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Gandhi's philosophy.


Civilisation, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service.

--from Yeravda Mandir (1932), Chapter 6

I am convinced that if India is to attain true freedom and through India the world also, then sooner or later the fact must be recognised that people have to live in villages, not in towns, in huts, not in palaces. Tens of thousands of people will never be able to live at peace with each other in towns and palaces. They will then have no recourse but to resort to violence and untruth. I hold that without truth and non-violence, there can be nothing but destruction for humanity. We can realise truth and non-violence only in the simplicity of village life and this simplicity can best be found in the Charka and all that the Charka (spinning wheel) connotes. I must not fear today if the world is going the wrong way. It may be too that India will go that way and like the proverbial moth burn itself eventually in the flame round which it dances more and more fiercely. But it is my bounden duty up to my last breath to try to protect India and the entire world from such a doom.

The essence of what I have said is that man should rest content with what are his real needs and become self- sufficient. If he does not have this control he cannot save himself. After all the world is made up of individuals, just as it is the drops that constitute the ocean.. this is a well known truth ... There are two schools of thought in the world. One wants to divide the world into cities and the other into villages. The village civilisation and the city civilisation are totally different things. One depends on machinery and industrialisation, the other rested on handicraft. We have given preference to the latter. It is the city man who is responsible for war all over the world, never the villager ...

--from Gleanings (1949), p. 17

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Title Annotation:INSPIRATION ON SUSTAINABILITY; civilization on greed and simplicity
Publication:Pacific Ecologist
Article Type:Viewpoint essay
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Hunter-gatherers: insights from a golden affluent age.
Next Article:Intelligent return to simplicity.

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