Happy Gandhi Jayanti

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, what are the incredible lessons that we can learn from his life ?

1. A deep connection with one’s roots: The Mahatma who eventually became a global icon was deeply connected to his religious, spiritual and national roots. Drawing inspiration and life-lessons from the Bhagvad Geeta, Sanatana Dharma, the principles of Jainism and other facets of the ancient indian ethos and way of life, the Mahatma shaped his potent movement against the mighty British empire.
2. Symbolism with a purpose: Gandhiji was well aware of the importance and weight of symbols that would draw people together to rally around a common cause which was the freedom movement at that time. Khadi, the Salt Satyagraha, the Charkha( spinning wheel) and others were not just mere symbols used as a marketing device but had a robust thought process. Spinning our own cloth, making our own salt would eventually break the economic back of the British Empire whose wealth had come to depend to a great extent on the Indian Market.
3. Authenticity and Naturalness: Mahatma Gandhi met with Heads of State and eminent dignitaries in his loin cloth and shawl no matter what the occasion he was himself and authentic. No matter what the criticism or the mockery, there was firm conviction in his own ideals.
4. The Power of Prayer: Mahatma Gandhi was a firm believer in the power of prayer, meditation and a collective intention to bring change in oneself and in society. Everyday, the Mahatma gathered thousands in prayer and chanting. It was this spiritual force that finally brought India her freedom.
5. Relevance of Ideology across geographies and different time periods: Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology eventually became relevant and was applied in different ways in so many parts of the world. By Martin Luther King, Mandela to just name a couple.
These powerful lessons can serve as a guide map for people everywhere.

Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

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The Author Ms. Jaina Desai

Jaina Desai is a lawyer by profession and has dedicated her life for over 2 decades to the cause of the Art of Living founded by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A deep believer in the role of spirituality, human values and inner peace in solving societal conflicts, Jaina teaches meditation and is ​​ a Director of the Art of Living. She is serving on the Board of Trustees of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir Schools which runs 95 educational institutions.
She has headed the Secretariat of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with a special focus on International Affairs and Digital Media Communications for the last 13 years having a vast experience in the area of International Relations.
Jaina has been a moderator at several editions of the International Women’s Conferences of the Art of Living. She has represented the International Association for Human Values at several seminars and conferences including the Global Network for Rights & Freedom’s Geneva Conference in February 2015.
Jaina has been Director of the Art of Living Silver Jubilee, 30th and 35th anniversary events held in Bangalore, Berlin and New Delhi respectively.
An avid reader and well-versed in 5 languages, she lives at the Art of Living centre in Bangalore, India.


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