Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. He was born in his ancestral home, now known as Kirti Mandir. His father, Karamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), who belonged to the HinduModh community, served as the diwan (a high official) of Porbander state, a small princely state in theKathiawar Agency of British India. His grandfather was Uttamchand Gandhi, also called Utta Gandhi. His mother, Putlibai, who came from the Pranami Vaishnava community, was Karamchand's fourth wife, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth. Jain ideas and practices powerfully influenced Gandhi particularly through his mother who was a devout Jain. The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he admits that they left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early self-identification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters.
In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to "Ba") in an arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region. In the process, he lost a year at school. Recalling the day of their marriage, he once said, "As we didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives." However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband.In 1885, when Gandhi was 15, the couple's first child was born, but survived only a few days. Gandhi's father, Karamchand Gandhi, had also died earlier that year.
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