Remembering the Mahatma

Sadhguru makes use of Mahatma Gandhi's example to impress upon the importance of commitment in our lives.

Sadhguru makes use of Mahatma Gandhi's example to impress upon the importance of commitment in our lives.

Sadhguru: Incredible things are done in the world simply out of commitment. A great example is that of Mahatma Gandhi. If you look at this man, he was not talented or anything special, please see. As a child he did not show great potential. He was not extraordinarily intelligent. He was not an artist, scientist, or even a very good lawyer. He could not successfully practice as a barrister in India, which is why he went to South Africa for a better opportunity. Even there, he was not very successful. But suddenly, the man made a commitment towards something. He got so committed that he became a giant.

Mahatma Gandhi

I remember what he wrote about his first case at a court in India – he stood up to argue his case and his heart sank into his boots. Does this sound like Mahatma Gandhi? The man went on to move millions of people. With just one incident in his life, suddenly all his identities broke.

He had gone to South Africa to make a living and he was doing okay as a lawyer. One day he bought a first class ticket in a train, got in, and traveled some distance. At the next station, a white South African got in. This man did not like a brown-skinned person sitting in first class, so he called the ticket collector. The ticket collector said, “Get Out!” Mahatma Gandhi said, “I have a first class ticket.”

“It doesn’t matter, just get out.”

“No, I have a first class ticket. Why should I get out?”

They threw Gandhi out of the train along with his luggage and he fell on to the platform. He just sat there for hours. “Why did this happen to me? I bought a first class ticket. Why was I thrown out of the train?” he thought. It was then that he identified himself with the larger predicament of the people. Till then his survival, law, and making money were important to him. But now, he identified with a much larger problem that existed. He just broke that little identification and moved into a much larger identity.

If we are truly committed to whatever we have taken up in our life, the results are plenty.

Many humans who are historically known as great beings; this is all that happened to them. They were living with a limited identification. All of a sudden, an event occurred that broke their identities and they were able to relate to a larger process happening around them. They did things that they themselves could not imagine possible.

Gandhi moved millions of people just like that. Not only in India, anywhere in the world you take the name of the Mahatma and there is a sense of respect. All this happened at a time when there were so many leaders who were true giants in India. They were more talented, better orators and better educated. Yet, this man stood above them all, simply because of his commitment.

Whatever happens, life or death, commitment must not change. Truly committed, you express yourself totally, in every possible way. When commitment is lacking, somewhere you lose your purpose. When the purpose of why we are here is lost, there is no question of fulfilling our goals, isn’t it?

So being committed is just something we have to decide within ourselves. If we are truly committed to whatever we have taken up in our life, the results are plenty, you know? If results don’t come, for a committed person there is no such thing as failure. If I fall down 100 times a day, what to do? Stand up and walk again, that’s all.

Commitment does not mean aggressiveness; this must be understood. This is where Mahatma Gandhi’s example is so apt. He was committed to India’s freedom struggle, but at the same time he was not against the British people. That was the best part, wasn’t it? This shows the maturity of the man.

Editor’s Note: Download “Culture of Peace,” first published in print in 2008, is now available as an ebook on a “name your price” basis. In this 22-page booklet, you can read about Sadhguru’s insights into the basis of conflict, misconceptions about peace and how each of us can help to create a generation of peaceful human beings.

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5 years 3 months ago

"Gandhi moved millions of people just like that",

"How deeply you touch lives around you is how rich your life is " - Sadhguru

Gandhi I bow down

7 years 10 months ago

What else do we need Sadhguru when you are committed for our wellbeing...I will be the most blessed if I shed my body on your feet, longing for it Sadhguru, dhaya karo...

4 years 10 months ago

Forgive me Sadhguru. Mohandas Karamchand 'Mahatma' Gandhi is not my hero. He was unfit to be a leader. India got freedom (like many other British Colonies) because of Second World War in which the then 'super power' British suffered immensely (in the hands of Germans) though eventually they could win (so to say).

This Mahatama could not prevent killing of lakhs of people, displacement of millions of people, thousands of rapes. Yes, as an individual he was a saint, not a hypocrite. May be he was an accidental hero.

I often joke that had 'Mahatma' Gandhi was born in Germany and Hitler was born in India, both of them would have failed miserably (and history would have been very different).

7 years 10 months ago

On any occasion on this planet, if sadhguru speaks, he brings the complete clarity, such amazing clarity of thoughts !! For the first time I could understand the reality of Mahatama Gandhi, How great he was as well as how he became great. At the same time Sadhguru made it clear that we can also achieve it simply and the key is Commitment !! Wow Sadhguru !!

4 years 10 months ago

I Love Gandhi-ji....He will Stay in my heart Forever!! :)

7 years 10 months ago

In a way it was the audacity of the white man who did not want to sit with a coloured man that created a Mahatma and a saviour for Indian freedom. The ways of God are indeed strange and often He makes us turn through some pain or humiliation to a more nobler path. Sadhguru's clarity in telling the well known story is simply amazing.

4 years 9 months ago

What you are saying is true. Making the Mahatma out of Gandhi was a British move to stay longer...
We have to shake this Mahatma Image to be free of colonial burden.
Maybe Sadhguru's message is focused on commitment...Gandhi is just an excuse to express.

7 years 10 months ago

i love gandhiji and i love what u said about him.jai ho!!!

7 years 9 months ago

Sadhguru, you have given a new dimension about Gandhi. Commitment towards what we do. Its inspiring me. Great Sadhguru. I always get some energy boost whenever I read your article. Now again - might be even more. Thanks a lot. We are really blessed to have you as our Guru. Pranam.

7 years 9 months ago

Gandhiji himself was not moved by Indias freedom struggle. It was only after Sardarpatel, Gokle, Tilak and other greats persistent coercing that he decided to join Indias freedom struggle. He got into the freedom struggle accidentally and afters others pleading.

Very good post by Sadguru.

7 years 8 months ago

This is very true. Gandhi is known in so many parts of the world because of how committed he is to achieving his goal. I really like the line of this post that said how he is for the freedom of India but is not against the British. The world would truly be such a great place if there were more people like Gandhi.

7 years 1 month ago

when I read articles like this, Sadguru, something inside me tells me that there is still hope for us all, with people like you around this planet.
You humble us all with your clarity Sir <3

5 years 10 months ago

So much tolerance and patience in this injustice life.

5 years 9 months ago

Dr.madhavi, the word commitment itself is given a new dimension , new outlook , by the simple example of the big man .our mahatma.