Mahatma Gandhi, a great leader in India’s history, believed in the power of non-violence, or ‘Ahimsa.’ He used peaceful methods to fight for India’s freedom from British rule. Inspiring quotes on Ahimsa by Mahatma Gandhi remind us that change can come without violence. In this blog, we’ll explore some of his famous quotes, and how they continue to inspire us to choose kindness and peace in our own lives.
Ahimsa Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi
1. Ahimsa is the highest ideal. It is meant for the brave, never for the cowardly.
Gandhi emphasizes that Ahimsa, or non-violence, is not a sign of weakness but of courage. It takes strength to resist violence even when faced with adversity. He believed that only the brave could truly practice Ahimsa as a way of life.
2. Ahimsa is the eradication of the desire to injure or to kill.
Gandhi’s view of Ahimsa goes beyond physical actions. He asserts that true non-violence involves not just refraining from harming others but also eliminating the very desire or intention to cause harm.
3. Ahimsa is not a matter of mere dietetics: it transcends it.
Gandhi suggests that Ahimsa isn’t limited to dietary choices or physical actions. It’s a spiritual and moral principle that goes beyond what we eat. It’s about cultivating a mindset of non-violence that extends to all aspects of life.
4. Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as is humanly possible from violence.
Gandhi acknowledges that achieving complete Ahimsa may be challenging, but he insists that it’s our duty to strive for it. Understanding its essence and making a sincere effort to reduce violence in our actions and thoughts is crucial.
5. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering.
Gandhi links Ahimsa with boundless love and empathy. Practicing non-violence means being willing to endure suffering without retaliating, underlining the deep compassion and strength it requires.
6. Ahimsa is an attribute of the brave. Cowardice and ahimsa don’t go together with any more than water and fire.
Gandhi juxtaposes Ahimsa with cowardice, emphasizing that they are incompatible. True courage involves choosing non-violence over violence, and he asserts that the two cannot coexist.
7. Ahimsa in theory no one knows. It is as indefinable as God.
Gandhi suggests that while the concept of Ahimsa can be discussed and understood to some extent, its true essence remains elusive, much like the concept of God. It’s a deeply profound and complex principle.
8. The highest religion has been defined by a negative word: ahimsa.
Gandhi highlights the paradox that the most significant spiritual concept, Ahimsa, is defined by a negation (absence of harm). This underscores its central importance in his philosophy.
9. Ahimsa is one of the world’s great principles, which no power on earth can wipe out.
Gandhi believed that Ahimsa was a universal and enduring principle that no force or power could ever extinguish. It had the potential to bring about profound and lasting change.
10. Dharma is one and one only. Ahimsa means moksha, and moksha is the realization of Truth.
Gandhi equates Dharma (duty/righteousness) with Ahimsa, emphasizing that non-violence leads to liberation (moksha) and the ultimate understanding of Truth.
11. Love and ahimsa are matchless in their effect.
Gandhi emphasizes the unparalleled impact of love and non-violence. He believed that these principles could bring about transformative change in individuals and society.
12. Love in the sense of ahimsa has only a limited number of votaries in the world.
Gandhi acknowledges that embracing Ahimsa, especially in its deep sense of love and non-violence, is not common. It’s a path chosen by a select few committed to a higher moral ideal.
13. Ahimsa is the attribute of the soul, and therefore, to be practiced by everybody in all the affairs of life.
Gandhi asserts that Ahimsa is an inherent quality of the soul, and it should guide every aspect of one’s life, from personal to societal affairs.
14. Ahimsa is the strongest force known.
Gandhi believed that non-violence was the most potent force available to humanity. It had the power to bring about profound change without resorting to physical violence.
15. Ahimsa is the height of Kshatriya dharma as it represents the climax of fearlessness.
Gandhi sees Ahimsa as the pinnacle of the warrior’s (Kshatriya) duty, as it requires the highest level of fearlessness to confront violence with non-violence.
Inspirational Non-Violence Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi
16. The fullest application of ahimsa does make life impossible. ― Mahatma Gandhi
17. The most distinctive and largest contribution of Hinduism to India’s culture is the doctrine of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
19. Ahimsa and love are one and the same thing. ― Mahatma Gandhi
20. Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. ― Mahatma Gandhi
21. Ahimsa is my God, and Truth is my God. ― Mahatma Gandhi
22. Truth and ahimsa will never be destroyed. ― Mahatma Gandhi
23. The principle of ahimsa is hurt by every evil thought, by undue haste, by lying, by hatred, by wishing ill to anybody. ― Mahatma Gandhi
24. Ahimsa calls for the strength and courage to suffer without retaliation, to receive blows without returning any. ― Mahatma Gandhi
25. Ahimsa can be practiced only towards those who are inferior to you in every way. ― Mahatma Gandhi
26. Ahimsa was preached to man when he was in the full vigor of life and able to look his adversaries straight in the face. ― Mahatma Gandhi
27. The greater the realization of truth and ahimsa, the greater the illumination. ― Mahatma Gandhi
28. The path of Truth is as narrow as it is straight. Even so, is that of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
29. Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer, and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with ahimsa, reject as non-Hindu. ― Mahatma Gandhi
30. The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
31. Ahimsa is a science. The word ‘failure’ has no place in the vocabulary of science. ― Mahatma Gandhi
32. Ahimsa magnifies one’s own defects and minimizes those of the opponent. It regards the mole in one’s own eye as a beam and the beam in the opponent’s eye as a mole. ― Mahatma Gandhi
33. Ahimsa must be placed before everything else while it is professed. Then alone it becomes irresistible. ― Mahatma Gandhi
34. Ahimsa must express itself through acts of selfless service of the masses. ― Mahatma Gandhi
35. Ahimsa is no mere theory with me, but it is a fact of life based on extensive experience. ― Mahatma Gandhi
Inspirational Ahimsa Quotes from Gandhiji
36. My ahimsa is my own. I am not able to accept in its entirety the doctrine of non-killing of animals. ― Mahatma Gandhi
37. What is it but the ahimsa that draws thousands of women to me in fearless confidence? ― Mahatma Gandhi
38. Truth is my religion and ahimsa is the only way of its realization. ― Mahatma Gandhi
39. Truth and ahimsa demand that no human being may debar himself from serving any other human being, no matter how sinful he may be. ― Mahatma Gandhi
40. One who hooks his fortune to ahimsa, the law of love, daily lessens the circle of destruction and to that extent promotes life and love. ― Mahatma Gandhi
41. My anekantavada is the result of the twin doctrines of Satya and ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
42. When two nations are fighting, the duty of a votary of ahimsa is to stop the war. ― Mahatma Gandhi
43. My ahimsa would not tolerate the idea of giving a free meal to a healthy person who has not worked for it in some honest way. ― Mahatma Gandhi
44. Ahimsa and Truth are my two lungs. I cannot live without them. ― Mahatma Gandhi
45. My errors have been errors of calculation and judging men, not in appreciating the true nature of truth and ahimsa or in their application. ― Mahatma Gandhi
46. Indeed, these errors and my prompt confessions have made me surer, if possible, of my insight into the implications of truth and ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
47. All my experiments in Ahimsa have taught me that nonviolence in practice means common labor with the body. ― Mahatma Gandhi
48. Whatever strength the masses have is due entirely to ahimsa, however imperfect or defective its practice might have been. ― Mahatma Gandhi
49. True ahimsa should wear a smile even on a deathbed brought about by an assailant. It is only with that ahimsa that we can befriend our opponents and win their love. ― Mahatma Gandhi
50. If our ahimsa is not of the brave but of the weak, and if it will bend the knee before himsa, Gandhism deserves to be destroyed. ― Mahatma Gandhi
51. The alphabet of ahimsa is best learned in domestic school and I can say from experience that if we secure success there, we are sure to do so everywhere else. ― Mahatma Gandhi
52. A votary of ahimsa always prays for ultimate deliverance from the bondage of the flesh. ― Mahatma Gandhi
53. A steadfast pursuit of ahimsa is inevitably bound to truth-not violence. ― Mahatma Gandhi
54. I see a clear breach of ahimsa even in driving away monkeys; the breach would be proportionately greater if they have to be killed. ― Mahatma Gandhi
55. A votary of ahimsa cannot subscribe to the utilitarian formula. He will strive for the greatest good of all and die in the attempt to realize that ideal. ― Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhiji’s Thoughts on Ahimsa
56. The woman is the incarnation of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
57. Ahimsa means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for suffering. ― Mahatma Gandhi
58. The woman is more fitted than the man to make explorations and take bolder action in ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
59. Unless the charkha adds to your ahimsa and makes you stronger every day, your Gandhism is of little avail. ― Mahatma Gandhi
60. In Swaraj, based on ahimsa, people need not know their rights, but it is also necessary for them to know their duties. ― Mahatma Gandhi
61. No power on earth can subjugate you when you are armed with the sword of ahimsa. It ennobles both the victor and the vanquished. ― Mahatma Gandhi
62. Khadi has been conceived as the foundation and the image of ahimsa. A real khadi-wearer will not utter an untruth. A real khadi-wearer will harbour no violence, no deceit, no impurity. ― Mahatma Gandhi
63. The votary of ahimsa has only one fear, that is, of God. ― Mahatma Gandhi
64. A votary of ahimsa must cultivate the habit of unremitting toil, sleepless vigilance, ceaseless self-control. ― Mahatma Gandhi
65. It is against the spirit of ahimsa to overawe even one person into submission. ― Mahatma Gandhi
66. The richest grace of ahimsa will descend easily upon the owner of hard discipline. ― Mahatma Gandhi
67. Love, otherwise ahimsa, sustains this planet of ours. ― Mahatma Gandhi
68. In an atmosphere of ahimsa, one has no scope to put his ahimsa to the test. It can be tested only in the face of himsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
69. A soldier fights with an irresistible strength when he has blown up his bridges and burnt his boats. ― Mahatma Gandhi
70. Even so, it is with a soldier of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
71. Man lives freely by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him. ― Mahatma Gandhi
72. The strength to kill is not essential for self-defense; one ought to have the strength to die. ― Mahatma Gandhi
73. If the lambs of the world had been willingly led, they would have long ago saved themselves from the butcher’s knife. ― Mahatma Gandhi
74. If the circulation of blood theory could not have been discovered without vivisection, humankind could well have done without it. ― Mahatma Gandhi
75. The scriptures of Christians, Mussalmans, and Hindus are all replete with the teaching of ahimsa. ― Mahatma Gandhi
76. By ahimsa, we will be able to save the cow and also win the friendship of the English. ― Mahatma Gandhi