Cover image for Gandhi's religion : a homespun shawl
Gandhi's religion : a homespun shawl
Jordens, J. T. F.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
ix, 283 pages ; 23 cm
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DS481.G3 J7184 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Based on the ninety volumes of Gandhi's Collected Works this is the first systematic study of Mohandas Gandhi's conception of religion and of his personal practices

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Jordens traces the development of Gandhi's religious thought from childhood until his death. Gandhi was a devout Hindu, but he believed that other religions taught the same truths: God is truth; humans fall short of truth because of their physical nature. Krishna, Jesus Christ, and others thought to be incarnations of God were simply men who had gained great spiritual power and insight. Gandhi believed that the scriptures of all religions were written by men and were not infallible guides to the truth. Their assertions were subject to two tests: reason and morality. Gandhi also believed that the path to moksha (salvation or release from the world) was service to fellow human beings. He thought that chastity, Ramanama (recitation of the name of God), and fasting were means of gaining spiritual power. Public vows, such as those of chastity or nonviolence, were means by which people could improve themselves morally. Gandhi blamed his own spiritual shortcomings for any failures of his followers in their practice of satyagraha. This good book is marred by the lack of a bibliography and by an inadequate index. For a more political interpretation of Gandhi's moral beliefs and practices see Dennis Dalton's Mahatma Gandhi: Nonviolent Power in Action (CH, Mar'94). All levels. J. W. Webb; Eastern Kentucky University

Table of Contents

Preamble: Carding the Home-Grown Wool: Childhood and Youth
Part I South Africa
The Making of the Mahatma
Bewildering Doubts, Convincing Answers, 1894-1895
The First Definition of Hinduism
Part II India: Convictions and Attitudes
1921: A New Definition of Hinduism
Facing the Gritty Reality of Hinduism
The Persistence of Advaita
Scriptorial Authority and 'The Voice Within'
Religious Pluralism
Part III India: Religion in Action
The Ashram-dweller
Calling on the Divine Power
The Potency of Perfect Chastity
The Power of Fasting
Never Enough Non-violence
The Passion to Serve
Conclusion: A Home-Spun Shawl