16 of Mahatma Gandhi’s Most Inspirational Quotes

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi | Foter.com

Mohandas Karamchand ”Mahatma” Gandhi is still the most internationally recognized leader of the nation of India. He led the Indian people to shake the yoke of British colonialism through a dedication to non-violent civil disobedience called Satyagraha. Satyagraha won him worldwide acclaim and allowed his people to win a revolution with a minimal loss of life.

Gandhi, October 2, 1869– January 30, 1948, was born into a relatively wealthy family in the state Porbandar, India. His father was the chief minister(diwan) to the Rana(local prince). The title of diwan had been bestowed on Mahatma’s grandfather and had remained in the family. The family relocated to Rajkot after Gandhi’s father fell out of favor with the Rana, but the family continued to prosper when Gandhi’s father was elevated to diwan of Rajkot.

In 1883, Gandhi married Kasturbai ”Ba” Kapadia. The couple had five children between 1885 and 1900. The early years of their marriage were marked by a lengthy separation caused by Gandhi’s studies in London, England. While in London, Gandhi studied law. He enrolled at the Inner Temple with the goal of becoming a barrister; and, eventually diwan of Rajkot. He had vowed to remain a vegetarian before leaving India, so he joined the Vegetarian Society in London. Through this association, he met members of the Theosophical Society; a group dedicated to furthering universal brotherhood. This experience helped Gandhi devote himself to religion and peaceful protest. After returning to India, he secured employment in the Colony of Natal, South Africa, where his career as a civil activist began.

While in Natal, he founded the Natal Indian Congress; a unifying political force. His work came to international attention in 1906 when his party peacefully protested against a government act requiring Indian and Chinese residents to register. Despite severe beatings and several shootings, no protester reacted with violence. Gandhi returned to India in 1915 to join the Indian National Congress.

Gandhi took leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1920. On January 26, 1930, the Congress declared the independence of India. While the British refused to accept the declaration, they did begin to negotiate with the Congress. In 1942, Gandhi demanded immediate independence. The British reacted by arresting him and tens of thousands of his supporters. The British finally recognized Indian independence in 1947 after decades of peaceful protest, but split the country into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan.

Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 while on his way to a prayer meeting. Although it has been 68 years since his assassination, Mahatma Gandhi quotes are still inspiring people around the world. Here are a few of his more memorable musings.

1. “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.”

2. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

chains links

Chain links representing strength | Foter.com

3. “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”


Sunset over water | Foter.com

4. “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”


Blinded | Foter.com

5. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

A monk walking

A monk reflecting on change | Foter.com

6. “Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other is by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”

The dove.

Dove, sign of peace | Foter.com

7. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”


Buddhist monks | Foter.com

8. “To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”

Act of kindness.

An act of kindness | Foter.com


9. “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”


No | Foter.com

10. “Infinite striving to be the best is man’s duty; it is its own reward. Everything else is in God’s hands.”

hands of God

Hands of God | Foter.com

11. “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”


Intolerance | Foter.com

12. “To believe in something, and not live it, is dishonest.”

man in mask

Man in mask | Foter.com

13. “Increase of material comforts, it may be generally laid down, does not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth.”

material wealth

Material wealth | Foter.com

14. “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow men.”

welfare of fellow men

Welfare of fellow men | Foter.com

15. ”Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”


Truth | Foter.com

16. “It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”

public humiliation

Public humiliation | Source Foter.com

Steve Jobs was another man who offered many many memorable quotes; perhaps not as inspirational as these Mahatma Gandhi quotes have been, but memorable nonetheless. Here are 20 of his most memorable.