Mastery Over Our Mind

March 13, 2015

Every week, we feature excerpts by Gandhi that lend insight into his values and personal practices.

In 1909 when he wrote Hind Swaraj, he stressed that "To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. We notice that the mind is a restless bird; the more it gets the more it wants, and still remains unsatisfied." (Hind Swaraj, Chapter XIII, CWMG, Vol 10, p. 279). Then in a wedding almost 30 years later, he gave advice to newly married couples where he argued again that self-control of one's actions was a consequence of controlling one's thoughts and desires:

April 18, 1937

"The very first step in self-restraint is the restraint of thoughts. ... Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well. There is nothing more potent than thought. Deed follows word and word follows thought. The world is the result of a mighty thought, and where the thought is mighty and pure the result is always mighty and pure. I want you to go hence armed with the armour of a noble ideal, and I assure you no temptation can harm you, no impurity can touch you."

Source:  “Advice to newly married couples”, Harijan. CWMG, Vol 71, p. 157


Be The Change

This week pay attention to your thoughts, identify and erradicate negative ones and cultivate positive states of mind.