211 Inspirational Mahatma Gandhi Quotes and Sayings (on Life, Love, Freedom, Change, and Many More)

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or best known as Mahatma Gandhi, was one of the most influential figures of social justice in the 20th century. He was an Indian lawyer and human rights activist, born in 1869 on a British-ruled India.

As a young child, Gandhi was a severely shy boy. He didn’t have many friends but was very close to his mother, Putlibai. Gandhi was an average student who loved reading books.

Coming from a low-income family, he dropped out of the cheapest college his family could afford. And at the age of 18, Gandhi left India to study law in London, following a family friend’s advice. Though still suffering from chronic shyness, Gandhi excelled as a law student and joined the London Vegetarian Society.

In June 1921, he was called to the bar and left London to go to South Africa. On his way to South Africa, Gandhi experienced discrimination because of skin color and race aboard the train after a European passenger refused to sit beside him in the first-class carriage. This encounter awakened something in Gandhi and upon arriving in South Africa, gone was his shy demeanor.

For the 21 years he spent in South Africa, Gandhi developed his ethical, social, and political views and fought for the rights of minorities, especially his fellow Indians living in South Africa. In 1915, Gandhi returned to India.

Following the years of Gandhi’s return in India, he didn’t stop the fight for social justice and human rights. Exercising the creed of non-violent and non-co-operation protests, Gandhi went on numerous hunger strikes, which influenced many of his countrymen and women. One of the most noticeable results of Gandhi’s efforts in India’s independence from British rule on August 15, 1947.

Months later, in January 1948, Gandhi was on his way to address a prayer meeting when a Hindi extremist shot him at point-blank range. Some accounts say he died immediately, while an eye witness claim he died 30 minutes later.

The whole of India mourned his death. Despite his passing, Gandhi’s efforts have influenced other social justice figures like Martin Luther King Jr. Today, India considers him as its nation’s father.

Be inspired to fight injustice as you read several of the best and famous Mahatma Gandhi quotes and sayings that explore his views on life, love, freedom, change, and many more.

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Life

1. “Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds something new to his life, something with which nothing can be compared.”

2. “Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

3. “Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.”

4. “Where there is love there is life.”

"Where there is love there is life." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #life

5. “My life is my message.”

6. “Religion is more than life. Remember that his own religion is the truest to every man even if it stands low in the scales of philosophical comparison.”

7. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

8. “The main purpose of life is to live rightly, think rightly, act rightly. The soul must languish when we give all our thought to the body.”

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Change

1. “Are creeds such simple things like the clothes which a man can change at will and put on at will? Creeds are such for which people live for ages and ages.”

2. “A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.”

3. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

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

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #change

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Love

1. “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”

2. “Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it? If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up.”

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

4. “Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been know to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.”

5. “Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment.”

"Justice that love gives is a surrender, justice that law gives is a punishment." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #love

6. “Where love is, there God is also.”

7. “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love it is the prerogative of the brave.”

8. “I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it? Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it? If not, we should be sincere enough to admit that we love evil too well to give it up.”

9. “Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature.”

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Freedom

1. “To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body.”

2. “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

3. “Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”

4. “The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.”

5. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #freedom

6. “Man lives freely only by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him.”

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Faith

1. “But for my faith in God, I should have been a raving maniac.”

2. “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.”

3. “Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”

4. “Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.”

5. “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.”

6. “I did once seriously think of embracing the Christian faith. The gentle figure of Christ, so full of forgiveness that he taught his followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek – I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man.”

7. “Faith… must be enforced by reason… when faith becomes blind it dies.”

8. “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”

9. “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.”

"If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #faith

10. “Unwearied ceaseless effort is the price that must be paid for turning faith into a rich infallible experience.”

11. “Fear of death makes us devoid both of valour and religion. For want of valour is want of religious faith.”

12. “Only he can take great resolves who has indomitable faith in God and has fear of God.”

13. “Non-violence is the article of faith.”

14. “Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.”

15. “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.”

"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." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #faith

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes About Education

1. “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

2. “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.”

3. “Purity of personal life is the one indispensable condition for building up a sound education.”

4. “My religion teaches me that whenever there is distress which one cannot remove, one must fast and pray.”

5. “Those who know how to think need no teachers.”

"Those who know how to think need no teachers." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #education

More Mahatma Gandhi Quotes and Sayings

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

2. “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

3. “A vow is a purely religious act which cannot be taken in a fit of passion. It can be taken only with a mind purified and composed and with God as witness.”

4. “Partition is bad. But whatever is past is past. We have only to look to the future.”

5. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

6. “The pursuit of truth does not permit violence on one’s opponent.”

7. “It is any day better to stand erect with a broken and bandaged head then to crawl on one’s belly, in order to be able to save one’s head.”

8. “Morality is contraband in war.”

"Morality is contraband in war." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #war

9. “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.”

10. “Violent means will give violent freedom. That would be a menace to the world and to India herself.”

11. “Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.”

12. “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

13. “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

14. “Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.”

15. “The good man is the friend of all living things.”

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

17. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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

"Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #spirit #growth

19. “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”

20. “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”

21. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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

23. “Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being.”

24. “I think it is the height of ignorance to believe that the sexual act is an independent function necessary like sleeping or eating. Seeing, therefore, that I did not desire more children, I began to strive after self-control. There was endless difficulty in the task.”

25. “There is an orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives. It is no blind law; for no blind law can govern the conduct of living beings.”

26. “Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.”

27. “Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plan living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man’s happiness really lies in contentment.”

28. “Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.”

"Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #anger #sleep

29. “Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

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

31. “When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.”

32. “Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart, cannot come by an appeal to the brain.”

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

34. “There is no principle worth the name if it is not wholly good.”

35. “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”

36. “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.”

37. “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.”

38. “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

"Poverty is the worst form of violence." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #poverty

39. “God, as Truth, has been for me a treasure beyond price. May He be so to every one of us.”

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

41. “Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort.”

42. “Providence has its appointed hour for everything. We cannot command results, we can only strive.”

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

44. “I will far rather see the race of man extinct than that we should become less than beasts by making the noblest of God’s creation, woman, the object of our lust.”

45. “The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.”

46. “Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom.”

47. “What is true of the individual will be tomorrow true of the whole nation if individuals will but refuse to lose heart and hope.”

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

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #world

49. “I claim that human mind or human society is not divided into watertight compartments called social, political and religious. All act and react upon one another.”

50. “Morality which depends upon the helplessness of a man or woman has not much to recommend it. Morality is rooted in the purity of our hearts.”

51. “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”

52. “Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it.”

53. “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”

54. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

55. “Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession.”

56. “Man can never be a woman’s equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature has endowed her.”

57. “Before the throne of the Almighty, man will be judged not by his acts but by his intentions. For God alone reads our hearts.”

58. “Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.”

"Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #morality

59. “I have worshiped woman as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice.”

60. “God sometimes does try to the uttermost those whom he wishes to bless.”

61. “Self-respect knows no considerations.”

62. “All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth.”

63. “Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it.”

64. “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”

65. “Imitation is the sincerest flattery.”

66. “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”

67. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

68. “Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”

"Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #prayer

69. “Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.”

70. “Sense perceptions can be and often are false and deceptive, however real they may appear to us. Where there is realization outside the senses, it is infallible. It is proved not by extraneous evidence but in the transformed conduct and character of those who have felt the real presence of God within.”

71. “I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”

72. “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.”

73. “Let not the 12 million Negroes be ashamed of the fact that they are the grandchildren of slaves. There is dishonor in being slave-owners.”

74. “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”

75. “Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.”

76. “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French.”

77. “That service is the noblest which is rendered for its own sake.”

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

"It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by the humiliation of their fellow beings." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #mystery #humiliation

79. “Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good.”

80. “Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.”

81. “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.”

82. “We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.”

83. “We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.”

84. “I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”

85. “The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.”

86. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

87. “Fear has its use but cowardice has none.”

88. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

"Nobody can hurt me without my permission." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #hurt

89. “It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.”

90. “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

91. “Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.”

92. “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.”

93. “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”

94. “An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.”

95. “It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.”

96. “Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

97. “Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.”

98. “We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.”

"We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #battle

99. “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”

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

101. “I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”

102. “It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?”

103. “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”

104. “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”

105. “The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.”

106. “I would heartily welcome the union of East and West provided it is not based on brute force.”

107. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

108. “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #health #wealth

109. “The real ornament of woman is her character, her purity.”

110. “Just as a man would not cherish living in a body other than his own, so do nations not like to live under other nations, however noble and great the latter may be.”

111. “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

112. “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

113. “I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul.”

114. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

115. “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”

116. “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”

117. “Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.”

118. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #findyourself

119. “Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.”

120. “I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality.”

121. “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary the evil it does is permanent.”

122. “We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop.”

123. “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”

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

125. “Action expresses priorities.”

126. “Peace is its own reward.”

127. “It is my own firm belief that the strength of the soul grows in proportion as you subdue the flesh.”

128. “Commonsense is the realized sense of proportion.”

"Commonsense is the realized sense of proportion." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #commonsense

129. “No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.”

130. “I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

131. “God is, even though the whole world deny him. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.”

132. “Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed.”

133. “Though we may know Him by a thousand names, He is one and the same to us all.”

134. “Religion is a matter of the heart. No physical inconvenience can warrant abandonment of one’s own religion.”

135. “Prayer is a confession of one’s own unworthiness and weakness.”

136. “I believe that a man is the strongest soldier for daring to die unarmed.”

137. “I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.”

138. “A weak man is just by accident. A strong but non-violent man is unjust by accident.”

"A weak man is just by accident. A strong but non-violent man is unjust by accident." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #strong

139. “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.

140. “Rights that do not flow from duty well performed are not worth having.”

141. “I know, to banish anger altogether from one’s breast is a difficult task. It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort. It can be done only by God’s grace.”

142. “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”

143. “For me every ruler is alien that defies public opinion.”

144. “The law of sacrifice is uniform throughout the world. To be effective it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless.”

145. “Spiritual relationship is far more precious than physical. Physical relationship divorced from spiritual is body without soul.”

146. “We do not need to proselytize either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.”

147. “Each one prays to God according to his own light.”

148. “My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him.”

"My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #truth

149. “A principle is the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practice perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice.”

150. “If co-operation is a duty, I hold that non-co-operation also under certain conditions is equally a duty.”

151. “Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.”

152. “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

153. “One’s own religion is after all a matter between oneself and one’s Maker and no one else’s.”

154. “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

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

156. “We may have our private opinions but why should they be a bar to the meeting of hearts?”

157. “What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.”

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

"When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator." #mahatmagandhi #quotes #worship

159. “Violent men have not been known in history to die to a man. They die up to a point.”

160. “Measures must always in a progressive society be held superior to men, who are after all imperfect instruments, working for their fulfillment.”

161. “If a man reaches the heart of his own religion, he has reached the heart of the others, too. There is only one God, and there are many paths to him.”

162. “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”

163. “I am in the world feeling my way to light ‘amid the encircling gloom.'”

164. “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

If you’d like to learn more from Mahatma Gandhi, we recommend you read his book, The Essential Writings.