Epigrams from Mahatma Gandhi
Compiled By: S. R. Tikekar
Published By: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, GOI
Hindu philosophy of Monism or Non-dualism
Nonviolence ; in its positive aspect-love for all living things
Muslim name of God
Blessing with lights
Woman; the better half
Abode of spiritual teacher; place for disciplined community living; stage of life
Indian monarch of 3rd century B.C. famed for his renunciation of empire andconquest andfor his rockedicts embodying Buddhist dharma
Burned bones collected from a funeral fire
One lower than the Kshudra, the fourth caste at the bottom of Hindu social hierarchy; ‘untouchable’
Literally’ a ‘descent’ : incarnation of a deity, especially of Vishnu in the Hindu Trinity
Bamboo flute as of the divine cowherd, Sri Krishna
Father, term of affection used for Gandhi
Gujarat village, connected with the Civil Disobedience Movement
Brother of Ravana, in the Ramayana, known for his wise counsel
Land of Enjoyment
Hindu name of God the Creator, one of the Trinity
A Celibate; one who observes Brahmacharya
Celibacy; code of conduct involving strict observance of chastity or continence in the pursuit of learning, philosophy and God Member of the first of the four castes, whose first duty is the study and teaching of the Vedas and the performance of sacrifices and other religious rituals
The Founder of Buddhism, b. about 563, d. about 483 B.C.; also known as Gautama, Siddhartha, Sakyamuni, etc
Bengali religious reformer of the 15th century A.D., WHO IS WORSHIPPED BY HIS FOLLOWERS as an incarnation of Sri Krishna
Grinding wheel or mill
Thin flat cakes made of flour; unleavened bread
March undertaken by Gandhiji from March 12 to April 5, 1930, from his Sabarmati Ashram to the coastal village of Dandi, about 100 miles distant, with a view to breaking the Salt Law by picking up natural salt from the sea-shore. His arrest at Dandi was followed by a countrywide movement of Civil Disobedience famous as the Salt Satyagraha.
God in the form of the poor and the destitute
The vision of the sanctity
King of Ayodhya, father of Rama, in the Ramayana
The alphabet usually employed in writing Sanskrit, as well as various vernacular languages of central, western, and northern India
Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-83), founder of the Arya Samaj
Religion; law of one’s being; righteousness; Hindu code of religion and morals or religious and moral duty
One born from a sense of duty
War fought for a righteous end by righteous means and methods
A community in Gujarat traditionally treated as ‘untouchable’
The long cloth worn by Indians from the waist
‘Sit-down’ strike; an early and crude form of Satyagraha
Boy poet-saint of Maharashtra of the 13th century A. D., AUTHOR OF DYANESWARI, A Marathi commentary on the Gita; also spelt as Dnyaneshwar or JNANESHWAR
Consort of the Pandava PRINCES, IN THE Mahabharata
A backward shudra community of Gujarat
Head of the Kaurava Princes, in the Mahabharata
British General who fired on an unarmed assembly in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar on April 13, 1919, killing over 400 people Forecaster Founder of religious system known as Zoroastrianism. He is also known as Zoroastrianism. He is also known as Zarathustra or Zerdusht. The Parsis of India, who are emigrants from Persia, are followers of this prophet.
The Sacred river Ganges of Northern India
Narcotic from the flower of Indian hemp
Village oil mill
The ‘Song Celestial’; a Hindu scriptural work in Sanskrit verse, composed some centuries before the Christian era, in which Sri Krishna sums up the essence of Hindu religion and philosophy.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915), Indian politician, member of the Servants of India Society, whom Gandhiji acknowledged as his political guru.
A rowdy or hooligan
Cowherd; a name of Sri Krishna
Jaggery, indigenous form of sugar molasses
Service of the cattle; cow-protection
Village tribune or 'Council of five'
Person employed in village service
The sacred book of the Sikhs
Founder of Sikhism (b. 1469—d. 1538 or 1539 A.D.)
Practitioner of indigenous form of medicine
The ‘Monkey-God’ who serves Rama in the Ramayana
Literally, children of god
Strike, suspension of normal business
Westernmost branch of the River Ganges in the banks of which Calcutta is situated.
One of the major Upanishads
Ancient Indian religion, one of the cardinal principles of which is non-violence
Followers of Jainism
Philosopher-king of Videha, foster-father of Sita, in the Ramayana
Poet-saint of northern India, who lived in the 15th century A.D. and who in his devotional songs, dwelt on the essential oneness of the Godhead and the harmony between Hinduism and Islam.
One born of lust
Land of duty
One who has devoted his life to action in the selfless service of others
Hand-spun and hand-woven cloth
The Caliph is the spiritual leader of Muslims. The Khilafat refers to his office
Divine hero and central figure of the epic, Mahabharata, who is worshipped by the Hindus as the 8th incarnation of God.
Member of the second (warrior) caste among Hindus
Curved knife or sword
Wooden pole, usually iron-tipped
Divine play or sport; the creation is often explained by the Vaishnavas as the leela of God, a conception that introduces elements of spontaneity and freedom into the universe.
Lok Sevak Sangh
Society or association for the service of the people
The Hindu epic having for its theme the story of the great war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, princes of the Lunar race who were cousins, rival claimants to the throne of Hastinapur, (ancient Delhi)
Great soul, title given to Gandhiji
24th Tirthankar or Prophet of Jainism (b. about 540, d. about 468 B.C.) who is popularly regarded as its greatest promulgator, originally named Vridhamana
The great sacrifice or ritual of propitiation
Sacred or magical incantation
Title of respect given to learned Muslims
Illusion; in Hindu philosophy Maya is the divine power which has created the cosmos
Rajput princess of the 16th century A.D., who was a great devotee of Sri Krishna and who composed and sang innumerable songs in the praise of Him which have since become popular all over India.
Liberation from earthly bondage
Sage; ancient seer
Literally, ‘new education’, name given to basic or craft education
The Indian salute with folded hands
Salvation, Buddhist equivalent of ‘Moksha’
The five; the communal tribune or ‘council of five’
Rule of the Panchayat
The five brothers, princes of the Lunar Race, who were the victors in the Mahabharata war.
Institutions for looking after old and disabled cattle
Full-self-government or complete independence
Son of Hiranyakashipu, a mythological demon-king; Prahlad’s worship of Vishnu led to persecution by his father who was ultimately slain by Narasimha, the ‘Man- Lion’ avatar of Vishnu.
Pritamdas, Gujarati poet of the 16thcentury A.D., who composed numerous devotional songs
Kingdom, rule, regime
Raychandbhai Jain Saint and Philosopher, contemporary of Gandhiji, whom the latter acknowledged as his spiritual guru. He died in 1900.
Hero of the epic, Ramayana, who is regarded as an ideal man and king, and worshipped as the 7th incarnation of God.
Bengali saint (1836-86 A.D.) who was the guru of Swami Vivekananda and who taught the oneness of the Godhead and the basic harmony of all religions. The Ramakrishna Mission is named after him.
Literally, kingdom of Rama; and ideal system of government
The Hindu epic narrating the story of the abduction of Sita, wife of Rama; prince of Ayodhya, by Ravana, demon-king of Lanka (Ceylon), and her rescue after the conquest of Lanka by the armies led by Rama and the death of Ravana at the hands of Rama.
A song made up of repetitions of God's name
The demon-king of Lanka, whose abduction of Sita, led to his destruction at Rama’s hands, in the Ramayana.
Ecstasy, and by extension the place where a great
Gramseva All-round village service
Innate tendencies inherited from past life; religious customs
Faithful follower of ancient Vedic religion
Abandonment of all worldly ties with view to fixing the mind on the Supreme Being
One who has taken to sannyas
Welfare of all
Tending of truth
Nonviolence Civil Disobedience or Recourse to truthforce or soul-force or passive resistance.
One who practices Satyagraha
Wife of Satyavan who, according to legend, reclaimed his life from the God of Death
Hindu philosopher of the 8th century A.D., who was one of the foremost exponents of Non-dualism of the Vedanta school of philosophy
The Hindu Scriptures
Metrical verse or composition
Member of the fourth or menial caste among Hindus
Wife of Rama
The Codes, bases on recollection of the Shastras
Literally, ‘one of steadfast mind’; a soul unaffected by extremes of joy and sorrow
The indigent boyhood friend and associate of Sri Krishna, whom the latter honours, in the Bhagavata
Blind Hindi poet of northern India who lived in the 16th century A.D.; his poetical work, Sursagar, narrating the story of Krishna, is immensely popular with Hindi speaking Hindus
Belonging to or made in one’s country
The name of the last of the eighteen sections of the epic Mahabharata which describes how, when Yudhisthira, the eldest of the five Pandava brothers, retired to the Himalayas, towards the close of his life, and lost his wife and four brothers one after another, Indra appeared in his chariot to take him in the flesh to his (INDRAS) Swarga, i.e., his heaven where mortals after death enjoy the results of their good deeds on earth.
Jaggery prepared from the juice of palmyra fruit
Caste-marks on the forehead
Two-wheeled horse-driven cart
Poet-saint of Maharashtra who lived in the 17th century A.D. and who composed thousands of devotional songs
Hindi poet of Maharashtra who lived in the 17th century A.D. AND who composed, among other works,
(lit. The Holy Pool of the Life of Rama), retelling the epic story of the highest veneration by all Hindi-speaking Hindus
Ancient Hindu philosophical treaties, appended to the Vedas and regarded as equally authoritative as the Vedas
Language based on Persian and Sanskrit dialects of North India
Practitioners of Ayurveda system or indigenous medicine
A votary of the cult of Vishnu
Members of the third (cultivator and mercantile) class among Hindus
First of Sanskrit poets and author of the Hindu epic, Ramayana
Color; one of the four divisions of the Hindu society (i.e., Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) based on hereditary occupations
Four-fold divisions of Hindu society
A system of philosophy springing from the Upanishads
Most ancient Hindu scriptures, composed of hymns to various deities. There are four collections of theses hymns, known as Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharveda
The low-born but ‘wise one' in the Mahabharata honoured by Sri Krishna
Ritual or religious sacrifice
Hindu system of contemplation for effecting union of the human soul with the Supreme Being
One who practices yoga
Eldest of the Pandava Princes, celebrated for his right conduct