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Champions of Hinduism: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Gandhiji
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Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, Gujrat, his father being the Diwan (Prime Minister) of Porbandar.

As a young boy, he was average at studies, and was shy and timid. During his childhood, he experimented smoking for a while. Then, under the influence of friends, he started eating meat, which lasted for a year. During this period he had to lie and also steal to buy the meat. When it became intolerable, he wrote a note to his father, confessing to everything, promising him that he will never indulge in it, ever again.

Gandhi was married at the age of 13, Kastur being his bride of the same age. He had four sons, one of them Harilal was rebellious and converted to Islam, later to be reconverted into Hinduism.

Gandhi had a college education in India. After the death of his father in 1885, he wanted to go to England and become a barrister, but his mother would not agree. Finally, he took a vow that during his three year study in England he would not touch wine, women and meat, thus winning his mother’s approval. He remained true to his vow.

He sailed for England in 1888 and returned to India in 1891. During this period, he came in contact with many philosophers and thinkers, including George Bernard Shaw, who once asked Gandhi to recite GITA and explain it to the group. He had never read Gita and did not know Sanskrit, and was ashamed of himself. Finally he read the English translation of it, and was overjoyed with its contents. He read the scriptures of all the religions, which enriched his mind, and decided that he should respect all religions.

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