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Biography of Mahatma Gandhi

Updated on February 9, 2014

Life of Mohandas K. Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi or Gandhiji)

Mohandas K. Gandhi, who is best known to the world as Mahatma Gandhi, led the movement to free India from British rule, and was one of the world's greatest advocates of nonviolent resistance. He was was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize but never won, an omission which the Nobel Committee has publicly regretted.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India. He went on to become the major force behind India's partition from Britain and to become known as a symbol of nonviolence around the world.

As a British-educated lawyer, Gandhi first employed his ideas of peaceful civil disobedience in the Indian community's struggle for civil rights in South Africa. Upon his return to India, he organized poor farmers and laborers to protest against oppressive taxation and widespread discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for the liberation of women, for brotherhood amongst differing religions and ethnicities, for an end to untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation, but above all for Swaraj - the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led Indians in the disobedience of the salt tax on the 400 kilometre (248 miles) Dandi Salt March in 1930, and in an open call for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years on numerous occasions in both South Africa and India.

Throughout his life, Gandhi remained committed to non-violence and truth even in the most extreme situations. A student of Hindu philosophy, he lived simply, organizing an ashram that was self-sufficient in its needs. Making his own clothes - the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl woven with a charkha, he lived on a simple vegetarian diet. He used rigorous fasts, for long periods, for both self-purification and protest.

On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was shot and killed while having his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu radical.

Today Gandhi is commonly known throughout the world as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma is a Sanskrit word meaning Great Soul. In India, he is also commonly referred to as Gandhiji or Bapu, which means Father. His birthday is celebrated each year as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.

- source:Wikipedia

25th Anniversary of "Gandhi" Movie - Two-Disc DVD Release of "Gandhi" Movie Marked 25th Anniversary

Gandhi (Collector's Edition)
Gandhi (Collector's Edition)

"Gandhi," the award-winning movie directed by Lord Richard Attenborough was hailed by critics and movie-goers when it was released in 1982. The movie won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Ben Kingsley as Gandhi). Twenty-five years later, the movie still stands as an extraordinary tribute to the man who inspired it and is great viewing for anyone who wants to know more about Gandhiji's life. The two-disc 2007 DVD release of the movie includes 90 minutes of new material. This is an absolutely fantastic movie that you don't want to miss.


Mahatma Gandhi Timeline

A Short Timeline of Highlights from Mahatma Gandhi's Life

1869 - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born in Porbandar in Gujarat, India.

1883 - marries Kasturbai Gandhi

1888 - goes to England to study law

1891 - returns to India and practices law

1893 - goes to Johannesburg

1906 - launches a campaign of nonviolent resistance (satyagraha) in South Africa to protest discrimination against Indians; takes vow of celibacy for life

1913 - arrested and jailed after leading 2,500 Indians in a nonviolent demonstration in South Africa

1915 - returns to India at age 45 and later stages the first of 14 fasts

1919 - begins all-India Satyagraha movement

1922 - arrested for sedition and sent to prison

1924 - released from prison

1930 - leads 78 supporters in a 241-mile "Salt March" to the sea to protest the British monopoloy in salt production

1932 - begins a "fast unto death" to protest the British government's treatment of India's lowest caste of "untouchables," who Gandhi calls Harijan, or "God's children"

1947 - India gains independence from Britain

1948 - Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on the way to evening prayers

Art Print">Gandhi: Live and Learn

Art Print

Gandhi: Live and Learn

Gandhi Quotes

Quotes from Gandhi to Inspire

Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi shared his beliefs with the world through speeches, books and interviews. This simple wisdom is as applicable today as when he first spoke these words.

- Be the change you wish to see in the world.

- Love is the subtlest force in the universe.

- Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

- You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

- There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.

- Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

- Democracy and violence can ill go together.

- The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

- It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

- The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

"Be the change you wish to see" - Gandhi

Gandhi Books - Learn More About Mahatma Gandhi

Many books have been written about Gandhi and how he led a peaceful movement to free India from British rule. He also write an autobiography. These are a few books you can read to learn more about this incredible man.

Gandhi Jayanti

National holidy in India celebrates Gandhi's life

Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India each October 2 to mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who is known as the "Father of the Nation."

The day is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated. Gandhi's favourite devotional song, Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, is often sung in memory of him, and many people avoid meat and alcohol on this day in memory of Gandhiji's vegetarian lifestyle.

Gandhiji Collectibles

Find collectibles such as Gandhi stamps, coins, photos and historical memorabilia on eBay.

Videos About His Life and Accomplishments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent lens! I am currently reading a book on Ghandi and you were very accurate in all the information you provided. He was such an inspiration; in fact, it's so sad to see that few people have visited this article yet. I hope that changes! Take care now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      gandhi said "dont hear bad . dont see bad .dont think bad"

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I din't see gandhi really...But i feel gandhi is in india n guiding us...i love u gandhiji

    • profile image

      supersiva 5 years ago

      Without Mahatma we could have never imagined a free India. Proud to be an Indian.

    • gypsykitschpres profile image

      gypsykitschpres 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens about an amazing man. Thank you.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I have always had a deep respect for Mahatma Gandhi. His message seems especially relevant today. May we be the change we wish to see. Thank you for this important tribute to a truly Great Soul.

    • profile image

      AprilMonth 6 years ago

      Gandhi was not known to many people around the world, until Lord Richard Attenborough came out with the Gandhi movie.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      @shiwangipeshwani: Hi shiwangipeshwani - Thanks for visiting my lens! The time I spent in India has made me perhaps respect and admire Gandhiji more than if I'd never visited his homeplace, but many people who've never visited India still admire the great things he did. The world would be a better place if we had more people like Gandhi.

    • shiwangipeshwani profile image

      shiwangipeshwani 7 years ago

      Hey lisadh, m touched to see a great respect for our Indian Leader in the heart of a non-Indian. Thnx a ton frnd. really touched.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens! I am reading his autobiography at the moment - such an inspiring man!!

      How many people have a dedication to truth AND accept any consequenses that brings :).

      5 *****

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


    • profile image

      sunshine59 9 years ago

      fabulous lens ....good luck

    • Catalysthere LM profile image

      Catalysthere LM 9 years ago

      Ghandi was a true Hero, Welcome to you are a featured lens for week commencing 20th October 2008

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 9 years ago

      A wonderful lens on an amazing, courageous man!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Cool lens! I like Ghandi

    • JudyDunn profile image

      JudyDunn 9 years ago

      What a wonderful lens. There can never be enough information out in the world about people such as Ghandi. Thank you for creating this opportunity to share more about his story.

    • profile image

      Oosquid 9 years ago

      I can't believe it's been 25 years since the Ghandi movie, a powerful film about a powerful man. Fabulous lens,5 stars.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      He was really one of the greatest man on the earth. he had just two weapons truthfulness and non- violence and he won the whole world. People often took him wrongly, if they really read about him their thoughts wil be changed.

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 9 years ago

      Ghandi was a great man! Thanks for joining our group for A Day of Hope.

    • profile image

      tdove 10 years ago

      Fantastic lens. Very educational.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 10 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for joining the Imagine Peace Group and featuring several of the Imagine Peace lenses.

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 10 years ago

      Great lens on a great man. *****

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      for preparing note for participating this article is worthy.