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Mohandas GandhiBorn into a merchant family in 1869 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wasunder the influence of powerful people Members of his family had served asprime ministers of an Indian state for several generations His parentswere strong in their religion being devout and earnest Hindus They were apart of a Hindu sect that worshipped Vishnu and promoted non-violenceApparently he was most influenced by his mother a gentle andintelligent person According to Hindu custom he married at an early ageand grew to love his wife greatly Together they had four children andadopted a fourthLater in 1888 he travelled to England to become a barrister-at-lawThere were several important influences that he encountered here theWestern material style of life which he decided not to follow and in thesimple Russian way of living he found the New Testament and theBhagavadgita the bible of the Hare Krishna movement It was here that hedeveloped a sense of the presence of God in his life and the lives of menGandhi then returned to India and studied law in Bombay but hequickly denounced it feeling that it was immoral and could not satisfyones conscience Despite this he used his schooling to help plead forIndian settlers in South Africa that were being oppressed by the whitepopulation His personal experiences including being ejected from a trainin Maritzburg of not being allowed the same rights as others lead him tobegin a movement to help his peopleWhile in South Africa Gandhi made himself poor so that he couldidentify with his the peasants He then proceeded to start a colony thatconsisted of abused labourers The colony became very large and many citieswere crippled by the lack of labourers The government reacted to this byjailing Gandhi several times along with many other of his followers Thewar he fought was one without weapons already Gandhi was on his way tostarting his career of non-violent campaignsThe main idea behind Gandhis teachings was non-violence The words ofthe Sanskrit language ahinsa and sayagraha clearly express
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