Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Topic Options
#77112 - 07/27/02 08:44 PM A Gandhi question
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
I came across an old W.A.D. :
Date: Sat Jun 5 00:07:29 EDT 1999
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--mahatma
X-Bonus: Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau

mahatma (muh-HAT-muh) noun

1. In India and Tibet, one of a class of persons venerated for great
knowledge and love of humanity.

2. Mahatma. Used as a title of respect for a person renowned for
spirituality and high-mindedness.

[Sanskrit mahatma : maha-, great. See meg-. + atma, life, spirit.]


I have of course heard of Mahatma Gandhi, but I had assumed in my ignorance that it was his first name. I gather it is a title. What was the gentle man's actual name, then?



Top
#77113 - 07/27/02 08:48 PM Re: A Gandhi question
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Mohandas.

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948), Indian nationalist leader, who established his country's freedom through a nonviolent revolution.
Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born in Porbandar in the present state of Gujarat on October 2, 1869, and educated in law at University College, London. In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar, Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law practice in Bombay (now Mumbai), with little success. Two years later an Indian firm with interests in South Africa retained him as legal adviser in its office in Durban. Arriving in Durban, Gandhi found himself treated as a member of an inferior race. He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the struggle for elementary rights for Indians.



"Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Top
#77114 - 07/28/02 07:50 AM Re: A Gandhi question
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
and another detail i just came across..
Re: was born in Porbandar in the present state of Gujarat -- this was a salt producing area of India, where sea salt was produced. India was "salt self sufficient" before british rule, but was forced to stop producing salt for itself, and to buy much more expensive English salt. this destroyed a local industry, and the imported salt, was expensive, and taxed.

The area he was born in had been poor, but people always had work, and could live. When the salt works were closed, there was no other industry, few farms, and now the area was devistated. His "salt campaign", open defience of the law against indians producing salt for local consumption, was an a tremendous act of civil disobedience, and one that was easy for other copy, and they did.

(spinning, and using home spun cloth was an other campaign, but less successful, since its harder to learn how to do write and requires more tool.. Sea Salt is created by evaporation, and isn't that hard to do. )

_________________________
my other obsession

Top
#77115 - 07/29/02 07:50 AM Re: A Gandhi question
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Thank you, Dr. Bill, for the memory jog and lesson. And thank you, Helen. Mercy, your post made me think of our discussion in Sunday School yesterday. Our class is embarking on a (probably not in-depth) study comparing Christianity and Islam. That class, like this group, rather frequently gets off-topic, and yesterday somebody asked why do we always seem to think we have to go out and conquer people? As a race, we seem bent on taking what others have, for one reason or another. We've (our class) been watching tapes of the Discovery Channel's series on the conflict in the Middle East, and decided that it is unlikely that an outsider could truly understand all the reasons for the ongoing hostility. I've been given to understand that the same holds true for the conflict in Ireland. Sigh. Still and all, I am optimistic that, some generations down the road, the world will be primarily peaceful.


Top
#77116 - 07/29/02 08:02 AM Re: A Gandhi question
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I read the Old Testament straight through during a huge snow storm that kept returning back in about 1984 or 1985.

My biggest impression was that of one battle followed by another. Not saying that there wasn't a lot of other information and inspiration, but that biggest impression was: An awful lot of battles.

And, you know, it even can be observed between a brother and sister, sitting in the back seat of a car, drawing an imaginary line between themselves, exactly 50-50 possession of whichever side of the car, and then the dare to cross the line... In fact, for a mile or two or three, crossing that line becomes the One Desire!

Battle regards,
WW


Top
#77117 - 07/29/02 06:55 PM Re: A Gandhi question
jimthedog Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
Hmmmmmmm...

Everyone around here says Mohandas, not Mahatma. I'd heard of it from history textbooks, but never really used it.


Top
#77118 - 07/31/02 06:43 AM Re: A Gandhi question
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
Gandhi's story is definitely remarkable - here's a nice concise summary (which incidentally shows Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi, starring Ben Kingsley, as having been pretty accurate and as having included all the important events:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/8522/gand_eng.html

It seems poignant and significant that Gandhi was assassinated by one of his own people (a Hindu) rather than "disappeared" by the British. Many people would see a complete denial of violence as a denial of their freedom and a denial of their right to protect themselves. If you subscribe to non-violence and violence is committed against you (or more significantly against those you love) you just have to take it on the chin, accept it and live with it - and there are no half-measures. You need to be a saint, or at least to have a perspective far wider than that of individual lives.

It says a great deal for Gandhi's followers - and perhaps for the Indian people in general - that they achieved what they did and stuck to their guns (or rather the absence of guns).

Sadly, I don't think Gandhi's story will ever be repeated. The world's a much smaller, more cynical, self-serving place, and most of its objectives are short-term. Doves get shot as often as hawks, as both endanger vested interests.

We're back to the relationship between Western and Eastern cultures again, with the school report still saying "could do better".


"Delta Blue" Fish



Top
#77119 - 08/01/02 10:20 AM Re: A Gandhi question
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Thanks, Shona. I don't have time at the moment to read the whole thing, but I copied and e-mailed it to myself for later.
Doves get shot as often as hawks, as both endanger vested interests.

Sigh. Yes. Damn greed. I did read far enough to see the part that he was murdered by a fanatic. Fanatics can cause a very great deal of harm, can't they? What is it that makes people become fanatics, anyway?




Top
#77120 - 08/01/02 10:27 AM Re: A Gandhi question
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
I saw a quote once that said that fanatacism was the surest sign of doubt...

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

Top
#77121 - 08/01/02 12:13 PM Fanatics
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
Fanatics can cause a very great deal of harm, can't they? What is it that makes people become fanatics, anyway?

M-W:

Main Entry: fa·nat·ic
Pronunciation: f&-'na-tik
Variant(s): or fa·nat·i·cal /-ti-k&l/
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin fanaticus inspired by a deity, frenzied, from fanum temple -- more at FEAST
Date: 1550
: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>

I suppose we're talking being possessed here, aren't we? The danger is the "uncritical devotion" part, which makes everything black-and-white, with no shades of grey and no compromise.

It has the huge benefit of simplicity and [thanks eta] freedom from doubt. Quite easily achieved, too - you just short out your faculties of reason, your concerns and troubles, and let your unequivocal passions guide you; although I suspect they only appear unequivocal because they get hitched to a ready-made creed.

It's terribly easy to mistake relief from discomfort and uncertainty as a sign you're going in the right direction.
As such fanaticism is appealing and highly infectious, even to its enemies.

Hey ho, I'm a jolly fella [musical notes]


Top

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8727 Members
16 Forums
13804 Topics
214817 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
ShellsnBells, charmingthemuse, toddster, Mussaf, meliza
8727 Registered Users
Who's Online
1 registered (FoFong), 39 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
LukeJavan8 109
endymion6 103
jenny jenny 68
wofahulicodoc 66
A C Bowden 34
Bazr 31
tsuwm 8
Tromboniator 7
Faldage 4
FoFong 3
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10521
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
AnnaStrophic 6511
LukeJavan8 6396
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith