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Words of Wisdom

Self-discipline: Selections from “All Men are Brothers” by Mahatma Gandhi Ji (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the man who came to be known as the “Great-Souled,” or Mahatma Gandhi Ji was an exemplary spiritual practitioner and visionary leader of India. In his book, “All Men Are Brothers,” Mahatma Gandhi Ji humbly reflects on his own life and inner realizations as a way to illustrate the unity of our global spiritual family. Now we would like to share with you Mahatma Gandhi’s eloquent thoughts on self-discipline from chapter 5 of his book “All Men Are Brothers.”

“Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in multiplication but in the deliberate and voluntary restriction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment and increases the capacity for service.”

“The relation between the body and the mind is so intimate that, if either of them got out of order, the whole system would suffer. Hence it follows that a pure character is the foundation of health in the real sense of the term, and we may say that all evil thoughts and evil passions are but different forms of disease.”

“Perfect health can be attained only by living in obedience to the laws of God and defying the power of Satan. True happiness is impossible without true health and true health is impossible without a rigid control of the palate. All the other senses will automatically come under control when the palate has been brought under control. And he who has conquered his senses has really conquered the whole world, and he becomes a part of God.”

“You will wish to know what the marks of a man are who wants to realize truth which is God. He must be completely free from anger and lust, greed and attachment, pride and fear. He must reduce himself to zero and have perfect control over all his senses ― beginning with the palate or tongue.”

“All universal rules of conduct known as God's commandments are simple and easy to understand and to carry out if the will is there. They only appear to be difficult because of the inertia which governs mankind.”

“Abstemiousness from intoxicating drinks and drugs, and from all kinds of foods, especially meat, is undoubtedly a great aid to the evolution of the spirit, but it is by no means an end in itself.”
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