"Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one
as this ever walked upon this earth in flesh and blood".
Throughout history most national heroes have been warriors, but Gandhi was a passive and peaceful preacher of morals, ethics, and beliefs. He was an outsider who ended British rule over India without striking a blow. Moreover, Gandhi was not skillful with any unusual artistic, scholarly, or scientific talents. He never earned a degree or received any special academic honors. He was never a candidate in an election or a member of government. Yet when he died, in 1948, practically the whole world mourned him. Einstein said in his tribute, "Gandhi demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of the usual political maneuvers and trickery but through the cogent example of a morally superior conduct of life". Other tributes compared Gandhi to Socrates, to Buddha, to Jesus, and to Saint Fancis of Assisi.
The life of Mahatma (great soul) Gandhi is very documented. Certainly it was an extraordinary life, poking at the ancient Hindu religion and culture and modern revolutionary ideas about politics and society, an unusual combination of perceptions and values. Gandhi's life was filled with contradictions. He was described as a gentle man who was an outsider, but also as a godly and almost mystical person, but he had a great determination. Nothing could change his convictions. Some called him a master politician, others called him a saint, and millions of Indians called him Mahatma or Bapu (father).
Gandhi's life was devoted to a search for truth. He believed that truth could be known only through tolerance and concern for others, and that finding a truthful way to solutions required constant attention. He dedicated himself to truth, to nonviolence, to...