5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Gandhi, the man.
Unlike a couple readers below, I was pleasantly surprised to find this a very readable and well-written story. I felt like I was meeting the great reformer in person, with no interpreters or spin doctors between us.
Gandhi surprised me with his transparency. He honestly expresses doubts about (or limited awareness of) God, his own weaknesses, and the mistreatment...
Published on July 7 2000 by David Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars okay
For me it was a marathon of a read. Long. It was very concise, it is beyond me how anyone can remember their own life in such detail. I do have a feel for who Gandhi was though, so I guess the book delivered on its purpose
Published 11 months ago by SM
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3.0 out of 5 stars okay,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, so-so writing,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars What the Truth Reveals,
This review is from: Autobiography Story of My (Hardcover)In the book's introduction, Gandhi ascribes these words of the Hindu poet to himself:
Where is there a wretch
The cause of this wretchedness, Gandhi wrote, was "the evil passions within that keep me so far from Him, and yet I cannot get away from them." These thoughts echo those of the Apostle Paul who, while desiring to do good, found that evil worked within him. He bemoaned, "Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?" Both men realized they could not perform what the truth required, and because they loved truth, it made them feel wretched.
Who then is righteous, if not Gandhi and Paul? The prophet Ezekial spoke of God's promise to "put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes." But such righteousness is seldom seen. Gandhi wrote disapprovingly of one Christian acquaintance "who knowingly committed transgressions, and showed me that he was undisturbed by the thought of them." Paul saw among his own converts in Corinth such immorality "that does not even exist among the heathens."
The promise does not fail, but faith wavers. The promise must be put to the test, as an experiment with truth. Then those who love the Truth may be revealed.
4.0 out of 5 stars THOSE SUCCESSFUL "EXPERIMENTS",
Mr Mohandas Ghandi proved that non-violent protests can achieve what machine-guns and bombs could not. He was a great man: the giant on whose shoulders icons like Martin luther King (Jr.) and Nelson Mandela stood in order to see farther.
His well-knitted autobiography made a captivating read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Gandhi, the man.,
Gandhi surprised me with his transparency. He honestly expresses doubts about (or limited awareness of) God, his own weaknesses, and the mistreatment of women in Hinduism. He frankly relates quarrels with his wife ("numerous bickerings" that end in peace, with the wife the victor -- I wonder about that part, though) and that his son disagreed with his ascetic lifestyle. I gave this book five stars not because I agree with all of Gandhi's ideas, but because he explains them well, the stories he tells are so interesting, because the search for truth is what life is all about, and because Gandhi is one of the great figures of the 20th Century.
A couple years ago I did a research paper on the young Mao Zedong. One thing that surprised me here was to find that, despite their very different attitudes about violence, the fathers of the world's two biggest modern states shared much in common. Both agreed that "the life of labor is the only life worth living," and founded communes with friends as young men. Both strengthened themselves through ascetic self-disciplines. Both were men of contemplation and action. Both shared an ambivalent relation to the party that was the vehicle of their success, yet were also masters at the use of power. Both freed their countries from foreign domination over many decades, by use of dialectic strategy and an appeal to the peasants.
Gandhi was a man of ideas and of action, and also I think of passion, despite his philosophical commitment to "desirelessness." I found the book engaging on all three levels, though I also was disappointed that it ended without relating later actions in the history of India's movement towards independence.
Gandhi seemed to live with a great deal of guilt, which he relates to the death of his father, revealed in his attitude towards sex and eating. "Renunciation without aversion is not lasting," he quotes a pundit. He seemed to feel life itself was occasion for guilt. "Man cannot for a moment live without commiting outward himsa, destruction of life." In this regard, of course, Gandhi and Mao were opposites, the latter embracing an ideology that encouraged him to locate guilt in the other, the former one by which he took on the guilt of others.
As a Christian, one of the most interesting parts of the book was his visit to the temple to Kali. He was horrified by the animal sacrifices he saw. "To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being," he noted. "I must go through more self-purification and sacrifice, before I can hope to save these lambs . . . ." He said he prayed constantly that "some great spirit" of a person would bring an end to these "immoral" sacrifices. Yet the people doing the sacrifices were themselves looking for a solution to the same problem of guilt that haunted Gandhi, as well as Tolstoy, his hero.
This shows that the wisdom of Gandhi was not all the wisdom of India, still less of humanity. The Rig Veda says that sacrifice is "the mainstay of the world" and the only way to find forgiveness of sins. It spoke of a God who would sacrifice himself for the sins of the people, in prophetic imagery remarkably similar to the events recorded in the Gospels. And, when Jesus died, animals were no longer sacrificed. I wonder if it ever occurred to Gandhi that his prayer for lambs (not to mention guilt-ridden people) had already been answered at the cross?
author, Jesus and the Religions of Man
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm giving this a 4 because...,
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold!,
5.0 out of 5 stars Another experiment with Truth,
4.0 out of 5 stars Gandhi's personal experiences - powerful lessons for all,
Although some of his values may not be shared by others, one cannot but admire his unfailing commitment to the truth - and how this commitment provided him strength to shake of the bonds of colonialism and to bring India to freedom.
There are lessons here - for those who wish to understand Gandhi. Even if one is not curious about Gandhi, his narrative provides a keen insight into the principle of truth and human nature.
It is a great book, with important lessons for all of us.
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Book Written by an Extraordinary Man,
By A Customer
Great historical detail of colonial India, living in England and South Africa. A must read for anyone interested in Mr. Gandhi or that period of history.
The book has also influenced greatly the way I view life. A very spiritually uplifting book, even for non-Hindus.
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Autobiography Story of My by Mohandas Gandhi (Hardcover - Dec 1990)
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