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SIMPLICITY IN LIFE, FIRM IN PRINCIPLES-THESE ARE THE REASONS, THE MAHATHMAS SUCESS Introduction: Gandhiji, the Mahathma, the

father of our nation, was a simple leader who used simple language and lived a simple life yet he was able to concert energies of an entire nation towards achieving Indian Independence. Gandhi was actually born into a prosperous family and had a very privileged upbringing, which included a prestigious education in England in the days when travel from India to England took many months by sea. He studied Law at University College in London and he was subsequently invited to join the Bar there. Though born into wealth, he ultimately gave it all away and through the course of his life managed to let go of material trapping. He followed a life of simplicity. He is best known as the matchless political leader who evolved the new technique of Satyagraha. His fight against untouchability and the notions of superiority and inferiority by birth are also fairly well known. For India, his greatest service was, perhaps, the emancipation of Indian women. It is generally known that he lived an austere life, practised strict vegetarianism and abstained from alcoholic drinks, tobacco and even the milder stimulants like coffee and tea. His attachment to simple natural remedies against illness and disease and his radical ideas on education are not so well known to the outside world and, even in India, they have not made much impact. Gandhi deliberately refrained from making these public issues and thereby confusing the people. The only exception was prohibition of intoxicating drinks which became a tool in the armoury of satyagraha.. Gandhis views on language, government and economics played a considerable part in his political movements; and in the program of Khadi and Village Industries included in the Five Year Plans and in the Panchayat Raj which has recently been established, they have been accepted and implemented to some extent. Gandhijis Simplicity : Gandhi believed in possessing little except the clothes he wore and some utensils for cooking and eating. He used to give away or auction any gift that was ever given to him. Gandhi never had a problem with being

overweight. He followed a strict vegetarian diet and frequently cooked his own simple food, which was locally produced. He ate this simple food from a small bowl, a reminder to eat moderately, and at the same time he ate mindfully, often accompanied by prayers. Gandhi wore simple clothes that conveyed his message. There is this anecdotal story of the time when Gandhi met the King of Great Britain in London and he wore his simple wrap around cloth: A journalist asked Gandhi, Mr Gandhi, did you feel under-dressed when you met the King? Gandhi replied, The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us! When Gandhi died, he had less than ten possessions including a watch, spectacles, sandals and eating bowl. He was a man of nonpossession and didnt even possess a house. You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them, said Gandhi. Gandhi never got stressed. He meditated daily and spent hours in reflection and prayer. Though he was a world leader and idolised by millions, he continued to lead a simple life with few distractions and commitments. He would even interrupt his political meetings to go off and play with children. Though he was a prolific writer and powerful speaker, in private Gandhi spoke very quietly and only when necessary. He was also very punchy and concise in his writing. He preferred to let his life do the talking for him. By living a simple life, Gandhi was able to devote his life to his chosen higher purpose. He was totally focussed on his commitment to his people and the world. And despite all his needs being taken care off, Gandhi still insisted on doing his own simple things. He advocated self-sufficiency and simple work. If one has wealth, it does not mean that it should be thrown away and wife and children should be turned out of doors. It simply means that one must give up attachment of these things! ~Gandhi

Gandhijis principles and his firm on them: Gandhiji's entire public life was based on certain principles. He had lived and worked for it. All of his principles, Truth and Non-violence are the basic pillars of his entire life. The other important principles are Satyagraha, Morality and Religion, and Sarvodaya. Truth is the corner stone of the entire thought of Gandhiji. Gandhiji was an ardent follower of Truth who not only preached but also practiced it in practical life. Giandhij was an ardent follower of the principle of Non-violence in both theory and practice. The whole life of Gandhiji was directed, regulated and moulded by the spirit of non-violence. In fact, the principle of Nonviolence was the breath of his life. Gandhiji had said: "For me Nonviolence is not a mere philosophical principle, it is the rule and breath of my life. And moreover, he reveals "Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed". It clearly reveals the role of Nonviolence in his life. The principle of Non-violence of Gandhiji includes love, affection, kindness, sympathy, mercy, tolerance, patience, forgiving and forgetting and co-operation, mutual aid and constructive programme. Gandhiji gave equal importance to spiritual life as well as material life. It can be seen in his entire life. And moreover, it was the secret of the success of his entire life. The power of his material life and action was his firm belief in soul force. For Gandhiji, soul force was his entire power of action. His ideals and actions based on human rights made him to become a Mahatma; it is well known to the world. Einstein's description of him as "the greatest man of our times is a testimony of this. Gandhiji fashioned a totally new weapon - a weapon the world had never dreamed of, namely, Satyagraha. Sathyagraha literally means 'holding to truth" or "insistence on truth". R..Diwakar in his book, My Encounter with Gandhi" recalls Gandhi 's role "not merely as the architect of India's freedom but also as an inventor of a new weapon of resistance Satyagaha, an effective weapon which relies entirely for its sharpening and use on inner resources, our soul, the very spirit of all human beings.

Conclusion : Gandhis life offers us many key lessons he practiced simplicity and minimalism in all areas of his life and he left behind a huge legacy in how to live a life of simplicity. Gandhi was indeed the ultimate minimalist a man who died a pauper but who affected the lives of many and continues to inspire us with his message even today. The magnitude of personality and principles of Gandhiji was intenseand immense. His multifaceted personality clearly revealed the fact that he was an ardent admirer of human rights. He had lived and worked for it. As a charismatic leader and visionary, he took an initiative to lead the people of India out of captivity into the land of political freedom. This action was a great human rights action. 'l'his mode of non-violent action is quite relevant in today's public action. Each public activist must practice the Gandhian vision of action in his or her public life. *****