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Gandhi and the Good Life

Suman Khanna (Author)
Synopsis As its very title indicates, Gandhi and the Good Life aims at a clear understanding of Gandhi's ethico-religious thinking. A careful study of Gandhi's life and thought reveals, first, that both are deeply rooted in the Hindu tradition; and, secondly, that he attaches greater importance to action than to mere words. Hence, the book focuses not only on the text of Gandhi's own writings but also on his life and experience. Gandhi's arguments in favour of the supremacy of truth and its essential linkage with ahimsa are clearly outlined. His practice of fasting as a powerful way to project Truth and as a means to social ends is analyzed. The book also attempts to bring out the surpassing significance of Gandhi's ahimsa by interpreting his seemingly unclear utterances on the subject and shows how the practice of this principle is, for him, not only ethical but metaphysical. A thoroughgoing analysis is also made of the means-end relation-and, in this context, of the satya-ahimsa linkage-which is pivotal in Gandhian thought. The ideal of self-realization-and the related concepts of God, faith and prayer-are also given the attention they deserve. Quite unlike the traditional way, Gandhi's pursuit of self-realization leads him straight to the service of humanity. For him, one can grow up into an experience of God only by pursuing the line of righteous conduct. Further, Gandhi's faith in God is intimately related to his faith in the efficacy of truth, and in ahimsa and the 'inner voice'.
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About the author

Suman Khanna

Dr. Suman Khanna is a Reader in Philosophy at Mata Sundrai College, University of Delhi, and a Peace Researcher. She holds a Doctorate in Gandhian Philosophy, and has done post-doctoral research work on the following subjects: A Comparative Study of Some Religious Concepts in the Philosophies of Gandhi and Gabriet Marcel, the French Existentialist, sponsored by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, 1984; The Nordic Peace Movements and The Gandhian Paradigm of Power, at the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund, Sweden, 1987-88; Collaborative Possibilities Between Green Peace (Canada) and Similar Popular Movements (India), with the assistance of a fellowship from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, in Canada, 1990-91. She has lectured extensively in Europe and the US and has given courses on Gandhi and Hinduism at the Department of Religious Studies and the McMaster Centre for Peace Studies, McMaster University, Canada, as Visiting Assistant Professor during the Summers of 1993 and 1994. She is also the President of a peace NGO Shanti Sahyog which has initiated an International Campaign for politically legitimazing Non-violent Defence.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gandhi and the Good Life
Author Suman Khanna
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170189179
length xii+180p., Bibliography; Index; 23cm.
Subjects History