Note that both are Russian – What was going on there at the time??? <ul><li>Tolstoy’s The kingdom of God is Within You. </li></ul><ul><li>Gandhi identified with its message of Christian pacifism </li></ul><ul><li>Ruskin’s Unto This Last </li></ul><ul><li>He noted the significance of manual labor as an expression of solidarity between educated and uneducated </li></ul>
  25. 25. In Conclusion…. <ul><li>Gandhi was attracted, throughout his life, to ideologies which expressed a range of philosophies. </li></ul><ul><li>No single ISM is responsible for the public and private man known as “The Great Soul” </li></ul><ul><li>The ISM’S associated with the development of Gandhi discussed here have been: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jainism; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hinduism , and; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Christianity . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. So how does India, and how did Gandhi, function with so much diversity to deal with? Wasn’t it confusing? <ul><li>Yes, India is a melting pot of cultures and ISM’s. However like a very busy intersection full of different types of vehicles and pedestrians it finds a way to gel together and work. </li></ul>
  27. 27. THERE IS NO SPOON… <ul><li>THE MATRIX </li></ul><ul><li>In one of the final scenes of this movie, Neo says “There is no spoon” </li></ul><ul><li>He was acknowledging that there were no rules in his world. </li></ul><ul><li>He could manipulate the computer program in which he lived as he wished. </li></ul><ul><li>POST-MODERNISM </li></ul><ul><li>This theory is similar to Neo’s philosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>This ideology could say “There is no ideology” </li></ul><ul><li>There are no single ideologies or systems that can be used to explain how the world functions </li></ul><ul><li>We are the products of many philosophies. </li></ul>
  28. 28. So what do we have??? We have is a great example of POST-MODERNISM in action. Someone choosing from a variety of ideologies ideals which appeal, and using those to develop their own personal philosophy. What do you think? Could be good material for an Response to Stimulus Test!!!!! Bye for now.