Liberal Arts Blog — What is the Best Gandhi Quote? Why? What about the Best Misattribution?

Liberal Arts Blog — Tuesday is the Joy of Literature, Language, Religion, and Culture Day

Today’s Topic: What is the Best Gandhi Quote? Why? What about the Best Misattribution?

Big surprise. I’ve been a serious Gandhi fan for roughly 60 years but just this week came across a collection of Mahatma quotes that included many I had never encountered before. Do you have a favorite? Do you have a story as to why? Do you have a favorite misattribution? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Satan successes are greatest when he appears with God on his lips.”

2. “Non-cooperation with evil is as important as cooperation with good.”

3. “Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.”

NB: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”


1. “Hinduism is like the Ganga, pure and unsullied at its source but taking in its course the impurities in the way. Even like the Ganga it is beneficent in its total effect. It takes a provincial form in every province, but the inner substance is retained everywhere.”

2. “I simply want to tell the story of my experiments with truth…as my life consists of nothing but those experiments.”

3. “Today I know that physical training should have as much place in the curriculum as mental training.”

NB: “I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest number. It means in its nakedness that in order to achieve the supposed good of 51 per cent the interests of 49 per cent may be, or rather, should be sacrificed. It is a heartless doctrine and has done harm to humanity.”


1. “My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.”

2. “The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.”

3. “But all my life though, the very insistence on truth has taught me to appreciate the beauty of compromise. I saw in later life that this spirit was an essential part of Satyagraha. It has often meant endangering my life and incurring the displeasure of friends. But truth is hard as adamant and tender as a blossom.”

NB: “My uniform experience is that there is no other God than truth.”

FOOTNOTES — are the misattributions better than the originals? does this perhaps make sense? distillation can take time and many minds are better than one….

1. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”

2. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

3. “We need to be the change we want to see in the world.”

NB: is the following a misattribution? does it matter? “Happiness is when what we think, what we say, and what we do is in harmony.” And how about this one? “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Mahatma Gandhi — Wikiquote

Mahatma Gandhi Quotes (Author of Gandhi)


PDF with headlines — Google Drive


Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to words, language, literature, religion, culture. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to Words, Language, Literature (eg. quotes, poetry, vocabulary) that you have not yet shared.

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.



Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.