Gandhi, the Man Summary & Study Guide

Eknath Easwaran
This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gandhi, the Man.
This section contains 494 words
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Gandhi, the Man Summary & Study Guide Description

Gandhi, the Man Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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"Gandhi, The Man" by Eknath Easwaran is an examination of the beginnings, inspiration, work and public and private life of Mahatma Gandhi. Easwaran is from a background very like Gandhi's, and so finds particular inspiration in his self-transformation. The book opens with the story of Gandhi's early life, his dismal performance as a student and social awkwardness, and moves through his education in England when his evolution begins. He recognizes that there are excesses without which his life is simpler and happier, even if he does not fit into a cultural ideal. His work as a lawyer, although badly begun, brings him into circumstances in which he is able to arrange for resolutions that are equally beneficial to both parties in a dispute, and his reputation spreads throughout South Africa where he is working. It is there that he is struck with the idea of satyagraha as protest, when he sees the unjust treatment of his fellow Indians living there under cruel prejudice. He simplifies his life there even further, making himself like the people whose cause he adopts, reserving nothing for his own profit. Returning to India, he continues his work teaching the people how to stand up in peaceful protest against the tyrannical rule of England, and further refines his philosophy.

His ideas and their inspiration are described in great detail, as is the work he does in India in the second section, called "The Way of Love." Easwaran describes Gandhi's love for the Bhagavad Gita and his dedication to making those ideas manifest in all of his actions, indeed to let them transform his entire personality. He describes the concepts of satygraha, or dedication to truth, and ahimsa, or non-violence, and the ways he demonstrated and instilled those ideas both in the people who followed him and in the people whose leadership they were meant to reform. British leadership took notice of Gandhi's leadership to such a degree that they invited him to round-table discussions about the future direction of the British presence in India.

Next Easwaran shifts his attention to Gandhi's spiritual background, and the influence of his childhood nurse, Ramba on his spirituality. His lifelong mantram of rama, rama, rama, invoking joy, peace and love was given him by Ramba, and was meant to still his fear. He also describes the value and the method of meditation, and the reader is allowed a deeply touching insight into the value it served in Gandhi's life even in its final moments as Easwaran's description of Gandhi concludes with an intimate look at Gandhi in his most personal interactions. His daily activities were conducted in the presence of dedicated followers who were like family to Gandhi, and its beauty was due to its being infused in its every detail with the truths to which he had dedicated his life. Those ideas are examined closely for their practical applications in the appendix of the book, written by Timothy Flinders.

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This section contains 494 words
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