Gandhi as Disciple and Mentor by Thomas Weber

By Thomas Weber

Thomas Weber bargains new and fascinating insights into the lifestyles and regarded the most effective recognized and most vital figures of the 20 th century. while prior literature has tended to target Gandhi's political legacy, Weber explores the religious and philosophical richness of his relationships via biographical reflections on those who prompted Gandhi, and people who have been, in flip, inspired by way of him.

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Raychand would engage Gandhi in ‘conversations of a serious religious nature’ and would become his ‘refuge’ in times of spiritual crisis. ’64 Further, Gandhi states that during his time of spiritual questing he tried to meet the heads of various faiths and since then had met many spiritual leaders and teachers, yet ‘no one else has ever made on me the impression that Raychandbhai did. ’65 As noted above, in his earliest days in South Africa Gandhi came into close contact with devoted proselytising Christians and spent much time in religious debate with them.

21 22 See Peter Gay, Freud for Historians (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). For the best example of such a study of Gandhi, see Erik H. Erikson’s chapter ‘On the Nature of “Psycho-Historical” Evidence’ in his book Life History and the Historical Moment (New York: Norton, 1975), pp. 113–68. The nature of influence 15 Nevertheless, I strongly believe that in examining Gandhi’s life in light of those who (to me, clearly) influenced him, we get a far clearer idea of who the Mahatma was and why he did and thought what he did.

492. Pyarelal, Mahatma Gandhi, volume I: The Early Phase, p. 221. 17 Erikson, Gandhi’s Truth, p. 135. Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 14. Kakar, Intimate Relations, p. 88. 19 Nevertheless, this relationship coloured Gandhi’s views of future relationships. Green sees that a pattern of ‘suspicion, jealousy, conspiracy, accusation . . was the life of the emotions, of the “exclusive relationship,” as Gandhi knew it. ’20 In his high school days, Gandhi had only two intimate friends and one of these did not last long.

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