Throughout Gandhi’s life, especially in the early days, many of his friends wanted to convert him to Christianity, thinking that Hinduism–his own religion–was inferior. For example, before he departed for England as a young man, his mother gave him a necklace with religious significance reminding him of his devotion to her, as well as three vows she asked him to take (no meat, no women, and no alcohol). His friend tried to get him to remove it, calling it a superstition. He was also invited to join many Bible study meetings, which he attended out of curiosity and interest in the religion itself. Instead of converting to another faith, however, Gandhi decided to begin understanding his own at a deeper level, and turned to the Gita, which stayed with him for the rest of his life. Interestingly enough, E. Stanley Jones, a missionary in India would say of Gandhi later: “There’s only one Christian in the world today — and he’s a Hindu.”
Gandhi wanted all children to get a “reverential study” of all the world’s religions. Can you do that for your children, or a nearby school?
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org